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Kicks hints at Nissan's global e-Power push

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TOKYO — Nissan’s e-Power hybrid system is finally getting an international run that foreshadows the automaker’s plan to introduce the technology globally.

Nissan is deploying the electrified powertrain in a version of the Kicks subcompact crossover that it will sell in Thailand and Japan.

Nissan hasn’t confirmed U.S. launch plans for e-Power or said whether the U.S. version of the Kicks will get it. But engineers and product planners have said the company intends to eventually introduce a high-power version of the gasoline-electric system stateside.

Nissan unveiled the Kicks e-Power in Japan last week. The model is assembled in Thailand and initially will be sold there and in Japan. The U.S. version of the Kicks is built in Mexico, sharing its platform with the Versa, also made in Mexico.

Internationally, the lack of a hybrid option on the redesigned Rogue compact crossover, Nissan’s top-selling nameplate in the U.S., fuels speculation that an e-Power variant will appear down the road.

The Rogue Sport also may be in line for e-Power. Nissan’s IMQ concept, which previewed a next-generation Rogue Sport, debuted at the 2019 Geneva auto show with an e-Power drivetrain.

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