Nissan Fuel Economy Strategy Includes New Turbo 1.6 Liter Engine, More Hybrids

By John O'Dell July 6, 2010

Most Gas Engine Improvements, Plus a New Clean Diesel, Aren't for the U.S.

(Note: Article has been reworked to correct information that incorrectly stated Nissan would use a normally aspirated, dual-injector 1.6 liter engine for the new Juke crossover in the U.S. The model will use a turbocharged, direct-injection 1,6-liter engine. The original article also incorrectly identified a new dual injector 1.5-liter engine as having many of the characteristic of the 1.6-liter tubro engine. We apologize for the misinformation that was posted earlier today -7/6/10).

Nissan has opened up about its fuel efficiency strategy going into the end of this year and the first half of 2011 and while we  know Japan gets the good stuff - we're not sure about the U.S.

We do know that we get the new Nissan-developed hybrid system (left) - in the 2011 Infiniti M 37/56 line, and Nissan execs are saying there will be more use of the lightweight and reportedly highly fuel-efficient gas-electric system as time marches on.

But for the rest of the near-term improvements, it looks like its all Japan and Europe with one exception.

The automaker plans to introduce the Juke crossover here next year with a new turbocharged, direct-injection 1.6-liter gas engine.Nisdsan16TurboDIengine.jpg

Nissan says the engine (right) will produce power like a 2.5-liter with a 1.8-liter engine's fuel economy.

Ford Motor Co., GM and several others also are using direct-injected, turbocharged engines for more power and fuel economy without having to boost engine size.

Other fuel efficiency developments announced by Nissan today include a new 1.5-liter engine that debuted in the Japanese-market Juke when the crossover was launched in Japan last month.

It uses dual injectors (two per cylinder) to achieve a 4 percent fuel economy increase over the old single-injector model.

Juke15Engine.jpgThe 2011 Nisan Juke and the 1.5-liter dual injector engine developed for the Japanese market.

Nissan12Liter3CylinderEngine.jpgAdditionally, the Nissan March subcompact that's so far available in Europe and Asia only gets a new powertrain featuring a three-cylinder, 1.2-liter gas engine coupled to the new generation of the company's continuously variable transmission (right).

The March also will get an engine stop-start system that shuts things down when the car would ordinarily be idling and spewing tailpipe emissions.

Nissan didn't provide power output figures for the new powerplant but said that it enables the March to achieve fuel economy of 26 kilometers per liter, equal to 61 miles per gallon (Japanese test cycle).

NissanXTrailDiesel.jpgOn the diesel front, Nissan said it is launching a new clean-diesel in the X-Trail SUV in Japan this month.

The diesel engine (right) will include an exhaust treatment system that will make it  compliant with the most stringent emissions standards in the world, the company said - without commenting on where the little SUV will be sold.

But California has the most stringent diesel exhaust standards we know of, and if the X-Trail can meet them it also can meet standards in the rest of the U.S.

All Nissan's got to do is decide there's an actual market here for a small, diesel-powered SUV.

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