In search of the latest technology MARKHINCHLIFFE takes a drive on Japan’s Yokohama track
MORE efficient internal combustion engines and transmissions will be introduced into the Nissan fleet from the middle of 2010. This technology however, is not yet scheduled for any vehicles coming to Australia, according to national senior corporate communications manager Jeffrey Fisher.
Nissan’s fuel-efficient powertrain technology involves public education about economical driving behaviour, fuel-consumption meters in vehicles, improved engines and transmissions.
Nissan senior product planner Andy Palmer says they look at environmental technology ‘‘with a holistic approach’’.
‘‘We are not religious about one particular technology,’’ he says.
‘‘The internal combustion engine is not going away any time soon. We are still getting little increases in economy.’’
But he says they are also researching development of CNG, LPG and diesel engines.
Powertrain chief Tetsuya Takahashi says economy in an internal combustion engine will improve 14 per cent using the dual injector system and next-generation Xtronic CVT.
The dual injector system has two narrower injectors, a cylinder to produce smaller fuel droplets, better combustion and cleaner exhaust. He says it will lift economy by 4 per cent.
The new CVT is 10 per cent more compact, 13 per cent lighter and has a lower initial gear for better acceleration.
It features smaller pulleys, a more efficient oil pump and offers 30 per cent less friction.
Takahashi says it will improve fuel economy by 10 per cent.
On a short one-lap drive around the Yokohama test track, the new transmission got off the mark without any lag and cruised at 60km/h with 1000 fewer revs and at 80km/h with 1500 less revs. It also felt smoother and quieter than the current CVT.
Fisher says the technologies will be introduced ‘‘progressively’’ from the middle of next year.
‘‘When it’ll be in Australia discussion,’’ Takahashi says.
‘‘We don’t know which vehicle it’ll be in first, but probably light, small cars.’’