Fuel-ef­fi­cient fu­ture

In search of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy MARKHINCHLIFFE takes a drive on Ja­pan’s Yoko­hama track

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.’’

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