Sunday 5 September 2010

Nissan debating on next-generation Z powertrain

Nissan is likely to borrow engines from Mercedes to use in the next-generation Z-sport cars, as well as hybrid and diesel variants for Europe.

Reducing fuel consumption and emissions are crucial goals in Europe and Japan, while in the U.S, there’s less pressure at the moment to attain this goal. That’s because Nissan is debating what engine to use.

A technology partnership between Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler-Benz will allow access to each other engines. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan has confirmed that some Mercedes engines will find their way under some Infiniti hoods. Nissan is considering using a 3.5 litre petrol/hybrid set-up – virtually identical to the one in the S400, which kicks-out 295bhp, however, the cost of a hybrid powertrain may rule this option out. Instead, a 2.2 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine – used in the E300 that produces 225bhp is possible.

A more remote option is Mercedes' Diesotto engine, which utilises diesel sparkless ignition to a petrol engine. Mercedes Diesotto prototypes can power a vehicle as big as an S-Class with little as 1.8 litres.

Nissan has lots of time to decide – the outgoing Z car was launched in late 2008 and will not be changed until 2014. Nissan has also abandoned plans for a roadster, as well concluding that there isn't enough of a market for a 200SX/Silvia coupe replacement, even if the size and fuel consumption of the model would make sense for some markets.

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