Nissan to Develop Super-Efficient Car for 2010 Launch

By Brendan Moore

09.13.2007

FRANKFURT: According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, Nissan Motor executive Vice President Mitsuhiko Yamashita said the company is developing a gasoline-powered vehicle that will be almost as fuel-efficient as gasoline-electric hybrid cars. However, Nissan states that the price of this car will be considerably lower than that of hybrid cars currently available in the 2008 model year, thus giving Nissan an advantage in terms of relative market attractiveness.

Quoting from the WSJ.com article, Nissan says “it aims to launch a vehicle in 2010 in Japan which can run for 100 kilometers on just three liters of gasoline — or in other words travel at around 33 kilometers per liter. The vehicle, dubbed the “3-liter car” by the company, is part of its latest project for developing advanced technologies.

The new model will be competitive against Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s hybrid version of the Civic. These hybrid models can run at about 35 kilometers per liter.

“The fuel-economy of the 3-liter car will be at the same level as that of hybrids,” Mr. Yamashita said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. He added that “the price will need to be cheaper” to better compete with hybrid cars.”

Yamashita did not elaborate on the technology Nissan plans to utilize to make their “3-liter” car successful, but many car companies are working on technologies like direct-injection gasoline engines and homogenous charge compression ignition (GM) for gasoline engines that will considerably increase fuel economy while maintaining high power outputs, so it is not unreasonable to expect that Nissan is engaged in the same type of engine development. Additionally, advances in transmission technology and weight-savings are also expected to contribute to gains in fuel economy in the next few years.

Nissan did not comment on when or if the future car will also be sold outside of Japan.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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