October 4, 2012
By Kelsey Mays, Cars.com
At the Paris Motor Show, Renault-Nissan and Mercedes-Benz/Smart owner Daimler announced plans to team up on a direct-injection, turbocharged engine and accompanying transmission. Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the allied French and Japanese automakers, said the effort extends the scope of work between the two automakers that began in 2010.
The final product will be a small turbo four-cylinder that hits mileage targets in Europe and the U.S.; we'll see it debut in Daimler, Renault and Nissan products in 2016. As part of the agreement, Daimler also will license its automatic-transmission technology to Nissan. Nissan will build the new transmissions, which have idle start/stop and shift-by-wire technology, in Mexico.
The move could signal the spread of direct-injection technology across Nissan's lineup. Nissan's only U.S. direct-injection engines are the 5.6-liter V-8 in its Infiniti QX56 SUV and M56 sedan, and the Juke crossover's turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Its bread-and-butter four- and six-cylinder engines remain port-injected -- though that hasn't affected the exemplary mileage some vehicles demonstrate. Compare that to Ford, which direct-injects all its EcoBoost engines, and GM, whose four-cylinders and V-6s are widely direct-injected.
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