Nissan has showed us the future of the automobile with its advanced Leaf all-electric vehicle but that doesn’t mean it’s game over for the internal combustion engine. Gasoline and diesel powered cars can live on, well into the future in fact, thanks to new fuel-saving technologies that Nissan and other automakers are starting to roll out.
Most of these fuel-saving technologies focus around improving engine and transmission efficiencies, and include things like hybrid drive and engine stop-start systems as well as brake-energy and heat-energy recovery devices.
Nissan hopes to be one of the leaders in this field, announcing today a range of advanced, fuel-saving technologies that will be introduced on new models to be launched over the coming year. The technologies are the culmination of the company's research and development efforts based on the Nissan Green Program 2010 (NGP 2010)--the automaker's mid-term environmental action plan that includes initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across all areas of business.
Specific technologies Nissan will be launching, grouped under its ‘PURE DRIVE’ strategy, include more efficient continuously variable transmissions, engine stop-start systems, dual-injector and direct-injection technology, hybrid drive systems, intelligent accelerator pedal feedback and new clean diesels.
Of most interest to the U.S. market is the introduction of Nissan’s own proprietary hybrid technology, which will first appear in the 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid early next year, as well as a downsized 1.6-liter engine with direct-injection and turbocharging technologies that is set to debut in the 2011 Nissan Juke crossover. Non-hybrid versions of the new Infiniti M will also come with Nissan's Eco Pedal, a feature that integrates variable resistance to pedal pressure into the software that controls the car's fuel management system. That lets Infiniti program the accelerator to require greater pressure if the driver uses more gasoline than the ideal minimum in any condition.