More automakers are planning to sell diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S., where diesel has heretofore been limited to German cars and at that, mostly Volkswagens. Nissan diesels are going to be one of the first diesel engines offered by a Japanese carmaker, as Toyota and Honda have so far been skittish.
Next on the oil burning front are purported Nissan diesel engines
Contrary to popular belief, every major car maker on earth makes diesel cars, even Chevrolet and Ford. They just don’t sell them in the United States because no one wants diesels. Until recently, only a handful of cars could be had with a diesel, alles German.
However, car makers are relenting. GM and Mazda are planning diesels, but Japanese heavyweights Toyota and Honda aren’t planning on it.
Nissan, though, is starting to consider it. Among other rumors, Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, according to AutoBlog, is planning on a turbocharged four-cylinder and a diesel for the Q50, Infiniti’s new entry-level sedan. They’re mulling whether selling the diesel in the United States makes sense, though other Nissan diesel engines are being rumored to be coming.
Not the only Nissan diesel in the works
Diesels make sense in cars due to economy and also in trucks for the same reason plus the added torque, which diesels typically produce more of than gasoline engines. The Nissan diesel slated for Europe in the Infiniti is made by a joint venture between Daimler – which also makes heavy-duty trucks aside from Mercedes-Benz – and Nissan and French partner Renault.
In 2008, according to Car and Driver, Nissan announced it was looking at a possible diesel engine for the Titan, the company’s slow-selling half-ton pickup. In 2011, PickupTrucks.com, the truck partner of Cars.com, reported Nissan and Cummins, one of the best diesel engine makers in the business, were developing diesel engines for light duty applications, including 2.8-liter and 3.8-liter straight-four clean diesels, based on Cummins’ ISF line that’s sold overseas.
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At the time, the goal was to produce a 2.8-liter clean diesel good for 220 horsepower and 380 pounds-feet of torque. The idea was to put it in the Titan for the 2014 refresh. It’s said a diesel might be offered in the refresh for the 2014 model that was announced earlier, which promised more engine choices and body styles for the truck.
Slowly but surely
Another Nissan diesel that was rumored for a debut in the U.S., according to Car and Driver, was an Altima diesel, which had a 3.0-liter diesel V-6 sourced from Renault, the French sister company to Nissan also headed by Carlos Ghosn. The car was shown off at the 2010 Frankfurt Auto Show, but never made the trip to Nissan dealers in Everette, Wa., or anywhere else stateside.
Whether or not a Nissan diesel is ever offered remains to be seen, but a Titan diesel appears to be likely, since it’s been talked up for several years.
Car and Driver: http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2010-nissan-maxima-diesel-auto-shows