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Daimler, Renault-Nissan to co-develop engines

From here to Infiniti: New four-cylinder engines will be fitted to US-built Mercedes-Benz C-class and some Infiniti models as part of the collaboration agreed by Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn and Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche.

Joint venture to produce hi-tech petrol fours announced by Daimler, Renault-Nissan

1 Oct 2012

DAIMLER and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are collaborating further to develop a new family of efficient direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines.

In addition, Daimler will grant Nissan a license to produce automatic transmissions using Daimler technology, for use in Nissan and Infiniti vehicles from 2016.

Daimler and Renault-Nissan expect to jointly manufacture the engines, which will appear in Daimler, Renault and Nissan vehicles, also from 2016.

Nissan plans to use subsidiary Jatco to build the new transmissions – which will enable the use of technologies like idle-stop plus ‘park and shift by wire’ – at a plant in Mexico.

The technology partners claim the new engine will feature “state-of-the-art technology in a compact package” and promises “a significant improvement in fuel economy as well as low emissions”.

Another result of the partnership could result in the joint-development of hydrogen fuel cell drivetrains – currently under discussion – and they are working on the cross-supply of electric vehicle driveline components and batteries.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the new engine and transmission will “demonstrate how broadly and rapidly our collaboration is proliferating – while all the time remaining rooted in specific projects that give tangible benefits to our customers”.

“The relationship is expanding organically and logically,” he added.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche described the collaboration with Renault-Nissan as having achieved a milestone this year because the first vehicles and engines resulting from the tie-up are now on the roads.

“Furthermore, all our engineers are keeping an open mind, looking with fresh eyes at all potential new areas of collaboration,” he said.

The new deal expands on an agreement announced early this year for Nissan to produce Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder engines in the United States from 2014, for use in models from Nissan’s premium brand, Infiniti.

Daimler and Renault-Nissan launched their strategic collaboration in April 2010 which included a 3.1 per cent equity exchange, and has since been gradually expanding the programme.

One of the first agreements was the co-development of a joint Smart/Twingo city car platform to hit the roads in early 2014, plus the Renault Kangoo-based Mercedes Citan compact van officially unveiled at last month’s IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hanover.

Sharing of diesel and petrol engines plus automatic transmissions was also agreed, to be used across a number of models – most recently announced being the next-generation Infiniti G range that will rival the BMW 3 Series.

The partnership has also expanded to include a Mercedes B-class based Infiniti premium small car to be launched in 2014, when electric versions of the next-generaiton Smart and Twingo will also arrive using batteries from Daimler and electric motors from Renault-Nissan.

Infiniti announced in May that it had started building a new engine plant at its existing Decherd facility in Tennessee to produce four-cylinder engines for a range of Mercedes and Infiniti models in the US market.

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