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Nissan joins the 1.0-litre revolution

New low: Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn presents the new 1.0-litre - With just three cylinders and 1000 cubic centimeters, it will be the smallest in the company's combustion engine line-up.

Baby three-cylinder engine on the way from Nissan's Brazilian plant

8 Jan 2015

NISSAN is joining the growing list of 1.0-litre triple-cylinder engine manufacturers with a new normally aspirated unit joining the Japanese car-maker's line-up in 2015.

With 56kW and 98Nm of torque the little three-pot is no firecracker but its maker says the new addition has been designed for low C02 emissions, fuel efficiency and can run on two types of fuel.

Its duel-fuel capability is a feature particularly attractive to South American markets such as Brazil where the company is planning to boost its presence by producing the engine locally.

Adding the new 1.0-litre to the Resende production line in Rio de Janeiro will create 25 jobs taking employment numbers to 200 on the power unit assembly line, which also produces Nissan's 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine.

During a visit to the Brazilian facility, Nissan Motor Co president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said the investment of 100 million Brazilian Real ($A46 million) to upgrade the engine line signifies the company's commitment to developing a higher profile in the market.

"The production of a new three-cylinder engine in Brazil demonstrates that Nissan is determined to boost its presence in the domestic market, with modern, innovative products made locally," he said.

“Therefore, we increased the local content ratio of our products in order to further competitiveness.”

The Nissan Versa small car will be the first model to get the new engine and will also be manufactured at the Brazilian production site, along with March and March Active models.

In Australia the March is sold as the Micra compact hatch which is currently powered by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder, but the new smaller capacity engine may herald a more efficient option for the little town-car.

Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Daimler and Suzuki already offer 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines in various models around the world, but Nissan and Suzuki will be the only manufacturers not using forced-induction to boost output.

No fuel efficiency or emissions figures have been released for the new engine but with an output similar to the Suzuki Alto's 1.0-litre engine, Nissan's offering could come close to the 4.5 litres per 100km and 107g per 100km when fitted with a manual gearbox.

However, power figures are likely to differ when running on either petrol or ethanol – the biofuel being a popular alternative fuel in Brazil.

Volvo will also join the three-pot club this year with a 1.5-litre 78kW-133kW turbocharged unit due for installation in the next-generation V40.

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