Currently reading: Merc power for next Nissan Zed
Nissan lines up diesels and hybrids for next-gen coupe

Nissan is planning a radical shake-up of its next-generation Z-car that could even include diesel engines and a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, sourced as part of the brand’s recent tie-up with Daimler.

Renault-Nissan is expected to supply three and four-cylinder petrol engines and electric technology to Daimler as part of the deal. In return, it will get four, six and eight-cylinder powerplants, and CEO Carlos Ghosn is said to be keen to install some of those units in the next Zed to keep the car ahead of tightening emissions regs. Greener variants could also help the car to attract buyers in Japan’s flagging domestic sports car market.

See Autocar's artist's impression of the next Nissan Zed car

Nissan is considering three new engines for the Zed. First is a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid set-up used in Mercedes S400; Nissan also has the option of its own, similar-sized motor from the forthcoming Infiniti M hybrid.

Even more tempting are Mercedes’ diesel options: the V6 from the E350 CDI and the four-cylinder petrol hybrid from the forthcoming E300 Bluetec. The E300’s mix of 2.2-litre, four-pot turbodiesel and 15kW electric motor produces a total of 221bhp and more than 420lb ft of torque. In the E-class it returns a claimed 56mpg while emitting just 109g/km of CO2.

Another longer-term option would be Mercedes’ Diesotto engine, which combines diesel and petrol tech and can power cars as large as an S-class from just 1.8 litres.

Nissan’s Japanese rivals, Toyota and Honda, have struggled to maintain sales of sports cars in recent years. But while Toyota’s FT-86 small petrol coupé has now been pushed back until 2012 at the earliest, Honda is now enjoying strong sales with its CR-Z hybrid.

Peter Lyon

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miecio 3 June 2010

Re: Merc power for next Nissan Zed

The problem with Renault/Nissan diesels is that they can't meet the Euro 6, actually they have problems with Euro 5. Mercedes' Bluetec is something what Renault and Nissan desperately need.

MattDB 3 June 2010

Re: Merc power for next Nissan Zed

As long as it's fun to drive, who cares how its pushed along. Start getting used to unconventional powertrains otherwise we won't have cars like this any more.

geed 3 June 2010

Re: Merc power for next Nissan Zed

Rubbish! Nissan employ its excellent family of VQ petrol V6 engines in just about everything it makes from Australia to the Americas. Dropping it and chucking an arguably inferior Mercedes V6 just makes no sense at all. The economies of scale that Nissan have on the VQ V6 engine family must be vast and it therefore I imagine it would be cheaper to produce. Nissan's V6 engines have been long lauded as some of the best for decades, they hardly need a lesson in V6 engine design from Mercedes. No, what may happen in future (4/5 years time), is a joint development petrol V engine family from 2.5 to 4.0L, co-developed base engine with bespoke states of tune and capacity for each maufactures unique models. The V8's may also go this same route. Nissan and Renault already share many petrol I4's and the diesels are predominately developed by Renault apart from some of the commercial diesel engines (2.5/3.0L). Nissan, and to a lesser extent Renault will greatly benefit from Mercedes larger engine diesel know-how and Mercedes from the Nissan/Renault electric te4chnology, sub 2.0l I4 diesel and petrol engines and Nissan's four wheel drive expertise.