|The Clipper Rio.|
Nissan Motor has introduced the all-new Clipper Rio “one-box” mini-wagon in Japan. The new Clipper Rio is Nissan’s first one-box mini-wagon and is the fifth mini-vehicle model in the Nissan lineup. The Clipper Rio is supplied by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation under an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement. (Earlier post.)
The Clipper Rio is offered with a choice of two 3-cylinder engines: a single-overhead-cam (SOHC) 12-valve intercooled turbocharged engine, and a naturally aspirated SOHC 12-valve engine. Clipper Rio 2WD models equipped with the naturally aspirated engine are certified as ultra-low emission vehicles (U-LEVs), achieving emission levels that are 50% lower than Japan’s 2005 exhaust emission regulations.
Four-wheel-drive models offer a choice of either a part-time 4WD system (E FOUR) or a full-time 4WD system (G FOUR).
|Fuel consumption vs. engine displacement for light-duty vehicles on sale in Japan. Click to enlarge.|
Sales of mini-vehicles in Japan have been stronger over the past few years than those of conventional light-duty vehicles, which have been in decline. Japan defines mini-vehicles as vehicles with maximum dimensions of 3.4 meters in length, 2.0 meters in height, 1.48 meters in width, and with engine displacement of less than 0.66 liters.
As a result, the mini-vehicles engines from all automakers range from 0.658 to 0.659 liters in displacement—all just pushing up against the 0.66 liter cap. (See chart at right).
|Fuel economy in km/l (y axis) vs. weight in kg (x axis). Click to enlarge. Chart: MLIT|
Japan’s fuel economy standards for light-duty passenger vehicles are based on average fuel economy by weight class, and include mini-vehicles. The target date for compliance is 2010. Japan is introducing another set of standards with a compliance date of 2015.
The chart at the right plots fuel consumption and vehicle weight for light-duty vehicles on the Japanese market. The stepped black line indicates the fuel economy standards for the different weight categories.