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Renault-Nissan and Daimler expand scope of collaboration with two projects for fuel-efficient powertrains: engine and transmission

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler are collaborating on two new projects—an engine and a transmission— to accelerate development of fuel-efficient powertrains. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche confirmed the new projects Friday in an annual media update about the Franco-Japanese-German partnership. (Earlier post.)

The new engine project is a jointly developed 4-cylinder gasoline engine family co-led by Renault and Daimler. The direct-injection turbocharged engine will feature advanced technology in a compact package. It targets low emissions as well as a significant improvement in fuel economy.

The companies expect to jointly manufacture the new engines. They will debut in Daimler and Renault and Nissan vehicles in 2016.

The new transmission project will be led by Daimler, which is licensing the technology to Nissan for use in Nissan and Infiniti vehicles starting in 2016.

Nissan subsidiary Jatco is planning to manufacture these newly licensed gearboxes in Mexico. The new transmission will feature “start and stop” and “park and shift by wire” technologies.

Ghosn and Zetsche confirmed that all the original “pillar projects” announced in 2010 have been accomplished or are on track. The companies are also moving forward with advanced research on fuel-cell vehicle powertrains, and they are working on a cross-supply program for battery and powertrain components of zero-emission versions of their small cars.

Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG announced wide-ranging strategic cooperation in 2010 that included cross-shareholding (Renault-Nissan Alliance takes 3.1% stake in Daimler while Daimler takes 3.1% stake in Renault and 3.1% stake in Nissan).

Original projects of the collaboration included:

  • Joint development of the successor to the smart/Twingo. The purpose of this project, which is ongoing, is to develop a common rear-drive architecture for the successor to the smart and the Renault. This will include a common electric powertrain and battery for the successor to the models. Maret launch is targeted for 2014 onwards.

  • Joint use and development of diesel and gasoline engines. These projects are to develop jointly a 3-cylinder gasoline engine for the new smart and Twingo; and 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz cars and vans. The first results of this, the jointly developed 4-cylinder direct-injection turbo diesel OM607 with 1.5 liter displacement, has its market introduction in the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the new city-van “Citan”—itself another project of the collaboration.

  • Development and production of a new city-van “Citan”. Citan is the first vehicle from the cooperation to be on the road. Its development allows Daimler to enter a new market segment, and increases production at Renault engine plants in Europe. Citan premiered at IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover.



These two should be able to produce effective EVs.

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