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Nissan to begin production of Pathfinder hybrid in Russia; importance of Russian market

Nissan launched its Pathfinder range in the Russian market at the Moscow Motor Show. The Pathfinder made its debut alongside the new Russian-built Sentra sedan.

Nissan’s all-new fourth-generation Pathfinder—which will be built in Russia—will be available with a standard 3.5L gasoline engine as well as the hybrid drive system. (Earlier post.) Production of Pathfinder’s hybrid engine variant will make the St. Petersburg plant Russia’s first to produce a hybrid. The plant currently builds the Teana, Murano and X-Trail, and Qashqai will be added in 2015.

For the hybrid version, Pathfinder’s standard 3.5-liter V6 is replaced by a new supercharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a compact Li-ion battery. The 15 kW electric motor and gas engine work in tandem to provide performance similar to the conventional Pathfinder. The system is rated at 250 net hp (186 kW) and 243 lb-ft (329 N·m) of torque, versus the 3.5-liter V6’s 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque.

The hybrid system also uses a Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch System (one motor / two clutch parallel system). Positioned between the gasoline engine and the next-gen Xtronic CVT (where the torque converter would normally be), the motor also functions as a generator, conveying energy from the CVT to the battery upon deceleration. One clutch is installed between the gasoline engine and the electric motor, the other within the CVT.

The Li-ion battery is fitted under the 3rd row seat, preserving Pathfinder’s 2nd row sliding functionality and easy access to the 3rd row. A regenerative braking system automatically recharges the battery by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy that would be otherwise lost in braking.

Nissan in 2014 has considerably stepped up its commitment to the Russian market—its largest market in Europe—through the launch of nine new vehicles and increased localized production.

  • Pathfinder production is being added to Nissan’s manufacturing operations at St. Petersburg, the addition of which will contribute to Nissan’s doubling of production there, to 100,000 units annually.

  • Sentra represents development collaboration with Alliance partner AvtoVAZ, the country’s largest automaker, and will be built at the AvtoVAZ plant in Izhevsk. The new C-segment sedan will be available with a 1.6L gasoline engine, which can be equipped with two transmissions: 5-speed manual or X-tronic.

  • Nissan also produces vehicles at the AvtoVAZ plant in Togliatti, which already is producing the Nissan Almera and Datsun On-do. By the beginning of next year, two Datsun—including the Datsun Mi-do which also premiered as the Moscow Motor Show (below)—and three Nissan models will be in production at AvtoVAZ facilities.

Nissan now offers a full range of new products across every market segment. Also at the Moscow Motor Show, making their Russia debuts, are the new Nissan Juke and new Nissan GT-R NISMO.

Nissan has earned a 6.5% share in the Russian market in 2014. Russia is Nissan’s fifth-largest global market, where Nissan is the fifth-largest brand in the market—jumping from eighth place last year.

Russia also is the only market in the world where Nissan Motor Co. sells all three of its brands— Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun—as well as has strong collaboration with Alliance partners Renault and AvtoVAZ through joint manufacturing initiatives.

Together with Datsun, Nissan aims to reach 10% market share by the end of the next three years, with 90% of vehicles sold in Russia also built in Russia.

Datsun. Datsun showed two models at the Moscow International Autosalon (MIAS): the on-DO and mi-DO, which was given its worldwide launch at MIAS. miDO sales are due to start in early 2015.

Datsun on-DO was revealed in April this year, with the order bank opened in July. Datsun received more than 2,000 enquiries in the opening weeks.

The Datsun mi-DO is a five-door hatchback. Although sharing the same wheelbase and front-wheel drive chassis layout as Datsun on-DO, Datsun mi-DO is shorter overall to emphasize its driving dynamics. Both cars sit on a 2,476mm wheelbase, are 1,500mm tall and 1,700mm wide, but the new Datsun mi-DO is 3,950mm long compared to the Datsun on-DO at 4,337mm.

Power comes from a 87 hp (65 kW) version of Datsun’s 1.6-liter 8V engine, while a four-speed automatic transmission is optionally available in place of the standard five-speed manual transmission.


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