Nissan to launch diesel SUVs in Japan

Nissan said today that it will launch a diesel version of its X-Trail SUV in Japan next year, a move that could increase the popularity of dead diesel passenger cars in the world’s third largest auto market.

The engine is developed with Nissan’s partner Renault and uses high-performance catalysts and other advanced technologies to further clean exhaust emissions. The Nissan diesel X-Trail will arrive in fall of 2008.

Nissan’s diesel SUV could be the first diesel passenger car launched in Japan by a local brand since the powertrain disappeared in the 1990s.

Even though diesel engines provide 30 percent better mileage than their gasoline counterparts, diesel engines have a higher exhaust level of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and pollutants. Nonetheless, the technology is being improved and with the success of diesel engines in Europe, auto makers are looking to offer them around the world.

Currently, DaimlerChrysler is the only auto maker to offer a diesel passenger car in Japan, the Mercedes E320 CDI sedan. Honda has said it plans to sell diesel-fueled cars in Japan after 2009.

Nissan is working on developing a diesel-powered Nissan Titan truck for the United States by 2009. Come on Nissan, let’s get a diesel X-Trail over in the US as well.


Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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