Nissan Plans Fourfold CVT Increase Over Three Years

Tokyo Feb. 28, 05; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., is planning a fourfold increase in vehicles fitted with CVT (continuously variable transmission ) over the next three years, offering more customers worldwide the benefits of increased fuel efficiency and smooth, responsive driving performance. In fiscal year 2007, Nissan plans to sell around 1 million CVT-fitted models worldwide, up from an estimated 250,000 this fiscal year. This will raise the proportion of CVT-fitted vehicles to around 24% of global sales volume, up from 7% at present.

Nissan’s CVT expansion plan focuses on the Japan and US markets, where the proportion of CVT-fitted vehicles is expected to rise to 50% and 40% respectively.

Nissan first introduced CVT to its passenger vehicle range in 1992 with the application of the NCVT to the March compact vehicle. Since then, the company has been at the forefront of global CVT innovation. In 1997, Nissan introduced HYPER CVT to the Primera and Bluebird models, the world’s first CVT capable of being paired with 2.0-liter class engines. In 2002, Nissan introduced its third generation CVT to the Murano crossover SUV in the US, followed by the Teana luxury sedan in Japan in 2003. This was the world’s first 3.5-liter front-wheel drive adaptable XTRONIC CVT, offering a breakthrough in smoothness, responsiveness and fuel efficiency.

In December 2004, Nissan introduced a new generation of XTRONIC CVT units for medium class models, starting with the Nissan Lafesta minivan. Improvements include the tuning of the hydraulic and electronic controls to boost the CVT shift response, and the development of a wider gear ratio range, contributing significantly to the acceleration and fuel efficiency under ordinary driving conditions. Combined with Nissan’s new MR20 4-cylinder gasoline engine and other improvements on the vehicle, average fuel efficiency has improved by 37% compared with an existing same-size vehicle.

The wide application of CVT, which significantly improves fuel efficiency, will help to reduce CO2 emissions, one of the major causes of global warming.

Nissan is currently the only manufacturer in the world to offer a full CVT lineup for small, medium and large class passenger vehicles.

Nissan’s CVT units are built by Shizuoka-based JATCO Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

1 Unlike conventional stepped gear automatics, Nissan’s CVT operates essentially as “one gear” through the use of a belt and two pulleys with continuously varying diameters. The transmission eliminates the “steps” between gears, resulting in smoother, more responsive and more efficient operations. Compared with a conventional 4-speed automatic, CVT offers a 10-12% improvement in fuel efficiency.

2 This is based on comparison between a new and old model vehicles. The average fuel efficiency improvement in the practical speed range was calculated according to Nissan’s in-house standards that combine various driving conditions, including congestion, city and express way driving, based on the results of a survey of real-world driving conditions.

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