2000 Nissan Sentra CA Claims Title As the Cleanest Gasoline-Fueled Car
12 January 20002000 Nissan Sentra CA 'Clean Air' Model Claims Title As the Cleanest Gasoline-Fueled Car in the World
DETROIT, Jan. 11 -- Car A is driven 10 miles to work in the morning, 10 miles home in the afternoon. Car B sits in the driveway all day long with its engine turned off. Which car emits fewer harmful vapors? Answer: Car A -- if the car is actually car CA, as in the new 2000 Nissan Sentra CA. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000111/LATU091 ) The Sentra CA (for "Clean Air"), which was introduced to the world's automotive media at a press conference at the North American International Show in Detroit, is the only gasoline-fueled vehicle in the world to receive California Air Resources Board (CARB) super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV) certification and obtain zero emission credits. The Sentra CA received CARB certification after meeting its stringent requirements in three critical areas: zero evaporative emissions, SULEV tailpipe emissions levels and OBD II (On-Board Diagnostic II) requirements. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that the Sentra CA achieves these technological breakthroughs solely through advances in engine and emissions technology -- the vehicle itself is an otherwise unmodified 2000 Sentra equipped with a normal 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. It looks and drives like any 2000 Nissan Sentra -- distinguished only by special "CA" badging on the trunk. The Sentra CA joins three other all-new Sentra models, the XE, GXE and SE, which also debuted at Detroit. All 2000 Sentras feature a larger, restyled body, refined interior, improved ride and handling and will be built on an all-new global front-wheel drive platform. "The arrival of the new Sentra CA proves to the world that you can build a safe, affordable, environmentally friendly vehicle without sacrificing styling, comfort or performance," said Jed Connelly, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "The only concession the driver will notice is the vehicle's need for low-sulfur gasoline, which is currently available only in California." Sales of the limited production Sentra CA are scheduled to begin in March in California. (There is no effect on performance or mileage if the Sentra CA is driven on higher sulfur content fuel; however, SULEV emissions levels may not be attainable.) Advanced Emissions Technology The SULEV standard is part of CARB's recently approved LEV II regulatory package for 2004 and subsequent years, meaning the Sentra CA currently meets SULEV emissions levels at least four years early. According to CARB, the Sentra CA qualifies for zero emission vehicle credits, which used to only be awarded to pure electric vehicles, because it also has zero fuel evaporative emissions and has adopted CARB's 15-year/150,000-mile limited emissions warranty. Tailpipe emissions from the Sentra CA are about eight times cleaner -- one-fourth of unburned hydrocarbon (HC) levels, one-tenth of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) -- than ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV), the cleanest gasoline-powered automobiles currently being sold in California. A number of key technologies combine to make this all possible: double- wall exhaust manifolds, a new combustion control sensor, quicker catalyst warm-up (three three-way catalysts are utilized in the emissions system), new hydrocarbon trap catalysts and use of a special electronically controlled swirl control valve that reduces hydrocarbon emissions in cold and warm start situations. In addition, the Sentra CA includes technology that actually helps eliminate harmful ground-level ozone -- the main component of smog. The radiators of all Sentra CAs are coated with Engelhard Corp.'s PremAir(R). As ozone-laden air passes over the radiator, the PremAir(R) coating converts ozone molecules into oxygen. In effect, the air the Sentra CA leaves in its wake should be cleaner than the air in front of the vehicle. The 2000 Sentra CA also fulfills all OBD II standards, which require emissions systems to detect minute changes in emissions and to notify the driver when service may be needed to keep the engine running in its cleanest possible state. "The most significant feature of the Sentra CA is zero evaporative emissions, a feat thought extremely difficult, if not impossible, to attain just a few years ago," said Connelly. "Fuel vapors, which are potentially harmful to the environment, seep from fuel systems constantly, whether a vehicle is being operated or whether it is parked. Some of these gases react with sunlight to create smog, which has been linked to a range of health problems related to breathing, including chest pain, coughing and shortness of breath. The Sentra CA eliminates nearly all of those vapors." The Sentra CA engine is rated at an estimated 126 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 129 ft-lbs of torque at 2,400 rpm and only available with a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Fuel economy is expected to be in the 26 mpg City/33 mpg Highway range. A Full Array of Features The new Sentra CA is a five-passenger, four-door sedan with an international design and engineering passport. The crisp, contemporary exterior was styled at Nissan Design International, Inc. in La Jolla, Calif., and features flush-mounted one-piece multi-parabola headlights, body-color door handles, bumpers, front grille and side door mirrors and moldings and 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The interior was created by Nissan Design Europe in Geretsried, Germany, and emphasizes roominess, comfort and convenience. Standard features include power windows with one-touch auto down, power door locks, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, CFC-free air conditioning, remote trunk and fuel filler door releases and front cupholders. Safety equipment includes dual front supplemental air bags, pipe-style steel side-door guard beams and front seat belts with pretensioners and adjustable upper anchors, as well as 3-point seat belts in all seating positions and child safety rear door locks and vehicle security system with Immobilizer. Underneath, the Sentra CA offers independent strut front suspension, Rear Multi-Link Beam(TM) suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum brakes. A Tradition of Environmental Leadership The Sentra CA continues Nissan's long tradition of environmental leadership. In September, Nissan received the prestigious 1999 Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- the only automaker so recognized -- for its aggressive steps to address global warming, reduce hydrofluorocarbons and improve fuel economy in its vehicles. Other recent Nissan environmental accomplishments include: -- The first automobile manufacturer in the U.S. to install the equipment for recovery and recycling of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC-12) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC-134a) refrigerants at all its U.S. dealerships. -- Among the first automakers worldwide to eliminate the use of CFCs as a foaming and cleaning agent in manufacturing processes. -- Nissan was the only automaker to receive the EPA's "Best of the Best" award for protecting the stratospheric ozone layer. -- Nissan is the first automaker to demonstrate a fuel cell vehicle with hydrogen supplied by an on-board methanol-reforming system. -- Nissan is curbing HFC emissions in Japan where there is no government regulation regarding HFCs. -- The first automobile manufacturer in the world to introduce a powertrain system combining direct-injection gasoline (DiG) engine with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). These vehicles emit far less pollution yet maintain high power and a 50 percent improvement in fuel mileage ratings. The DiG-CVT technology was honored with the Energy Conservation Prize from the director general of Japan's Agency of Natural Resources and Energy. In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at http://www.nissandriven.com or contact the corporate media line at 310-771-5631.