The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Nissan's Decherd Plant to Launch New New V6 Based on VQ Engine Series For US Built Pathfinder

DECHERD, Tenn.--June 18, 2004--Technicians at Nissan's Powertrain Assembly Plant are making final plans to launch later this summer the newest addition to Nissan's U.S. engine lineup, one that will be used in the first U.S.-built Pathfinder making its debut later this fall.

The 4.0-liter DOHC V6 engine is rated at 260-plus horsepower and 280-plus lb.-ft. torque and will be used in a series of truck-based products from the company's Smyrna, Tenn., plant. The powerplant is derived from Nissan's award-winning VQ engine series found in the Nissan 350Z, Maxima, Altima, Murano and Quest, along with the Infiniti G35 sedan and coupe and the FX35. It features a longer stroke than the 3.5-liter version and has been specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications.

The engine will be used in the new model Pathfinder, Frontier pickup truck and Xterra compact SUV. The Frontier will launch later this fall and the Xterra is set to launch in January.

"Our employees at Decherd have played an important role in Nissan's U.S. expansion," said Dan Gaudette, senior vice president of North American Manufacturing and Quality Assurance for Nissan North America. "We have quadrupled the size of this plant and added more than 800 new employees. They've done an excellent job with all of our previous engines, as well as preparations for this upcoming launch."

Like others in the VQ engine series, the new 4.0-liter version includes such advanced design features as Electronic Throttle Control with secondary mapping in 4LO (4x4 models), Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, molybdenum-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler, lightweight aluminum block and platinum-tipped spark plugs.

Opened in May 19, 200497, the 930,000-square-foot Decherd powertrain assembly plant has a capacity for machining and assembling 950,000 engines and 300,000 transaxles annually. It builds all the engines for the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles manufactured in the United States at Smyrna, Tenn., and Canton, Miss.

The Smyrna plant builds the Maxima and Altima sedans, the Xterra compact SUV and the Frontier pickup truck. This fall, the midsize Pathfinder SUV will join the production line-up. The Canton plant builds the Quest minivan, the Armada full-size SUV, the Titan full-size truck and the Infiniti QX56 full-size SUV. It will begin building the Altima sedan on June 14.

In all, Nissan has invested about $4 billion in the three U.S. manufacturing facilities.

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 and