Though Nissan has relied on CVTs to bring its green quotient up, the Japanese automaker is also counting on design to get its cars sipping less fuel, focusing primarily on cutting vehicle weight, improving aerodynamics, and reducing engine and transmission friction. Along with expected debut dates for each Nissan car, take a look at the automaker’s potential future below.
Godzilla may produce offspring, as the report says Nissan is planning an “undetermined” number of GT-R variations to arrive sometime between 2014 and 2016. Before that happens, though, Nissan’s next 370Z will arrive in 2014 as a 2015 model, with a leaner body, and perhaps a smaller front-drive sibling dubbed the Mini Z. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the affordable Versa hatchback will arrive next spring as a 2013 model with bolder and sportier styling, including a more angular front end and more sharply raked roofline at the rear.
The Maxima will see changes similar to those made to the 2013 Altima, which is lighter and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. Expect to see the redesigned Maxima in 2014 or 2015. Those who have been waiting for the Nissan Leaf to drop in price may be in luck, as the price will be changed for the better as a result of moving production from Japan to Smyrna, Tennessee. Instead of a redesign, the main focus for the Leaf is extending battery range so green-conscious shoppers can have more confidence in an all-electric car without having to suffer from range anxiety.
Just like how families’ needs have changed, so has the Pathfinder. With about two more months to go until it arrives in showrooms, the Pathfinder has softened up its appearance while still maintaining its off-road prowess. Ditching the body-on-frame construction for a unibody structure will help it achieve better fuel economy, with estimates reaching for 20/26 mpg city/highway. Its 3.5-liter V-6 replaces the outgoing SUV’s 4.0-liter, with which it will be paired with an updated CVT. Changes for Nissan’s smaller off-roader, the X-Terra, won’t be as drastic, with a reskin scheduled for 2014. Don’t expect major changes for the Juke either, though a refresh is set for 2014, and the hot-rodded Juke-R continues limited production on a built-to-order basis.
The popular-selling Rogue already has a winning formula, but Nissan hopes to improve it by incorporating styling cues found on the Hi-Cross concept, which debuted at the Geneva show earlier this year, in the new car’s design. Though powertrain specifics haven’t been revealed, it’s possible the revised crossover will use something similar to the concept’s hybrid drivetrain coupled to a direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine when it debuts in 2014. The third-generation Murano, on the other hand, will arrive one year later in 2015. New sheetmetal is in store for the Frontier, which is scheduled to arrive in 2014. The new skin, designed with aerodynamics in mind, will help it achieve more mpgs, while production moves to Canton, Mississippi.
As for full-size Titan pickup and Armada SUV, both are on the same schedule, though it’s unclear when we’ll see the new versions. The Titan’s redesign, scheduled for 2014, is being dragged out as a result of the strain put on engineering resources by the 2011 Japan earthquake. Automotive News reports Nissan is considering offering different variations of the full-size truck, including a regular cab body style. That would be a first for Nissan, and offering the truck with a smaller-displacement engine option along the lines of the F-150 EcoBoost is also a possibility.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)