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2010/2011 Maxima diesel

I've read from various sources that it's official: the Maxima will be getting an optional clean diesel motor, and Nissan is hoping to have it on the US market by the 2010 model year. I think this is a smart move on their part, but it's implementation will definitely require weighing-in several factors such as high-output loving American consumers, fuel economy, emissions, and driveability.

Since fuel economy is the main motivation behind offering a diesel in the Maxima, I personally believe a smaller displacement (2.5L to 3.0L) is the best option. Since the car will probably weigh between 3,600 and 3,800 pounds, I would think the motor should produce at least 200 horsepower. This doesn't sound like much, but a 200 to 220 horsepower turbo-diesel will easily produce 280 to 300 pound/feet of torque. With well-spaced transmission ratios, the car could actually perform decently.

By saying it could perform decently, I'm making an educated guess and projecting a zero-to-60 time of between 7.5 to 8.0 seconds, and a quarter mile time between 15.5 to 16.0 seconds.

Now, if they went with higher turbo boost (and/or higher displacement), they would probably get output figures of at least 230 or 240 HP and 350+ pound/feet of torque. My educated guess, for those output figures, would project zero-to-60 times of 6.5 to 7 seconds, and quarter mile times around 15.0 seconds. However, assuming the automotive gremlin "torque steer" is caused by a high-torque engine driving the front wheels, having this much torque in a FWD configuration would cause some major torque steer issues. I'd assume, then, that a 350+ pound/feet turbo-diesel would require AWD, dividing that power between all 4 wheels to avoid the serious torque steer issue. The only other way to go about it would be to develop some type of revolutionary new FWD torque management system that could actually balance that much torque between the two front wheels to eliminate a large amount of the torque steer.

Remember, people who choose diesels are looking for better MPG, and at the same time would prefer not to deal with monster torque steer issues. Having a high-output diesel and AWD could push the cost too high. At this point, I'm betting on a lower-output turbodiesel, producing 200 to 220 horsepower and 280 to 300 pound-feet of torque, with FWD. Anyone have other ideas or suggestions? I'll bet Nissan has their ears open.

Comments

  • Now I'm no engineer, so I can only guess what the MPG figures will be. My guess is that a 2.5L to 3.0L diesel in the new Maxima, with 200 to 230 horsepower / 280 to 320 pound/feet of torque, will be able to achieve somewhere between:

    Highway: 32 to 34 MPG

    City: 23 to 25 MPG

    Combined / "Real World:" 25 to 27 MPG

    For a higher-boost 3.0L or larger diesel with 240+ horsepower / 350+ pound/feet of torque, I would project MPG numbers somewhere between:

    Highway: 30 to 32 MPG

    City: 22 to 24 MPG

    Combined / "Real World:" 23 to 25 MPG

    Keep in mind this is pure speculation on my part. I'm guessing conservatively, and I wouldn't be surprised if the actual MPG numbers turn out to be upper 30's highway upper 20's combined. Maybe there are some propulsion/powertrain engineers in here who can chime in with projections.
  • watkinstwatkinst Posts: 122
    BMW is considered the leader in small sport sedan Diesel cars in the UK.

    2.5 and 3.0 liter is actually a little large guessing the US based Diesel cars will be in the 2.0 range.

    If I remember correctly BMW offers three versions of the same strait 6 in their 3series and x5's. The non turbo which is actually quite popular in the X5 due to its consumption being quite low. A single turbo model which clearly has more topend and quicker response along with a little higher fuel consumption. Then the duel turbo monster which puts the gas BMW 330 on notice and just about matches it in performance except for the consumption of course which is almost twice what the gas 330 gets. Though keep in mind the duel turbo Diesel BMW is an Autobaun mile crusher capable of maintaing speeds very few US sold cars are capable of even on a short sprint non of us here in the US will ever have a need for that sort of performance.

    BMW will be first to the US market with the smaller new diesels - Honda and Subaru will be next then Nissan will toss their hat in the ring. As of now Nissan has the know how and the motivation to make it happen but Honda and Subaru already have cars on the road that will eventually end up here that will shut down any future interest in the current Hybrid hype regarding miles per gallon.

    I think your going to be seeing waining interest in daily driver cars with ambitions of being powerful sports cars like the Maxima and more interest in similar sized cars that drive well yet post good mpg numbers. The more amped up small diesels will be found in the mid sized SUV like the Pathfinder, X5 etc.

    Whats going to be really cool is watching American Auto getting caught once again with a bunch of cars that mis the market trend all together with nothing even close to being dieselized.

    As a result more market share will be shared among the Foreign auto builders.
    No doubt my next car will be a sport wagon with a decent sized diesel engine to serve as our SUV and road trip car. I could actually see us owning an all electric as our 2nd vehicle such as the Aptera.

    One thing is for sure our next car will not run on standard gas. 2001 1.8T VW Jetta almost hardly gets driven and our 2001 Subaru Legacy GT has 150,000 miles on it.
  • I agree, people will be caring more about MPG than having a big sedan that accelerates like a sports car. I think, though, that a well-engineered 2.5L diesel could even provide decent performance in a large sedan.

    Let's go back 10 years in the past, to 1998. Imagine telling someone, back then, that you could get a large sedan to achieve 32 MPG combined, and go 0-60 in 7.5 seconds.....drumroll please..... powered by a DIESEL engine with a displacement of 3.0L or less! Most people would have thought you're nuts for believing such "nonsense." For example, look at some of the "quick" sedans that were on the market back in 1998:

    1998 Lexus GS300: 7.5 sec 0-60, 22 to 23 MPG combined

    1999 Acura 3.2TL: 7.7 sec 0-60, 22 to 23 MPG combined

    1998 Lincoln Continental: 7.3 sec 0-60, 18 to 19 MPG combined

    Now, within a couple years, we will have diesel-powered large sedans that can perform just as well as those respected sedans from 10 years ago, while getting 10 to 12 MPG better fuel economy. If you look at it from that perspective, it's pretty amazing.
  • halvebhalveb Posts: 6
    Has anyone heard anything about this Renault/Nissan engine in its Renault incarnation? I believe it was supposed to be included in a nice looking Renault Coupe this summer or maybe it was this fall. I just thought perhaps we could get an advance peek at fuel efficiency and characteristics of this engine.
  • I really hope they release more information on the clean diesel Maxima soon. I am interested in what the specs are.
  • I've seen reports that Nissan has delayed the launch of the Maxima diesel beyond 2010, but they weren't authoritative...more like rumors. Does anyone have any reliable information on Nissan's plans?

    That car is on the top of my buy list, and it'd be really disappointing if it was delayed or canceled.
  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    edited February 2010
    Looks like the wheels on a diesel Maxima started moving. Infinity Just launched EX/FX Diesels rated at 235 hp and .... 405 lb/ft torque. The engine can be adapted from rwd/ awd to fwd. My guess in max it will be 215-225 hp and 340+ torque. As for me I hope it offers 35+ hwy rated fuel economy.
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