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Nissan Announces New Fuel-Saving Technology

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer October 2011

Nissan recently announced two important new technologies designed to improve fuel efficiency in its upcoming models. The first, an updated continuously-variable automatic transmission, is scheduled to roll out next year, while an all-new hybrid system will arrive in 2013.

Officially called XTRONIC, Nissan's new continuously-variable automatic achieves a 10 percent fuel economy boost compared to the automaker's previous CVTs. Designed specifically for engine sizes ranging from 2.0 to 3.5 liters, XTRONIC's improved gas mileage figures come from reduced friction and a new technology that adapts to different driving styles. Dubbed Adaptive Shift Control, the system senses a driver's intentions based on his or her driving style and selects an optimal gear ratio for upcoming conditions.

While Nissan says XTRONIC begins arriving in new cars as early as next year, the automaker's other environmentally friendly new technology is still more than a year away. According to Nissan, it will debut an all-new hybrid system for the North American market in 2013, marking the first-ever hybrid drivetrain developed completely by the automaker.

Featuring a supercharged 2.5-liter engine and the automaker's new XTRONIC transmission, the new hybrid drivetrain is surprisingly compact, meaning it won't require a unique design to accommodate its size like some hybrid systems. Better yet, Nissan says it achieves the power and acceleration of its larger 3.5-liter V6 but with far better city and highway fuel economy, making it a good candidate to go under the hood of the automaker's next-generation Altima Hybrid.

While Nissan has not yet announced when car shoppers can expect the next Altima Hybrid, it's likely to debut soon after the all-new, fifth-generation Altima goes on sale late next year. For many Americans, the new Altima Hybrid marks the model's debut, since the recently discontinued first-generation version - which used a modified version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system - was sold in only a handful of states. That certainly won't be the case with the new model, which will benefit from heavy advertising and nationwide sales.

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Nissan Announces New Fuel-Saving Technology - Autotrader