Infiniti G to get Mercedes engine
Infinitiís volume line, the G series, will get a Mercedes-Benz engine as part the global alliance between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan, the story AutoWeek blew wide open at the end of March.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., said the G will use a Mercedes inline four-cylinder from Daimler to improve fuel economy and cut emissions. He didnít say when the engine would reach Infiniti production lines or indicate the extent to which it will replace Japanese-made four-cylinder and V6 engines used in the G sedan and coupe. Hereís hoping Infinitiís own V6 stays in the G--itís one of the best engines on the market.
Mercedes uses four-cylinder engines in European C-class cars and has talked about bringing a four-cylinder to the United States, but for now, V6s are the smallest engines here. Mercedes also plans to begin building the C-class in Alabama in 2014.
Ghosn said his data and Mercedes data show there is little cross-shopping between Mercedes and Infiniti U.S. customers and that putting the Mercedes engines in the G is just one part of a varied product-sharing and technology-sharing plan to be rolled out over five years.
Larry Dominique, Nissan North Americaís vice president of product planning for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, said his company also is considering broader use of four-cylinder engines.
Renault-Nissan and Mercedes said the collaboration was spurred in part by looming stricter fuel-economy demands and the potential for cost savings to meet them.
For example, the U.S. government will require automakers to meet combined car and light-truck CAFE levels of 34.1 mpg starting in 2016, up from 30.2 mpg for 2011-model cars and 24.1 mpg for 2011-model light trucks. That, along with what automakers see as rising consumer interest in saving fuel, is starting to lead automakers to look at replacing V6s with fours. For example, Hyundai and Kia said they both plan to use turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engines in their new midsize sedans, in lieu of V6s
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