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Nissan debuts lower-cost, more efficient hybrid system

Debuted in the fourth-generation Pathfinder, the Intelligent Dual Clutch System is aimed at narrowing the price premium between hybrids and conventional petrol-powered models and broaden their appeal to customers. The system is designed for lower performance applications with more of a focus on fuel economy than the One-Motor, Two-Clutch system fitted to the Infiniti.

In the Pathfinder, the system uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a  supercharger, claimed to offer similar performance to the conventional car’s 3.5-litre V6, with an electric motor between this and the Continuously Variable Transmission. Two clutches, one between the engine and electric motor, and the other between the motor and transmission, allow the Pathfinder Hybrid to use both power sources or to decouple the petrol engine altogether as required.

Nissan North America, Inc. vice president, product planning, Pierre Loing explained: ‘This new system is not only adaptable to front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations like with the new Pathfinder, it is completely scalable depending on vehicle design or segment.

‘For use in an urban compact or sedan, the system might include a smaller 2.0-liter engine but a more powerful electric motor and larger battery to extend the pure electric driving range for city stop-and-go traffic use. There is complete design flexibility with this system – along with an affordability factor because it uses readily available components.’

Alex Grant

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