Though the Nissan Leaf is selling well-enough as the world’s first mass produced electric car, in other areas of green tech like hybrids, the Japanese automaker has fallen behind. Until now, that is. Nissan recently revealed a new supercharged engine mated to a hybrid system that promises to deliver both performance and fuel efficiency.
Fuel Economy + Performance = Win?
Nissan’s new hybrid system mates a supercharged 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine with a next-gen CVT transmission, an electric motor, and lithium-ion battery pack. While details regarding fuel economy will depend on the package (vehicle) surrounding the system, Nissan seems to have set out to build a system that is equal parts performance and fuel economy. And I applaud that effort, as it is exactly the kick in the ass that hybrids need to capture new buyers.
I hope that they have embraced the low-end torque of electric motors, though I question the use of a supercharger over a turbocharger. Superchargers are also known for providing more baseline power versus turbochargers, that have to spool up to higher RPMs to make the most power. A supercharged hybrid system seems almost redundant. But there is no denying that this system should deliver huge amounts of low end torque that would make even hybrid haters grin.
Then again I am not a car engineer, and Nissan surely employs smarter people than me when it comes to engine and vehicle design. The new hybrid system will likely debut in a next-generation Altima or Maxima, and will work on engines between 2.0 and 3.5 liters…encompassing Nissan’s performance V6 engine lineup as well. Interesting, that. Superchargers and hybrids…a match made in heaven? Let’s hope so.
What are your thoughts on this odd couple of performance and fuel efficiency? Sound off below in the comments and make sure to Like Gas2 on Facebook.
Source: Car & Driver
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.