Rumoured-ly, Renault-Nissan, the Franco-Japanese automaking collaboration, are working on a new turbo diesel engine for their budget car offerings. The new motor is said to be a derivative of the tried and tested 1.5 liter-4 cylinder K9K turbo diesel engine. The new mill is touted to have a 1.2 liter engine capacity, hinting at the 1.5 liter K9K motor losing a cylinder to make for the new displacement. This engine, said to output about 55 Bhp, could be used on the likes of the Nissan Micra Active and the Datsun Go siblings – cars that have been built to tight budgets.
Lately, 3 cylinder turbo diesel engines have been in vogue in India, and abroad. Capitalizing on the highly fuel efficient nature of diesels and the inherently fuel efficient structure of a 3 cylinder engine layout, powertrains based on this layout are increasingly becoming popular on budget cars. The Chevrolet Beat’s 3 cylinder diesel motor introduced India to such engines. The 1.1 liter Hyundai Grand i10 and the Xcent Diesels followed, with the likes of the Tata Kite hatchback and compact sedan scheduled to be shoehorned with triple cylinder oil burners in the months to come.
The latest development regarding Renault-Nissan contemplating diesel power for its budget range of cars isn’t new though. The first murmurs of diesel power on the Micra Active, a whittled down variant of the hatchback designed to suit smaller pockets, began doing the rounds after a car equipped thus was spotted testing in India. Therefore, the possibility of diesel variants of budget cars from Renault, Datsun and Nissan remains ripe. All said, official confirmation on this development hasn’t arrived yet.
In the months to come, the Indian market will be exposed to the smallest turbo diesel motor that has ever powered a car sold here, in the form of the Celerio Diesel. The hatchback is expected to feature a twin cylinder diesel engine that displaces 792cc. Fuel efficiency will be the biggest priority of the Celerio Diesel, with Maruti Suzuki’s engineers said to be aiming at the 30 Kmpl mark. A similar target is likely for the budget hatchbacks from Renault-Nissan, if the joint automaking exercise is indeed working on downsized, oil burners.