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Nissan, Mitsubishi launch diesel cars in Japan

9 September 2008

Japanese manufacturers, after years of absence from the diesel passenger car market, are launching diesel models in Japan. Nissan will launch a diesel powered X-TRAIL 20GT SUV vehicle on September 18. Mitsubishi is expected to launch a diesel model, after four years of market absence, in October.

The X-TRAIL 20GT is powered by the 2 liter M9R engine which develops 127 kW (173 hp) and 360 Nm of torque. The engine features a piezo common-rail fuel system, double swirl port, cooled EGR, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx adsorber catalyst.

The X-TRAIL 20GT achieves fuel economy of 15.2 km/liter over Japan’s 10-15 test, representing an advantage of approximately 30% over a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with the same power output.

The vehicle meets the new Japanese emission standards which become effective in October 2009 (NOx = 0.08 g/km; PM = 0.005 g/km). Thus, it would qualify for the financial incentives that are planned for diesel cars in Japan in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions.

Mitsubishi, according to Japanese press reports, will launch a diesel version of the Pajero SUV in October. The new Pajero will feature a diesel engine that was designed for the European and other markets, but which has been adjusted to meet Japanese standards.

The only diesel car currently available in Japan is the Mercedes E320 CDI. Volkswagen, Honda, and Subaru indicated they would launch diesel models in Japan in the coming years, while Toyota apparently has no plans to launch diesel vehicles.

Source: Nissan, Nikkei