The engines are alternatives to Murano’s ongoing 3.5-litre petrol V6. But Nissan Australia is yet to confirm any alternative engines to the carry-over V6. In New York last week, Nissan said its more edgy-styled Murano would be built in the USA with a V6 petrol engine and a continuously-variable transmission (CVT). However, Nissan boss Andy Palmer said in a press conference at the recent New York Auto Show that other engines would be available for certain global markets.
These included the new Renault twin-turbo diesel, the 1.6-litre Energy dCi engine. It is rated at 118kW and 380Nm of torque with 90 per cent of that torque available from 1800rpm. This engine is likely to be the first choice for Europe, including the right-hand drive market of the UK. This could make the diesel a possible inclusion for future Australian-delivered vehicles.
However, more likely for us is the hybrid Murano. Australia will soon get a hybrid version of the Pathfinder to be sold alongside the newly-launched V6-engined model. The Murano and Pathfinder share the same platform and engine options, so it could follow that to present a more fuel-efficient wagon, the Murano may borrow the Pathfinder’s hybrid.
The hybrid is a 2.4-litre supercharged petrol four-cylinder with an electric motor in the flywheel. It delivers 187kW and 329Nm of torque, close to the 195kW and 336Nm of the petrol V6 but with a claimed 25 per cent lower fuel use.
The Murano may be the first showing in a Nissan product of Renault’s twin-turbo 1.6-litre diesel engine. Renault-Nissan said the engine is designed for D and E-class vehicles, embracing everything from a Megane to an Altima, X-Trail and Pathfinder.
The engine shares some design ideas with Renault’s Formula One engine. It has two sequential turbochargers. The first is a very low inertia turbo that delivers high low-end torque for immediate acceleration at revs barely above idle. Renaults said 90 per cent of the maximum torque is available from 1500rpm.
The second turbo takes over at the middle to top-end of the rev range where it produces the magic 100hp/litre. This gives acceleration through to the red line. Its fuel injection system operates at a pressure of 1800 bar to function with the twin turbocharger. It complies with Euro 6b emissions legislation and incorporates a nitrous-oxide and particulate filter with a regeneration system.