The new Nissan Micra underpins Nissan's steady growth over the past decade – and it's debuting as an all-new, modern 1.2-litre with a three-cylinder petrol engine. While the platform focuses strongly on reducing weight, while increasing overall rigidity, this engine has been built to reconcile three conflicting customer desires - those who want spirited dynamic performance, an economical vehicle, and the lowest CO2 emissions attainable in its class.
First and foremost, the compact dimensions of this new petrol power plant contribute to the overarching aim of achieving maximum efficiency by reducing weight. Less weight means that more dynamic driving characteristics can be provided without requiring an excessively powerful engine, while also improving both handling and braking performance. The new three-cylinder engine is a key reason why the new Micra is able to tip the scales at a starting kerb weight of just 944kg, even less than the previous model (despite being slightly larger in size).
Nissan drivetrain engineers have eliminated the harsh idle vibration normally expected from a three-cylinder engine by incorporating an offset counter weight on the crank pulley, which generates an oval motion in the process, cancelling out the vertical vibrations from the piston movement. The result is a three-cylinder with NVH properties even better than some four-cylinder engines, enhancing the low-stress driving environment of the new car.
Fewer moving parts in the new engine result in lower internal friction and improve overall thermal efficiency. To further reduce friction, circular bore pistons and hydrogen-free diamond-like-coating (DLC) for the piston rings have been adopted, and friction is down by up to 30% - compared to four-cylinder engines with comparative power outputs.
The new Nissan Micra shows an average 25% improvement in fuel economy over the previous-generation 1.2-litre Micra. The advantages of reduced weight, ample power and leading-class economy defines the new Micra as a vehicle that is entirely in sync with the city. So, for this latest fourth generation Micra, Nissan engineers have ensured that it retains its core appeal while improving in key areas. The result is a vehicle that has remained true to its original goal of being a leading city car - agile, versatile, compact, and affordable to own and run.
For more info, contact your nearest Nissan dealer.