Environmental issues were among the subjects covered by Mr Hanawa, president of Nissan Motors, in a speech given to foreign journalists in Tokyo on 27 January. The ‘green’ objective was to continue to provide both ‘environmental friendliness’ and ‘driving pleasure’.
He said: ‘We are developing new technologies that pursue driving comfort and convenience – representing the starting point of car culture – while giving full consideration to the environment. Hybrid vehicles have been much in the news recently, and I am pleased to say we plan to release a hybrid vehicle during fiscal 1998.
‘Besides hybrid vehicles, there are other technologies that are also very effective in protecting the environment. A good example is our Hyper CVT, a continuously variable transmission.’ He claimed fuel economy will improve by approximately 50% over current vehicles and that customers would be able to fully enjoy ‘driving pleasure’, something lacking in today’s hybrid vehicles.
It was also planned to bring out models powered by new direct-injection diesel engines whose fuel economy would improve by about 40% over current diesels, while providing enhanced performance.
‘In the area of exhaust emission control,’ Mr Hanawa continued, ‘we will introduce low emission vehicles that reduce 10- and 15-mode emission levels to around one-tenth of the current standards. Starting this spring, all the new or redesigned models that we release will include LEV versions.’