One of the most important fruits of the Renault-Nissan partnership is a new modular chassis architecture called Common Module Family, or CMF. Like the MQB platform introduced with the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, CMF will allow Renault and Nissan to create multiple different types of vehicles on just a few basic building blocks.
The CMF consists of four "Big Modules" that can be bolted together to form each vehicle: the engine bay, the passenger compartment, the front suspension, the rear suspension, and the electrical system. A future Renault or Nissan vehicle could use all, some, or none of those components. Between now and 2020, CMF will be integrated in all Renault and Nissan car lines.
The biggest benefit will be cost savings. Nissan says that using CMF will allow it to cut the entry price of its cars by 30-40 percent, and to cut parts costs by 20-30 percent. Sharing common parts across more vehicles will allow for better economies of scale, helping the Renault-Nissan alliance trim production costs. The architecture will be used in a total of 14 models encompassing 1.6 million cars per year -- 11 Renault models and 3 Nissan vehicles. It will be used in ten countries on five continents by 2020, Nissan says.
The first three Nissan vehicles that will switch to CMF comprise the next generations of the Rogue, X-Trail, and Qashqai. The three crossovers are already on the same basic architecture, Nissan's "C" chassis. The company says the new CMF-based models will launch by late 2013. Our spy shots (pictured below) show that the next Nissan Rogue is already under development, and appears to draw design inspiration from both the Hi-Cross concept and three-row Pathfinder crossover. The 2014 Nissan Rogue will likely be revealed either this summer or at the Los Angeles auto show in November.
The 2013 Nissan Rogue is currently the company's second best-selling car in the U.S., after the Altima sedan. It has a 170-hp, 2.5-liter inline-four engine; a continuously variable transmission; and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive. In May, Nissan lowered the base price of the Rogue to $21,155, including an $845 destination charge.
The first Renault cars on CMF are due in 2014, the Espace, Scenic, and Laguna.