It’s been a few years since Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance announced their partnership, but details about future joint-projects are finally starting to emerge. Perhaps one of the most significant projects is a new four-cylinder engine that will be assembled in North America.
Nissan released more details on the upcoming four-cylinder engine, which will begin production in 2014 at its assembly plant in Decherd, Tennessee. The Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder will initially be used in C-Class models assembled at Daimler’s plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. No details on the engine were provided, though the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 – which recently made its debut in the States – is powered by a 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque.
“This is the newest milestone in our pragmatic collaboration and our most significant project outside of Europe so far,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Localized capacity reduces exposure to foreign exchange rates while rapidly enabling a good business development in North America—a win-win for the Alliance and Daimler.”
Nissan first started building powertrains at its Decherd plant in 1997, which produces 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. Nissan says the plant will have the capacity to produce 250,000 Mercedes-Benz engines annually. It’s also possible the new engine will be used in upcoming Infiniti G compact luxury car.
In addition to this engine, Daimler and Nissan are sharing the architecture and manufacturing of the Smart and Twingo small cars. They plan to release zero-emissions Smart and Twingo electric vehicles fitted with batteries sourced from Daimler and motors from Renault-Nissan. The companies have also confirmed that Infiniti will build a premium small car based on a front-drive platform from Mercedes-Benz, likely the same one underpinning the upcoming A- and B-Class.