Nissan Ashok Leyland to launch Van

Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies Ltd, a JV between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motors that launched the Dost LCV for cargo transportation this September, will make its foray into the passenger transport vehicle segment in the next couple of years.

In its second phase of expansion, the company will launch passenger segment vehicles and goods light commercial vehicles powered by diesel and CNG fuel.

The LCV for goods transportation will be of 12.5 GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight), with a pay load capacity of 5-6.5 tonnes. In the passenger segment, the seating capacity would be for eight to 24 passengers. Commencing 2012-13, one new variant would be launched every year for the next 4-5 years.

Nissan is testing the NV200 Van, a global model which will compete with the Toyota Innova when launched in India.

Currently only Tata Motors is the only player which has entered the Van segment with the launch of the Winger Van. Besides that Mahindra has launched the Xylo MPV, a strong competitor to the Toyota Innova.

Designed and built in Japan but with a key contribution from Europe, NV200 uses innovative packaging ideas to create the largest and most practical cargo area in its class. Although a little under 4.4m in overall length, the van version of the NV200 has a load bay that’s more than 2m long (2040mm). This can even be stretched to 2.8m when the front passenger seat is folded flat, allowing items such as ladders to be carried with ease.

Built on a modified version of Nissan’s B Platform, which also underpins Note and Micra, NV200 has fully independent strut type front suspension mounted on a separate subframe and a compact and lightweight yet robust wide leaf spring rear axle. With anti-roll bars front and rear and ripple control shock absorber at the front, the driving experience is more car than van-like. NV200 enjoys excellent straight-line stability and a comfortable ride.

Internationally the performance comes from a choice of two engines, one petrol and one diesel.

The petrol version will be powered by Nissan’s renowned all aluminium 1.6-litre HR16 engine, as found in Micra, Note and Qashqai. Displacing 1,598cc, the 16-valve unit develops 79kW (108PS) and 153Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

The diesel, also found on Note and Micra, is Alliance partner Renault’s acclaimed 8-valve 1.5 dCi (K9K) engine 1,461cc engine. Developing 200 Nm of torque and 63kW (86PS), it offers an ideal blend of performance, refinement and fuel economy. Power is transmitted through a five-speed gearbox.

The petrol version is unlikely to make it into the India market and the diesel model will make it. Nissan may use some aggressive pricing to enter the competitive segment.

Info source: ET