2012 Nissan Versa sedan
2012 Nissan Versa sedan; photo courtesy Nissan. Click image to enlarge

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By Grant Yoxon

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2012 Nissan Versa

New York, New York – At the recent 2011 New York International Auto Show, Nissan revealed its next generation Versa sedan. For this, only the second generation of the Versa, Nissan has chosen a complete re-design of its entry in the sub-compact class rather than an update to the existing platform. The existing Versa hatchback will remain the same for 2012.

With rising fuel prices, Nissan and other manufacturers are working quickly to improve fuel efficiency, but also to meet consumer needs for greater practicality and functionality. Nissan felt the only way to rapidly move ahead was to start with a completely new platform, one that would allow them to make significant technological improvements in all aspects of vehicle design.

2012 Nissan Versa sedan
2012 Nissan Versa sedan
2012 Nissan Versa sedan; photos by Grant Yoxon. Click image to enlarge

The 2012 Versa Sedan’s all-new front-wheel drive global platform utilizes nearly 20 per cent fewer platform components and weighs around 68 kgs (150 pounds) less than the previous platform. While retaining the same 2600 mm / 102.4-inch wheelbase and 1695 mm/ 66.7-inch width as the previous generation Versa Sedan, the new model is 30.4 mm/ 1.2 inches lower in height (1514 mm/ 59.6 inches) and 15 mm/ 0.6 inches shorter in overall length (4455 mm/ 175.4 inches). The biggest dimensional gain, however, is in the visible gain in trunk length – provided by a more compact engine/transmission design that allows for a 68.58 mm / 2.7-inch increase in rear overhang (the distance from the centre of the rear tire to the rear bumper).

Interior space expands greatly with the new design, with more rear legroom than many mid-size sedans. Available interior features include power windows with driver’s one-touch down, speed-sensing auto door locks, remote trunk release lever and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. One interior colour is available, charcoal.

The second-generation 1.6-litre HR16DE four-cylinder engine includes a range of cutting-edge technologies, including two fuel injectors per cylinder and a Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system mounted on both intake and exhaust ports.

The preliminary rating for the new 1.6-litre engine is 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm.

Transmission choices will include a 5-speed manual, available on base models only, and a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This next-generation Xtronic CVT features a transmission ratio of 7.3, which is broader than those of conventional CVTs and even typical 7-speed automatic transmissions. Friction is reduced by about 30 per cent, weight by about 13 per cent and overall size by about 10 per cent versus the previous Versa sedan CVT design.

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