The all-new Nissan Almera Turbo, due for official launch very soon, will feature the HR20DET 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine across all three variants which we’ve already sampled briefly during a recent media event (watch our video here!) and were pleasantly surprised by it.
While common sense tells you that the engine was designed solely for efficiency (it is made to suit Thailand’s Eco Car programme, afterall), Nissan says that the turbocharged engine in the all-new Almera delivers “confidence-inspiring performance”, and even go so far to say that it is the “perfect modern sedan”. That’s a daring claim to say the least, so what have they done with it?
On paper, the powertrain output figures of 100 hp and 152 Nm is nothing to shout home about – especially with the Honda City bragging about its 253 Nm of torque in a controversial video. However, peak torque on the 1.0-litre turbocharged mill kicks in at a low 2,400 – 4,000 rpm, which means it should still feel punchy when driving around the city (no pun intended) – where most people spend their time in a car like this.
The engine also features an electronic wastegate on the turbocharger, which uses an electric DC motor to better regulate turbo boost power, reducing turbo lag and providing a more instantaneous acceleration.
The HR20DET engine also features Mirror Bore Coating Technology, adapted straight from the Nissan GT-R‘s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6. Molten iron is sprayed onto the surface of the cylinder bore, forming a mirror-like iron coating layer on the walls inside which reduces friction within the engine, thus increases efficiency.
Compared to a regular engine liner coating which is typically around 2 mm in thickness, the Almera Turbo’s iron coating measures just 0.2 mm, which helps reduce engine knocking and weight, while improving heat conductivity – increasing cooling headroom. As a result, Nissan is able to channel the extra cooling capacity to let the engine run harder, thus increasing performance.
As a result of the more efficient engine, Nissan boasts a fuel consumption figure of just 5.4 l/100km (based on the NEDC R101 tests) on the all-new Almera Turbo. Despite now having a smaller fuel tank of only 35 litres, the Almera Turbo should still be able to drive approximately 650 km in a single tank of fuel. With today’s fuel prices, a full tank of RON95 petrol also only costs around RM65!
The fuel efficiency of the Almera Turbo is also helped by its new Xtronic CVT gearbox, which comes with the D-Step Logic System for improved shift feel and responsiveness. Using a multitude of readings from vehicle speed to accelerator pedal position, the shift logic software can determine the ideal gear ratios needed to provide smooth, constant acceleration.
Although being a CVT gearbox, it still predominantly shifts according to its virtual gears, thus drivers can still feel the sensation of a traditional gear shift, while benefitting from the flexibility and smoothness of a CVT gearbox. The Almera Turbo even comes with Sports Mode, which allows the gearbox to hold a gear for longer, resulting in better acceleration performance and a sportier driving experience.
Significant headway has also been made to improve the noise, vibrations, and harshness (NVH) felt within the cabin, with the use of a “unique” soft engine mount to dampen and reduce engine vibrations – a common complaint on three-cylinder engines.
That’s quite a long list of enhancements stuffed into a tiny 1.0-litre engine, for a B-segment car that costs below RM100k. Though, we’ll only know how well they perform when we really put them to the test. So do keep an eye out on AutoBuzz.my for the full report once we get our hands on it!
At the mean time, do check out our brief drive report if you haven’t already, and also check out our deep dive on why we think the all-new Almera Turbo could be one of the most comfortable cars for day-to-day commutes!