Small on the outside, big on the inside. Smart technology with next-generation efficiency. A low starting M.S.R.P. and low cost of ownership. World’s first mass production dual injector system and sub-planetary CVT design. Exceptional combined city/highway fuel economy of 6.0 Litres / 100 km. New global “V” (for Versatile) platform. Sophisticated styling, high quality interior.
There are myriad ways the all-new 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan breaks new ground for entry-level compact sedans. And many ways to sum them all up. But perhaps a simple statement is best: Innovation Upsized.
“Compact cars are getting a lot of attention lately due to rising fuel costs and concerns about the environment. Yet many buyers are disappointed in what they find – vehicles rife with compromise,” says Judy Wheeler, Director of Marketing, Nissan Canada, Inc. “This new Versa Sedan, a ‘clean sheet’ ground-up design, takes small cars in a whole new direction – proving that you don’t have to sacrifice style for affordability, interior roominess for a smaller footprint, or drivability for high fuel efficiency.”
Small When You Need It, Big Where You Want It
Knowing that entry-level vehicles are used as “workhorses” – for commuting on weekdays, errand running on weekends and transporting family and friends all week long – the designers of the new Versa Sedan sought to combine five-passenger practicality with a high degree of comfort and refinement. It also offers an unexpected level of available entertainment and connectivity features, such as Bluetooth® , Hands-free Phone System, navigation system with 5-inch touch-screen display, XM Satellite Radio and an iPod®/USB interface.
“We see buyers in this segment as people who are always busy, even while relaxing,” explains Wheeler. “With the amount of time they typically spend in their vehicles, we want to make sure they feel good about their purchase long after the new car smell has worn off. So we invested in areas that they see and touch most – like available Fine Vision instrumentation, quality fabrics, chrome trim and comfortable seating for front and rear seat passengers.”
The new Versa Sedan’s interior volume of 2548 Litres/ 90 cubic feet and trunk volume of 419 Litres / 14.8 cubic feet (2967 Litres / 104.8 cubic feet total) are intended to not only look great on a specifications sheet – the passenger and cargo spaces have been configured for real-world use. Versa Sedan has, for example, more rear legroom than some mid-size sedans. And the trunk design focuses on useable space, taking into consideration everything from the size of the hinges to the shape of the sidewalls. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is offered on SV models for even greater versatility.
Other 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 Versa Sedan’s new exterior design is also a departure from most current compact sedans, offering a fresh, refreshing design character that is both sophisticated and highly aerodynamic.
“The new Versa Sedan stands out as the only expensive looking car in the segment – with a lot of eye power,” said Wheeler. “Its sculpted, dynamic proportions are modern without being gimmicky, projecting a much higher sense of design value than you might expect in a vehicle with a low starting M.S.R.P.”
To achieve the new Versa Sedan’s upscale look, the designers gave the exterior shape a strong sense of volume, with a wide shoulder width and a smooth silhouette. In front, Versa Sedan features Nissan’s new signature sedan grille design and jewel-like headlights.
The front end blends smoothly into the cabin, which offers flowing curves, while design elements such as the shape of the trunklid help give the new Versa Sedan excellent aerodynamics. Models equipped with the CVT transmission offer a low coefficient of drag of just 0.31 (0.32 for manual transmission models without the front tire and centre fascia air deflectors).
In addition, to help ensure superb functionality, fresh ideas were addressed in the initial stage between the designers and the engineering team. For example, the indented line in the middle of the Versa Sedan’s sweeping roofline is not just a design feature, but a functional innovation that helps reduce the amplitude of the roof panel vibrations in order to create a quiet cabin interior without the use of reinforcement devices called “mass bumpers.”
“Design and engineering came together in an extraordinary collaboration to create a level of sophistication that you not only see but also feel,” adds Wheeler. “It helps provide a sense of ‘modern value’ that goes far beyond the mere purchase price, much like you expect from larger, more expensive sedans.”
Other exterior features include a fixed roof antenna, body-colour front and rear fascias and available chrome-accented grille, blacked-out B-pillar, chrome door handles and front fog lights.
The 2012 Versa Sedan is offered in eight exterior colours, including Daytona Blue, Blueberry , Ebony , Airstream , Magnetic Grey, Carmine , Arctic White and Titanium – which has previously been reserved for the GT-R among Nissan models.
Next-Generation Efficiency and an All-New V Platform
One of the biggest challenges in designing a compact sedan, of course, is where to put everything – people, cargo, engine, transmission and other mechanical components. Often the solution is to gather a fraction of an inch here, a fraction there and hope they add up to a usable benefit. For the new Versa Sedan, the approach was a little more radical – create a totally new global platform and drivetrain, reducing the size of engine and transmission, for example, while expanding the occupant envelope.
“It’s unusual to develop a totally new platform for a vehicle in only its second generation, yet when driven by a culture of innovation, such investments are easy to make,” explains Wheeler.
The 2012 Versa Sedan’s all-new front-wheel drive global “V” platform, designated “V” for Versatile, utilizes nearly 20 percent fewer platform components and weighs around 68kgs (150 pounds) less than the previous “B” 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 15mm/ 0.6 inches shorter in overall length (4455mm/ 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 center of the rear tire to the rear bumper).
“The new Versa Sedan proves that when it comes to packaging and aerodynamic efficiency, not all small sedans are created equal,” says Wheeler. “The same can be said of the engine, which beautifully balances excellent environmental performance, responsive power and smooth, quiet operation.”
The second-generation 1.6-litre HR16DE 4-cylinder engine includes a range of cutting-edge technologies, making it one of the most advanced powerplants in class. For example, while the average engine uses only one injector per cylinder to inject fuel, the new Versa Sedan engine is equipped with two streamlined injectors mounted near the inlet valve for each cylinder. This dual injector system allows a wider injection of fuel, with the smaller nozzles delivering a finer spray (approximately 57 percent finer than the previous generation single injector design’s particle size) to help achieve stable combustion.
The new compact, lighter weight engine also utilizes a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system mounted on both intake and exhaust ports (versus conventional CVTC systems which are mounted only on the intake port), similar to the system used on the flagship Nissan Maxima. Using a CVTC on the outlet port increases thermal efficiency, decreases inhalation resistance and offers an approximate 4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
Other enhancements include the addition of a piston oiling jet, tuning of the piston top shape and expansion of the exhaust manifold diameter.
“To incorporate the world’s first mass production Dual Injector system into an entry-level vehicle is very fitting of Nissan’s corporate philosophy of ‘innovation for all’ – bring advanced technology to high volume segments rather than saving them only for high-end machines,” says Wheeler. “The new Dual Injector system also means a reduction by about half in the amount of rare metals used in the catalyzer by reducing the amount of unburned fuel and hydrocarbon emissions.”
The new 1.6-litre engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (preliminary estimates).
The Versa Sedan is available with a 5-speed manual transmission (1.6 S and SV models) and with a next-generation Xtronic CVT™ transmission. The CVT allows continuous change of the transmission gear ratio by connecting the two pulleys with a metallic belt and changing their diameter by using hydraulic pressure. For the first time in the world, the new CVT design adds an auxiliary gearbox using planetary gearing, helping improve efficiency.
The new CVT design also 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 percent, weight by about 13 percent and overall size by about 10 percent versus the previous Versa Sedan CVT design.
Versa also offers low rolling resistance P185/65R15 all-season tires with available 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
“The result of all these enhancements and advances is that the new Versa Sedan engine burns cleaner and uses less fuel, which combined with the improved CVT performance and better aerodynamics reduces overall fuel consumption by about 10 per cent,” says Wheeler. “Better fuel efficiency means fewer stops at the pump – and more ‘room in the wallet’ for other activities.”
Fuel economy for the 2012 Versa Sedan is estimated at 6.7 Litres/ 100 km City, 5.2 Litres / 100 km Highway and 6.0 Litres / 100 km Combined, with the CVT transmission: 7.5/5.4/6.6 Litres/100 km, with the 5-speed manual transmission.
All 2012 Versa Sedans are equipped with an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, with front and rear stabilizer bars. Other standard equipment includes Electric Power Steering and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) are also standard on all Versa Sedan models.
In addition, the new Versa will be the first Nissan model in Canada branded with the PURE DRIVE designation. PURE DRIVE will be used on models utilizing Nissan’s most advanced technologies to promote eco-friendly driving and lower CO2 emissions.
Standard safety features found on every 2012 Versa Sedan include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags and front seat side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection), seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.
Additional safety features include standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, child safety rear door locks, child seat upper tether anchors.
Summer 2011 On-Sale Date
The all-new 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan will be available in three well-equipped models when it goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in late summer 2011 – Versa Sedan 1.6 S (offered in 5MT), Versa Sedan 1.6 SV (M/T and CVT) and Versa Sedan 1.6 SL (CVT only).
Along with the 1.6 S model’s many standard features, the 1.6 SV adds Air Conditioning, Remote Keyless Entry, Fine Vision instrumentation, chrome grille accents, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, colour-upgraded cloth seats, power windows and more.
Versa Sedan 1.6 SL models add 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, chromed inside door handles, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. Steering wheel audio controls, USB/iPod® connectivity, upgraded audio system, door-linked map lights and more.
Just three options packages are offered: the SV Convenience Package (1.6 SV only) with Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded audio, iPod® control, map lights and front passenger vanity mirror. The SL Tech Package (1.6 SL only) adds the Nissan Navigation System and 5-inch colour touch-screen display and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
The 2012 Versa Sedan will be manufactured at Nissan’s Aguascalientes, Mexico assembly plant that also builds Nissan Sentra models for the Canadian market.
“This all-new Versa Sedan is a total value proposition – exceptional interior volume, the most style per dollar, high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions,” concludes Wheeler. “The Big Small Car is bringing Innovation Within Reach to an eagerly awaiting audience.”