The Japanese manufacturer decided to put the new Versa on a “low fat diet” this way making it 150 pounds (68 kg) lighter than the model it replaces. Furthermore, Nissan has set a corporate goal of trimming at least 15% “off the weight of every vehicle” it manufactures, Vice President of Product Planning Larry Dominique was quoted as saying by thedetroitbureau.com
For example, the new Versa has about 20% fewer parts and components. Meanwhile by reducing the weight of the overall body, Nissan should be able to switch to smaller brakes and a lighter, less powerful engine.The new Versa Migrates from a 1.8-liter inline-four to a new 1.6-liter engine.
That’s a critical step that the automaker makes in order to meet consumer demands for better mileage, and rapidly increasing government fuel economy demands. Although the manufacturer uses smarter designs and lighter materials in order to make the vehicle lighter the engineers hit a solid brick wall when it comes to vehicle safety. Nissan engineers are forced to add contend that packs the weight back on, thus making the safe/weight battle very tough.
"In the past years manufacturers continued discovering a variety of ways to improve fuel economy, such as 8-speed gearboxes, advanced turbocharging and direct injection. But improvements on the internal combustion engine”are reaching their limits, so we have to lighten up,” said Larry Dominique related by aforementioned source.