Nissan updates the Versa for the 2013MY

Article by Christian A., on July 20, 2012

Nissan has updated the 2013 model year Versa sedan model with a reprogrammed continuously variable transmission (CVT) to achieve improved fuel efficiency as well as a four-speed automatic transmission option. It’s quite unexpected for Nissan to add a four-speed automatic option since it already provides a CVT automatic and a five-speed manual option.

However, the Versa sedan becomes more versatile since the CVT asks for a $2,130 premium compared to the standard five-speed manual. Meanwhile, the four-speed automatic will probably be sold with a $1,000 markup. When it comes to the reprogrammed CVT, Nissan claimed an increase of two mpg on the highway, raising the rating to 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

The five-speed manual has a fuel economy rating of 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway while the four-speed automatic is expected to offer 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway. It appears that the CVT would be a better investment since the price premium will pay itself off two years in gas money.

The Versa sedan model’s exterior will get a new decklid spoiler and improved underbody ducting. Nissan is expected to release the official pricing data nearer to the August launch of the 2013 Versa.

One of the most difficult tasks in constructing a small car, of course, is where to place everything - load, transmission, people, engine, and other mechanical elements. Oftentimes the answer is to combine a small part here and a small part there and hope they eventually result to usable space.

For the latest Nissan Versa Sedan, the method was a bit more modern - producing a brand new international drivetrain and platform, cutting the size of transmission and engine, cutting the number of elements and decreasing the weight of the platform.

Castignetti explains that it is not normal to create an entirely new platform for a car only at its second batch of production, but when prompted by a generation that uses advanced technology, those risky moves can be decided on easily.

The 2012 Versa Sedan's brand new front-wheel drive "V" platform that stands for Versatile, uses almost 20 percent fewer platform elements and weighs only 150 pounds lower than the older brother "B" platform.

While keeping the similar 102.4-inch wheelbase and 66.7-inch width like the former model of the Nissan Versa Sedan, the latest variant is shorter by 1.2 inches (59.6 inches tall) and 0.6 inches shorter in total length (175.4 inches). The largest increase, dimension-wise, is in the visible growth in trunk size - given by a smaller engine/transmission outline that makes for a 2.7-inch increase in back overhang (the distance from the middle of the back tire to the back bumper).

Castignetti said that the latest Versa car shows that in terms of aerodynamic efficiency and packaging, not all compact cars are the same. The same statement can be used on the engine, which wonderfully balances exemplary environmental performance, silent and smooth operation and responsive power.

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