Mike Stevens | Oct 14, 2011

You would be forgiven for thinking that Nissan's attention lately has been focused on the all-electric Leaf hatch. Today, news of a new hybrid system reveals that the Japanese carmaker has more up its sleeve than just an EV.

Developed for use with front-wheel-drive vehicles, Nissan's hybrid system is unique in that its 2.5 litre petrol engine is combined not only with an electric motor, but also with a supercharger.

The technical details are thin at this point, but Nissan promises performance on par with "a full-throated" 3.5 litre petrol engine, but with significantly improved fuel economy and a price point lower than most hybrid offerings.

Nissan did reveal however that the system features a new version of its Xtronic CVT automatic transmission, along with an integrated electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack designed to leave storage space uncompromised - a feat in itself.

For now, Nissan has confirmed market debuts for the hybrid system in North America and Japan only, possibly starting with the next-generation US-market Altima (related to the our Maxima sedan) in 2013.

Xtronic CVT

A new version of Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission has also been revealed, which will be paired with engines displacing between 2.0 and 3.5 litres.

The current Xtronic CVT appears in a number of Australian-delivered Nissan cars, including the Dualis and Murano SUVs and the Maxima large sedan.

Nissan says the new unit offers a 10 percent improvement to fuel efficiency, thanks in part to a greater ratio range that allows for quick starts and more economical cruising.

Friction in the new transmission is reduced by 40 percent through a new oil pump and revised internal components, and a new torque converter is also featured.

Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles

Owners of the all-electric Nissan Leaf will soon be able to wave goodbye to the process of plugging their car into a charging socket each night, thanks to a new wireless charging system (pictured above) in development at Nissan.

Utilising an induction pad fixed to the ground of the Leaf's parking space (in your garage, for example), the system also features a receiving unit installed in the underside of the Leaf EV.

Nissan says that charging via the electromagnetic induction system is about 80 to 90 percent energy efficient, compared to the direct line of the current wired system.

Safety Technologies

Nissan has revealed three new safety systems that will debut in various markets over the coming year.

Among the new technologies are a new multi-sensing rear camera system, a predictive collision warning system, and the rhythmically-named Acceleration Suppresion for Pedal Misapplication system.

The Multi-Sensing System with Rear Camera allows a car's existing reversing camera to be utilised as a blindspot and lane departure warning, monitoring the area around the rear of the car. It will also alert the driver to moving objects behind the vehicle while reversing.

The Acceleration Suppression for Pedal Misapplication system is designed to soften throttle response if the system detects that the driver of a parked car is about to accelerate toward the wall in front or behind, rather than out of the parking pay.

If the driver continues to apply throttle pressure, the system can automatically activate the brakes and signal a warning.

Lastly, a pre-collision predictive warning system monitors the area in front of the car, measuring the distance and closing speed between vehicles. If a forward collision is likely, the system will sound an alert, display a message and tighten the seatbelts.

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