Nissan’s Infiniti G will someday be available with a Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder engine, said Carl Ghosn, chief executive of Renault and Nissan, in a conference call with reporters this week.
Mr. Ghosn’s informal announcement followed a Wednesday press conference in which Daimler and Nissan announced a strategic partnership.
The use of modest displacement, fuel-efficient engines in luxury and near-luxury automobiles has been common in Europe for many years, but until now United States car buyers have mostly not been offered that choice, nor have they clamored for it. But with a flood of electric and fuel-stingy cars pouring into every level of the automotive market, it appears that efficiency will no longer be the sole province of small, inexpensive cars.
No details on timing or the specific Mercedes-Benz engine that might be used in the Infiniti G. Any 4-cylinder would almost certainly be the entry-level engine for Infiniti G, because all versions of that car are sold in the United States with a Nissan-produced 3.7-liter V-6.
One potential candidate from the Mercedes-Benz portfolio of 4-cylinder engines might be the 1.8-liter, 204-horsepower gas engine that’s available in some European Mercedes-Benz C-Class automobiles.
A more interesting choice might be the 2.1-liter 4-cylinder diesel available in European E-Class models. With direct injection and a two-stage turbocharger, the diesel produces 204 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, as marketed in Britain. It is not known whether that engine could meet United States emission standards.
The use of either engine, or another Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder, in the Infiniti G could help Nissan achieve the more stringent C.A.F.E. requirements that are scheduled to go into effect in 2016. And if the price at the pump is sufficiently steep, a less-thirsty Infiniti could prove popular with United States motorists.