The redesigned Versa sedan that reaches Nissan showrooms later this summer will post a 30 city/38 highway mpg rating, up from the current model's 28/34 rating.
The Versa still has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, but the 2012 model gets a dual-fuel injector system, the first U.S. application of the Nissan technology.
The system uses two injectors on each cylinder, one at each port, feeding fuel to the engine in two streams instead of one.
The Versa sedan will be the first outing for the new small-car V platform Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA plan to share for markets around the world.
The new V-platform Versa will have 20 percent fewer parts than the B-platform Versa it replaces and weigh about 150 pounds less.
Nissan sold 99,705 Versas in the United States last year, up 20 percent, and expects to sell more of the redesigned Versa due to a market shift to fuel-efficient cars. At the same time, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is expecting the car's global platform to help both partners boost sales around the world.
Manufactured in Mexico, China, India, Thailand and England, the V will become the basis for models in markets from Europe to India, consolidating such small cars as the Versa, Micra, March and Renault Clio.
In a long-range industry production forecast this spring, analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated the Versa's V platform, combined with the Alliance's other small-car-segment vehicles, would reach global volumes of more than 3.78 million vehicles in 2015, up from approximately 2.63 million for the two companies' existing B-segment platforms in 2010.
According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast, that volume would make the V the world's largest-selling vehicle platform in 2015.