Renault has announced that it will make the new 1.6 dCi engine for the Renault-Nissan Alliance at its plant in Cléon, Normandy. The high-volume production diesel engine will go into production in 2011, safeguarding 450 jobs at the plant.

By choosing Cléon, Renault is optimising its investments, it said. The plant's flexible production lines, which can be used to produce several different types of engines, combined with the use of existing production equipment, will help lower the cost of the project. In addition, the plant has extensive know-know and recognised expertise in manufacturing diesel engines. The site, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008, already makes the 1.9 dCi, 2.0 dCi, 2.5 dCi and V6 dCi diesel engines, the 2.0 and 2.0 turbo petrol engines, and five- and six-speed manual gearboxes. The project is supported by the French central and local governments.

The future, high-volume production 1.6 dCi (R9M type) diesel is an efficient, streamlined, environment-friendly engine designed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance to replace the current 1.9 dCi diesel engine as part of a downsizing strategy to reduce engine capacity, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption while delivering the same performance through turbocharging.

The new engine will deliver 130hp at launch, the same power output as the current 1.9 dCi, but with 30 g/km less CO2 emissions and 20% more fuel economy. It will go into C-segment passenger cars such as the Mégane line, D segment models and LCVs. It will also fit Nissan models.