Renault-Nissan gave us their first look at their new “kit” dubbed “Common Modular Family”. The new will use four pieces, the powertrain, the dashboard and area aft of the firewall, the “cradle” that holds the engine and front suspension and lastly, the rear section that could be configured for the guts of an all-wheel drive system.
Renault-Nissan expects CMF to underpin as many as 14 nameplates, accounting for 1.6 million vehicles annually. According to the auto maker, purchasing costs should decrease by 20-30 percent, while R&D costs should see a 30-40 percent reduction.
Like VW’s MQB kit, CMF should be able to underpin a wide variety of cars, with the various “Lego pieces” able to make everything from hatchbacks and sedans to larger SUVs that require a higher driving position. In world markets, CMF will underpin the Renault Laguna, Espace and Scenic, while the Nissan Qashqai, X-Trail and Rogue will adopt it on the Nissan side. The Nissan vehicles will debut later this year, while Renault’s offerings will have to wait until the end of 2014.
While the choice of using CMF for popular high-position cars like the Scenic and Qashqai is obvious for Europe, the addition of the D-segment Laguna is interesting; could we see CMF being used for Nissan sedans on our shores at a later date? I wouldn’t bet against it, though the first interation of CMF will reportedly be limited to just the three crossovers through 2020. The FF-L platform that underpins the Altima, Maxima and Murano is a bit long in the tooth, and there’s no reason why CMF couldn’t be adapted for these purposes.