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Latest First Drives

Nissan Micra DIG-S

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"Superchargers are more usually associated with performance cars, but in the DIG-S's case it's there to improve overall efficiency"

"Superchargers are more usually associated with performance cars, but in the DIG-S's case it's there to improve overall efficiency"

What is it?

The oddly named DIG-S (which stands for Direct Injection Gasoline Supercharged) is the most economical version of the latest Micra yet, featuring a highly sophisticated 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine that?s supercharged to provide an impressive blend of economy, low emissions and performance.

Superchargers are more usually associated with performance cars, but in the DIG-S's case it's there to improve overall efficiency rather than its ability to screech away from the lights. This and a considerable array of modifications reduce the dash to 62mph from 13.7sec to a decent 11.3sec, while fuel consumption and emissions fall from 56.5mpg and 115g/km to 68.9mpg and 95g/km - impressive, given the sharper acceleration.

The engine considerably more advanced than the three-cylinder 1.2 available in lesser Micras. The key to its economy is its ability to run in two combustion modes, one at low revs by delaying the opening of the inlet valves, and one at higher revs and often in conjunction with the supercharger. In effect, you're getting two engine strategies in one.

Internal friction has reduced by 23percent, while direct injection and a bundle of other tricks further improve the engine's efficiency. Add in stop-start - on both the manual and CVT auto versions - aerodynamic tweaks and low-rolling resistance tyres, and you end up with 95g/km and no VED to pay.

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