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This press release is issued Dec. 10, 2002 (local time) by Nissan North America.

December 11, 2002


NISSAN'S VERSATILE VQ ENGINE WINS 9TH STRAIGHT AWARD

3.5-Liter VQ V6 Powerplant Used in Infiniti and Nissan Vehicles from G to Z


DETROIT (Dec. 10, 2002) - For the ninth year in a row, Nissan's versatile VQ V6 engine has been named to the annual  "Ward's Ten Best Engines"  award list by Ward's Communications, Inc.  The VQ is the only engine to make the list every year the list has been compiled.

In the 2003 model year, the 3.5-liter VQ V6 engine is available in eight different Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in the U.S. market, including the high-performance Nissan 350Z sports car and the rugged Nissan Pathfinder SUV and the luxurious Infiniti G35 sports sedan and Infiniti G35 sports coupe.

 "Winning this award for the ninth-straight year is proof of the engineering flexibility and durability that we've built into this great engine,"  said Motohiro Matsumura, director of powertrain and emissions engineering at Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills, Mich.   "We know we have a great engine here, and we'll continue to evolve, refine and improve it so that the VQ remains the industry's benchmark V6 powerplant." 

For this year's awards, a team of six writers and editors for Ward's AutoWorld and Ward's Engine & Vehicle Technology Update newsletter evaluated the Infiniti G35 coupe with the 3.5-liter VQ V6, which produces 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 270 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm.  Thirty different engines were evaluated in 2003 model year vehicles priced below $52,500.

In addition to the Infiniti G35 coupe, the 3.5-liter VQ V6 engine is used in 2003 models of the Nissan Altima, Maxima, 350Z, Murano and Pathfinder and the Infiniti I35 and G35 sedans.  The engines in these vehicles produce seven different horsepower ratings and four different torque ratings.

 "Nine years after their introduction, many engine designs are ready for the scrap heap,"  said Bill Visnic, senior technical editor at Ward's Communications.   "Instead, Nissan's remarkable VQ V6 engine continues as an industry benchmark, reaffirming Ward's opinion that the VQ ranks as one of the best V6 engines ever developed.

   "Nissan's 3.5L VQ V6 continues as an industry benchmark and a dominant force in the market,"  he added.   "Ward's testers remain impressed with the way the VQ is able to deliver remarkable refinement and genuinely stunning performance in so many different vehicles." 

Availability of the 3.5-liter VQ V6 will expand in the 2004 model year with the introduction of the all-new Nissan Quest minivan, the first vehicle to be produced at Nissan's new manufacturing plant in Canton, Miss.  The engine also will be continued in the all-new 2004 Nissan Maxima, which in early 2003 will be added to the production lineup at Nissan's award-winning manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tenn.

The 2004 models of the Nissan Maxima and Quest will have their world debuts on Jan. 5, 2003, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

 Ward's Communications is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for nearly 80 years. Ward's AutoWorld is a monthly magazine serving more than 68,000 automotive professionals globally. The twice-monthly newsletter Ward's Engine & Vehicle Technology Update provides analysis of engineering advancements and technical issues. WardsAuto.com is an online subscription service delivering virtually all the industry news, data and analysis compiled by Ward's Communications, the world's leader in automotive industry information. Ward's Communications is a Southfield, Mich., based division of PRIMEDIA Business, the trade publication group of PRIMEDIA.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infiniti.com.

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