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Rumour: Ashok Leyland to launch Nissan NV350 Caravan?

Indian commercial vehicle giant Ashok Leyland and Japanese automaker Nissan are in a collaboration to build small commercial vehicles targeting the market here. Products such as the Nissan Dost mini pick up truck and the soon-to-be-launched Stile MPV have been spawned out of this collaboration. Taking this collaboration further, Ashok Leyland plans to introduce the Partner 6 ton mini truck, a rebadged Nissan Cabstar, in the coming months. 

Mr. Rohin Nagrani, a senior editor at Motoring has tweeted that Ashok Leyland could launch the Nissan NV350 Caravan multipurpose van here. The NV350 Caravan is a 16 seater that measures over 5 meters in length and that weighs close to 2.2 tons. Popular in many parts of South East Asia including Nissan's home market of Japan, the NV350 Caravan comes in two body styles: Regular and Wide Body. Both passenger and goods carrying variants of the NV350 Caravan are available. 

The NV350 Caravan sold internationally features petrol and turbo diesel engine options. For the diesel-favouring Indian market, the 2.5 liter YD25DDTi turbo diesel engine with common rail direct injection seems a likely choice. This engine outputs 129 PS of peak power and 356 Nm of peak torque. Both two wheel drive and four wheel drive options are available for the Japanese market. Torque transmission is by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox. The gear shifter is mounted on the dashboard, a-la-Evalia. 

Given its positioning as a van for both passenger and cargo uses, sliding doors are standard. The NV350 Caravan sold internationally features ABS+EBD and air conditioning vents for all four rows of seats. The van also gets an Evalia-like instrument-cluster mounted gear shift indicator that notifies the driver to upshift in the interests of maximizing fuel efficiency. The van also features a crumple zone to boost crash safety. 

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