June 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Nissan has just announced that global sales of its Micra/March has surpassed six million units.
The Micra has been around for many years now with the first-generation going on sale back in 1982. It quickly became known for its easy to drive nature and affordability. The second-generation was released in 1992 and used some of the latest tech for the time like a CVT transmission. The third-generation model, launched in 2002, featured the Intelligent Key for the first time in a Nissan model. The fourth-generation model got its release last year and achieves a high level of fuel economy through Nissan’s Idling Stop system and the next-generation Xtronic CVT box.
The latest Micra has proved a hit in emerging car markets due to its low price tag and reliability. It went on sale in Thailand in March 2010 and was then expanded to countries where it had not been available before, such as India and China. Continue reading “Nissan Micra notches up six million global sales” »
June 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The R35 Nissan GT-R is now firmly in its twilight years after first reaching the market back in 2007. To keep sales strong the Japanese carmaker is set to push out the GT-R’s power figures even more and add a new, final edition to the current model range.
Apparently the upcoming 2012 R35 GT-R will get a power increase of a further 22kW over the the current model. This will boost total output to 418kW with a thumping 661Nm of torque.
If that wasn’t enough to get Godzilla fans going all funny, there’s also a new top dog version in the works – the Spec R. This new Spec R model is set to supersede the current Spec V model and will receive further weight reduction of between 30kg and 40kg. It will also come packing some bling under the bonnet with a gold engine cover to trump the red one on the Spec V. Continue reading “2012 Nissan GT-R to receive increased power and Spec R variant” »
May 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Electric cars are becoming impossible to avoid in the media and its only a matter of time before they reach NZ shores. The Nissan Leaf is a pioneer among this new breed of automobiles and is promoting its environmentally friendly nature in a new advertising campaign that pokes fun at petrol power.
In the TV commercial entitled “Gas Powered Everything”, Nissan mocks the internal combustion engine by showing an electricity free world where all appliances run on gas.
It’s clever stuff and shows regular people using petrol-powered alarm-clocks, microwave ovens, computers and other appliances. Towards the end, Chevrolet’s Volt car gets a serve too for being a gas-electric hybrid. Nissan can go getting all high-and-mighty about its Leaf EV, but what about Nissan’s performance cars like the GT-R which go through petrol like its all going to run out?
Pays not to think too much, just enjoy the ad clip below. Continue reading “New Nissan Leaf TV ad mocks petrol power (+video)” »
May 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Nissan’s fully electric vehicle the Leaf is going from strength to strength and can now add a five-star crash rating to its list of accolades. The zero-emission vehicle is the first electric vehicle ever to earn the highest rating Euro NCAP gives out.
To break it down the Leaf scored an 89% rating for adult safety, an 83% rating for child protection and an 84% rating for its on-board safety assist systems, which include Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a speed limiter as standard. It also got a passing grade of 65% score for pedestrian safety, thanks in part to the low nose design and the comparative lack of ‘hard points’ under the bonnet.
“The Nissan Leaf proves that EVs can achieve the same safety levels as traditional cars. The standard is now set for the next generation of such cars on the European market,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen.
Nissan Leaf’s safety assessment followed standard Euro NCAP procedure, with tests for frontal impact, side impact, side pole impact and whiplash. The car’s 48 lithium-ion battery modules, which are housed in a special compartment beneath the floor, withstood all the impacts. The EV’s battery system was switched on during the crash simulations to test the in-built safety measures of the electrical system, which includes automatic cut-off isolation in the event of an accident. The car passed without problems. Continue reading “Nissan Leaf scores five-star NCAP safety rating – 2012 launch in NZ” »
May 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC electric race car is one of the first genuine race-spec electric cars ever constructed. So what? Well this special Leaf is providing a sneak peak into the likely future of motorsports, and is proof that there will come a time when motorsport fans talk about volts, amps, and kilowatt-hours instead of horsepower and fuel capacity.
Nissan still hasn’t worked out exactly where it will campaign its electric racer but that hasn’t stopped its development as evidenced by a recent shakedown. Following its official debut at the recent 2011 New York Auto Show, the Leaf Nismo RC has become a rolling laboratory for the accelerated development of electric cars and aerodynamic systems. It is also the first serious platform for the development of new green motorsports series and is giving Nissan a head start in this area.
The Nismo RC is all stealth with its carbon fibre bodywork, three door body and silent electric powertrain. It’s longer and wider than the production model Leaf but uses a relocated version of the same drivetrain as the street-going model.
The video below shows the electric race car’s first public shakedown test at Sodegaura Forest Raceway in Japan. Check out the clip below. Continue reading “Nissan Leaf Nismo RC gets first track workout (+video)” »
May 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
A new video has been doing the rounds online and shows some of the World’s finest sports machines battling it out on the racetrack. A simple idea sure, but when it’s done with stock production models and a level playing field it makes for compelling viewing.
The all star cast includes the Lexus LFA and its main rivals, the Japanese Nissan GT-R, the American Corvette ZR1 and the European Porsche 911 GT2 RS. There’ s also a Ferrari 430 F1 thrown into the mix for good measure. The battle takes place on the Fuji Speedway and is fought over three laps. Continue reading “Gang of top supercars battle it out on Fuji track (+video)” »
May 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Over 13,000 taxi cabs roam the streets of New York City and producing them, supplying them parts and servicing them is big business. So when a contract for the next-generation of NYC taxis was put up for tender it was hotly contested. But there could be only one winner and hot-right-now carmaker Nissan took out the prize.
The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission awarded Nissan a 10-year contract to produce the cabs. The Japanese automaker was shortlisted along with Ford and little known Turkish automaker Karsan for the deal that’s worth more than $1 billion US dollars. Nissan won and will now be responsible for building one single vehicle to replace the 16 models that are currently allowed to transport New York City residents around the Big Apple. The company’s design was based on its NV200, and the minivan is expected to turn up for work from early 2013. Continue reading “Nissan wins huge New York City taxi contract” »
May 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Nissan has been busy teaming up with Wellington City Council on the implementation of a pilot programme in Wellington under which the operation of Nissan’s zero emission Electric Vehicle – Leaf would be tested in the Wellington environment. The Leaf has already been launched in the United States, Japan, and Europe with success and its launch into other world markets will follow shortly.
Nissan’s EV has proved popular internationally, and recently won the coveted 2011 European Car of the Year title – the first time a fully electric car has won the award.
Wellington City Council wishes to encourage the early adoption of EV’s within Wellington, and is confident that the Wellington area is ready to embrace the retail availability of these vehicles without the need for further evaluation. Nissan and Wellington City Council have therefore agreed to forego the planned Wellington pilot programme.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said that “Wellington is well placed to welcome electric cars, we now have a public charging post in the city and the Nissan LEAF is highly anticipated here, we look forward to its arrival and sale in New Zealand”. Continue reading “Nissan Leaf EV hitting Wellington streets next year” »