September 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Kiwi Mitsubishi owners and enthusiasts will probably remember the Diamante model that was produced until 2004. This luxury sedan still features on NZ roads and was keenly imported until seven years ago. Now, Nissan is set to bring back the Diamante although it may only be for the Japanese domestic market, at least for now.
Mitsubishi won’t be doing the development on the large sedan, instead it will rebadge a version of the Nissan Fuga (pictured). The Fuga isn’t a model well-known in NZ but it’s offered overseas with a choice of V6, V8, hybrid and diesel powertrains. Which engines will be used in the new Diamante is unknown at this stage. Continue reading “Mitsubishi to bring back the Diamante” »
September 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Kiwi race team CMR Motorsport has returned home from the Bonneville Salt Flats in the States with a new world land speed record. Long-time race driver Reg Cook and his crew from Clevedon in South Auckland, built a car specifically to run at the Bonneville National Speed Week event last month in an effort to break the current 2.0 litre production car body record.
The class CMR competed in is officially called the G/Pro for production bodied cars running a 2.0-litre engine. The previous record was set by a Chevrolet Cosworth Vega in 2009 and stood at 156 mph (249.6 km/hr).
Cook has been a Nissan enthusiast for many years, and chose a 1990 Nissan 2.0 NX using a stock SR20 twin cam 4 valve engine as a base. The rules allow for extensive modifications to the engine and suspension but the outside body work had to remain nearly standard. Continue reading “Kiwi team breaks class land speed record at Bonneville” »
August 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
According to recent reports coming out of Europe, Nissan has entered into full development of a new budget sports car that will challenge the Mazda MX-5′s dominance in this market.
Apparently the sporting model will use a completely new platform that may be sourced from Daimler. This is the same platform pegged for the next-gen Nissan 370Z. Nissan is also in discussions with Lotus to collaborate on the car’s handling.
Engine options and power outputs remain a mystery for now but there are rumours Nissan may use either hybrid power or a fully electric system for this new machine. Continue reading “Nissan developing all-new sports car to challenge MX-5” »
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)” »