January 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
A group of Nissan GT-R fans managed to get their hands on the owner’s manual for the upcoming 2012 Nissan GT-R recently and were surprised with what they found out. Apparently Nissan has reinstated the previously ousted Launch Control feature for the 2012 model year. But this time it’s called something totally different.
It’s the same deal but this time it’s called ‘R Mode Start Function’ and it’s a fairly complicated process required to achieve the GT-R’s quoted 0-100kph sprint time in the low three-second range.
It was after numerous reports of transmissions and half-shafts wasting themselves soon after the GT-R was released with launch control that Nissan removed the feature for the 2011 model year. This new system appears to do the exact same thing, except for the 4,000 rpm rev-limit which is significantly higher than the last version and the ECU limits the start function to four consecutive runs before its automatically disabled to protect the GT-R’s twin clutches and the rest of the transmission.
If 2012 GT-R owners use the system with care perhaps they won’t spoil it for everyone this time round. For 2012 it looks like one of the world’s baddest sports cars just got a little bit meaner.
Check out the text image in the gallery below to view the launch control instructions. Continue reading “Nissan risks putting launch control back into 2012 GT-R” »
January 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Tokyo Auto Salon is currently taking place and its already bringing us some high-tech Japanese metal with the latest being the Nissan Nismo GT-R RC (Racing Competition), production racer.
According to the official Nissan statement, “The Nissan Nismo GT-R RC is the latest entry to the RC (Racing Competition) line of high performance, production model race cars developed and outfitted by NISMO. It’s built up from the world renowned, top performance Nissan GT-R (R35) road car.”
So what’s it all about? Well this track-spec GT-R is based on the pre-facelift version of the R35 GT-R. The pre-faceift donor vehicle’s VR38DETT 3.8 liter twin-turbo V6 has been left untouched, which means it generates 485 hp and 588 Nm of torque.
This means it doesn’t offer 530 hp like the refreshed version of the street-spec GT-R, but this racer comes with a lighter body, thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre on the bumpers, bonnet, boot lid and rear wing. The rear windows have also been replaced by acrylic and all together the vehicle weighs in at 1,520 kg.
Other upgrades include height adjustable racing suspension and a stronger braking system that uses 410 mm (front) and 380 mm (rear) rotors. The vehicle uses ADVAN 290/710 R20 slick tyres, which are standard for all RC models.
Continue reading “Nissan unveils Nismo GT-R RC at Tokyo Auto Salon” »
December 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Nissan has officially revealed its new ‘global sedan’ at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in China this week. Although Nissan’s new global sedan will be sold under the 2012 Nissan Sunny name in China, it could get a different name in the rest of the 170 countries it will be sold in. Here in NZ it could be called the Sunny or may even mean a comeback for the Pulsar nameplate.
The new model is aimed at appealing to young buyers and young families, combining what Nissan describes as an upscale interior design with spaciousness and quality materials. It features conservative styling with a prominent shoulder line, sweptback headlights, and Maxima-inspired taillights.
Nissan’s new model is powered by a 1.5-litre HR15DE engine with dual injectors coupled with a Xtronic CVT with an auxiliary transmission. It should produce around 75kW of power and 136Nm of torque. Suspension is managed by MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear. With this small engine this new global sedan is expected t be a class leader in fuel economy.
The Sunny will be produced by Dongfeng Nissan’s Huadu Plant in Guangzhou and will go on sale in China in January, before being launched in 170 markets worldwide. Continue reading “Nissan reveals new global sedan at Chinese show” »
December 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
When Nissan announced that its upgraded 2012 GT-R had its power output increased to 395kW, fans didn’t really know exactly what that would mean for performance. Now, Nissan has released official performance figures for the latest and greatest Godzilla and the results are staggering.
Nissan tested the GT-R’s sprint time on the Sendai Hi-land Race Way in Japan a couple of weeks ago in the middle of November and the car returned a very impressive result. Standing start to 100 km/h clocked in at a flat 3.0 seconds.
There was no funny business either with the company using a standard specification model including tyres and wheels. No optional parts were fitted to the test vehicle and the car was set to “R” mode for the suspension and VDC-R (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system.
With the GT-R priced from $172k here in NZ, it would be hard to find another car which offers this much bang for your buck. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Nissan GT-R acceleration time announced” »
November 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
In a historic moment for Nissan and zero emission vehicles, the 100% electric Nissan Leaf has been awarded 2011 European Car of the Year.
The world’s first mass-marketed, affordable, zero-emission vehicle for the global market beat 40 contenders to win motoring’s most important accolade. This is the first time in the 47-year history of the annual competition that the award has gone to an electric vehicle. Nissan Leaf’s rivals included vehicles from brands such as Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Volvo. The jury included 57 motoring journalists from 23 European countries.
Victory for the battery-powered Leaf, marks Nissan’s first win since the Micra took home the award way back in 1993.
“The jury acknowledged today that the Nissan Leaf is a breakthrough for electric cars. Nissan Leaf is the first EV that can match conventional cars in many respects,” said HÃ¥kan Matson, President of the Jury, Car of the Year.
Nissan Motor Co President Carlos Ghosn was suitably happy and said, “This award recognises the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling. It also reflects Nissan’s standing as an innovative and exciting brand with a clear vision of the future of transportation, which we call sustainable mobility. With three other electric vehicles in the pipeline from Nissan — and with the imminent market introduction of four additional electric vehicles from our Alliance partner Renault — Nissan Leaf represents a significant first step toward a zero-emission future.”
Continue reading “Nissan Leaf makes history in claiming European Car of the Year award” »
November 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The new 2011 Nissan Micra has been launched into the NZ market at a special event held earlier this week.
This latest Micra is the fourth generation to wear the badge and represents an entirely new chapter in the history of Nissan’s compact city car. Set to appeal to loyal buyers, its distinctive looks have been restyled it also boasts improved quality and dynamic abilities.
Designed specifically to make day to day urban driving as simple as possible, it delivers good dynamic performance for a small hatch and has comfortable suspension tuning, light power-steering and confident braking. Those driving characteristics are backed up by high levels of convenience and good equipment levels.
Nissan NZ is marketing the Micra around simplicity: it’s simple to purchase, simple to own and simple to live with. The all-new Micra is a simple car to live with, with three-year scheduled servicing reducing the ongoing costs of ownership. Plus Micra is full of features that, combined with thoughtful engineering, make living with the car on a daily basis a simple exercise. From easy egress to a practical luggage compartment, and good levels of visibility from the cabin.
Since its global launch earlier in 2010 the all-new Micra has been a phenomenal sales success. In the Japanese domestic market alone, orders for the Micra totalled at over 20,000 vehicles after just six weeks.
It is Nissan’s first model to use the company’s new V-Platform and the first to be built not in Japan or Europe, but rather in four manufacturing plants in China, Thailand, India and Mexico. The Micra for New Zealand will be sourced from Nissan’s plant in Thailand.
Continue reading “It’s back – all new Nissan Micra launched in NZ” »
November 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
While there are a multitude of automotive awards out there in cyberspace the one many automakers value most remains the European Car of the Year. To find a winner for the coveted title seven publications from seven different countries get together each year to nominate their collective Car of the Year, and then announce it in one united voice.
The process takes place over the course of months with the first step being the nominations, then the finalists and ultimately the solitary winner. The finalists for 2011 have just been announced, and as you’d expect it’s heavily loaded with European vehicles, but the list is not without some surprises.
The finalists include the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, CitroÃ«n C3/DS3, Renault/Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Volvo S60/V60. The Alfa’s nomination is a decade after its predecessor, the 147, took the award in its launch year. The Nissan Leaf is an interesting inclusion and represents the first time an electric vehicle has made it this far in the competition.
The winner will be announced on November 29, so check back then.
October 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
It’s always nice to have a little bit more. Like chocolate bars that come in ‘king size’ allowing that all-important extra bite. Or that mini-series on TV that begins with a double episode. Whatever way you look at it, a good thing is only really bettered by more of a good thing. With that in mind Nissan has taken its current good thing, the big-selling Qashqai and given it just a little bit more size. The enlarged Qashqai +2 now has the space for a third row of seating, allowing two more passengers and boosting total potential capacity to seven occupants. While the Qashqai was a gamble at the start being billed as a modern alternative to the traditional hatchback it was a risk that paid off handsomely, with more than 500,000 sales globally. Then it was facelifted for 2010 and has since been well received again. But is this larger +2 model a step too far? Car and SUV spent some time with the part crossover, part people mover to get the answers.
At first glance it’s difficult to distinguish the Qashqai +2 from its standard sibling, but look closer and its dimensions are clearly chunkier. The +2 is 211mm longer to allow for the extra seat and the wheelbase has increased by 135mm. Additionally the body is taller with a flatter roofline allowing for better headroom throughout and there’s a handy 55-litres of extra cargo space. In terms of exterior design the +2 differs little from the standard model and benefits from the smoother look brought with the recent mid-cycle facelift. Raked headlights at the front and LED two-piece fittings at the rear help give the Qashqai a distinctive look but the standard 16-inch alloys struggle to fill the raised guards. The larger Qashqai boasts some practical features like integrated roof rails, tough black plastic mouldings all round, and longer rear doors than the standard model to help entry and exit from that third row of seats.
Continue reading “Nissan Qashqai +2 2010 Review” »