October 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The all-new Nissan Micra is on its way, and after making its Australasian debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, its New Zealand launch is drawing closer.
With some innovative packaging and modern small-car engineering, the new Nissan Micra is set to be solid value for money vehicle and should have a good level of specification and safety equipment when it goes on sale in New Zealand.
The new Micra builds on the success of its predecessor, but aims to attract a wider audience with fresh styling, spacious and fashion-aware interior and a long list of standard safety and convenience features. In New Zealand, a single powertrain option will be available in two specification grades.
Standard will be a 1.5L four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 75kW of power. When mated to the four-speed automatic transmission, fuel consumption is 6.6L/100km and emissions only 156g/km. The all-new Nissan Micra comes standard with Vehicle Dynamic Control, Anti-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, as well as dual front, front side and curtain airbags on both models.
Convenience features such as a multifunction Drive Computer and air conditioning are standard, along with a unique digital anniversary reminder, remote entry, CD player, auxiliary input jack and steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system. The top-of-the-range Micra Ti model offers extras like keyless entry and push button engine start/stop, Climate Control air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a unique convenience feature for female drivers – handbag storage on the front passenger’s seat.
If the front passenger seat is unoccupied, the rear section of the seat squab can be flipped forward, providing a secure well in which a bag or other small items may be stowed, to stop them rolling around in the footwell, or skidding off the seat under braking or cornering.
Continue reading “All-new Nissan Micra arriving in NZ soon” »
October 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Those lucky cats over in Japan will be the first consumers to get a chance to check out the more powerful and more luxurious 2011 Nissan GT-R when it reaches Japanese showrooms from next month. The upgraded 2011 GT-R is expected to reach global markets from February next year with a range of tweaks and even two new model variants.
In terms of appearance the exterior will get a light refresh to better improve its aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, while the interior will also get some new appointments. Downforce has been increased by about 10 percent, while the coefficient of drag is further reduced from 0.27 to 0.26. This comes from an enlarged bumper and grille openings, a redesigned rear bumper with a lower center of gravity, an extended rear diffuser and additional air outlets. To finish off the new look is a set of fashionable LED daytime running lights and six different paint options including the new Meteo Flake Black Pearl and Aurora Flare Blue Pearl.
Inside there is a redesigned instrument panel with real carbon fibre trim and there are also new seats.
But it’s the 2011 GT-R’s internals that are the main talking point. The boost has been increased, the valve timing adjusted and the ECU recalibrated to increase output up to 390kW and 610Nm of torque — an increase from the outgoing model’s 361kW and 587Nm. A new strut brace has been installed to link the suspension towers and the suspension set up has also been retuned, and mounted to new 20-inch Rays wheels that sit in front of Nissan-developed 390-mm brake discs. .
Continue reading “Facelifted 2011 Nissan GT-R revealed with 390kW of power” »
October 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
2011 Nissan Juke commercial – Juke takes on ‘The Dread’
October 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Smart recently announced that it will partner up with Nissan to build a new small vehicle to go on sale firstly in the States and then possibly global markets after. Details are fairly scarce at this stage, but Smart has revealed a couple of sketches to let everyone know whats in development. The new machine will be a five-door, B-segment entry powered by a conventional petrol engine, and it will reach the American market in late 2011.
With this short development time in mind, it’s likely the car will be heavily based on the Nissan Micra. The sketches don’t reveal too much, but they do show that Smart still has an eye for sharp design.
The new Nissan-based Smart model is part of a broader strategic cooperation between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Group that was revealed in April. Under the agreement, the two groups also plan to co-develop a new platform that will be used on the successors to the Smart Fortwo and the Renault Twingo. Stay tuned to see what else comes from this burgeoning partnership.
October 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
2011 Nissan Juke commercial – Ultimate donut machine?
September 14th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
There is speculation Nissan might be going all-electric with it’s Nissan GT-R. A new report penned by Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga explains the radical idea and suggests the possibility of turning Nissan’s already heavily electronic sports car into a pure EV.
Shiga’s statements are rather sketchy with no suggestion of conforming the super-EV, but his considerations of fuel economy and carbon emissions together with the desire to keep the GT-R badge alive do make a mild implication. We have seen reports that the GT-R could go hybrid, so perhaps the leap to all electric isn’t as extreme as once thought.
Anything built with the GT-R badge with an all-electric powertrain is likely to be well into the $100,000 (U.S) plus bracket.
With the current GT-R still in the early planning stages of new enhancements in SpecM or “Egoist” guise, the next generation Nissan will be easily at least two years away. Which allocates time to make the move to pure electric drive, as well as look at the legislative requirements of tighter emissions requirements which will justify the move.
August 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The go-fast specialists at Nissan are at it again reworking the GT-R, this time for the 2012 model year. Following on from the initial launch of the GT-R in 2007, and after the revisions in December 2008 and October 2009, Nissan is getting ready to present the very latest version of its flagship sports model.
The Japanese automaker still hasn’t made anything official but that hasn’t stopped resourceful car nerds posting leaked images and info on the upcoming model up to the web.
So, what’s new on the 2012MY GT-R? Well, in terms of sytling, the Japanese sports car receives a reworked front bumper with LED running lights and a new rear diffuser. These changes will apparently help drop the GT-R’s drag coefficient figure from 0.272 to 0.268 and also improve rear downforce by 10%.
Packing out the guards are a new set of Rays forged aluminium wheels, which reportedly save a total of 12kg in weight. There is also two new colour options a new shade of blue and black.
Interestingly, there is also rumour of a possible RWD-only mode, which is hidden under the fuel saving setting, accessed by holding down the ‘fuel save’ button for a few seconds. This will put the GT-R into RWD mode but only till it is turned off, then it will return to normal. Perfect for a bit of impromptu drifting.
The 2012 GT-R will also benefit from some subtle interior upgrades, as well as some chassis and engine tweaks, but little more is known at this stage.
Check back as we bring you more details on the 2012 Nissan GT-R.
August 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
When Nissan launched its current model Navara ST-X ute a few years back it came packing 403Nm of torque — the most in its class. It was a mighty figure that allowed ST-X owners bragging rights on building sites and rural pubs around our great country. Then Mitsubishi fought back unleashing its Triton ute with 407Nm of torque and there was a new sheriff in town. But the importance of this mini arms race clearly hasn’t been lost on Nissan because the 2010 Navara has been given a mild facelift, 450Nm of torque and a special badge branded on its hind quarter to let everyone know. Car and SUV saddled up with the refreshed Navara ST-X to see if it makes for a wild ride.
What’s most impressive about the jump forward in torque is that Nissan have retained the same engine with the same displacement and still achieved it. The 2.5-litre turbo diesel motor has received a new cylinder head design, an upgraded direct-injection system and a new variable-nozzle turbocharger. The end result is a 12kW increase in power to 140kW and the 12 percent gain in torque to 450Nm. Surprisingly fuel economy has also improved and is rated at 9.0l/100km combined with the automatic box that our test vehicle used.
The figures are impressive and so was the drive with the effortless and generous supply of torque being a defining characteristic. Almost anywhere in the rev range and at all speeds a prod on the gas pedal would bring on rapid acceleration and only minimal turbo lag. At open-road cruising speeds the Navara is settled and easily capable of quick overtaking manoeuvres. The motor while brawny is also fairly refined and happily potters along in urban traffic with minimal engine rattles or vibration entering the cabin.
Continue reading “Nissan Navara ST-X 2010 Review” »