August 5th, 2010 by Car and SUV
If the R35 Nissan GT-R in factory form just isn’t enough machine for you then Austrian tuning firm KÃ¶nigseder will help out with a new styling package along with some performance upgrades for the top-model Nissan. To most it will just look like your standard GT-R with a McLaren orange paint job, but don’t be fooled as this Godzilla has a new ECU tune installed.
The upgraded ECU takes the standard 3.8-litre V6 engine – which in standard form produces 485hp – up to a whopping 572hp. In addition to the reworked ECU, a new air filter a full Akrapovic exhaust system are included. In terms of performance 0 to 100kph figures haven’t been provided but the car will be able to hit 200km/h in just 9.8 seconds.
The GT-R also receives a revised suspension set-up with an adjustable coilover kit from KW and new 21-inch HRE alloy wheels shod in Yokohama Advan Sport rubber size 245/35 up front and 285/30 at the rear.
Body changes are fairly limited consisting of a new and more dramatic front lip spoiler and matching side skirts.
August 3rd, 2010 by Car and SUV
For some of us the Nissan GT-R is the ultimate machine, it’s got all the speed, handling ability and technology we could want. But for others the refined almost automated GT-R doesn’t offer enough of a raw and wild driving experience. Nissan now has an answer for those nutters with its GT-R Club Track edition.
Back in April, Nissan said it would be working with third parties to set up a Japanese driving club that would offer members track-ready Godzillas, and the result is the Track Club Edition GT-R, a product of the minds at Nissan, NISMO, NOVA Engineering in Shizuka and Nordring tuning in Saitama, Japan.
Only in Japan, this umbrella organization is called The Prestige Club of GT-R, and to run in it will require rubbish sacks full of Yen: the car itself naturally isn’t cheap, costing ¥10,479,000 ($165,300 NZ); membership in The Prestige Club is ¥2 million ($31,500 NZ) and annual fees are a further ¥1 million ($15,250 NZ). But for all of that you get to have a hell of of time thrashing around your new worked GT-R in two race days a year and an annual gathering.
The car itself has performance upgrades including a new ECM, traction control, ABS and VCD programming, two-way adjustable Bilstein dampers and revised upper front links, a front lip spoiler, NACA duct and brake air guides among other things. Inside it’s all business with a four-point harness over a Bride Gardis III seat, automatic fire suppression system and NISMO data logging kit.
In terms of power the twin-turbo motor puts out in excess of 493 horsepower and 434 pound-feet, and the package rolls on 20-inch Rays Forged Aluminum wheels from the SpecM wrapped in Dunlop Direzza Long Life Slicks. If you’re a fat cat whose going to be in Japan and want a part of this series then applications are being accepted until September 20. Read the rest of this entry »
July 30th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Being named after a nomadic tribe of people it’s fitting that Nissan’s Qashqai has undergone a mid-cycle facelift and a movement towards an even more modern look. Selling in massive numbers in Europe, the small crossover has gained good traction here in NZ with 600 sales already achieved since its launch. The 2010 facelift is more a well-calculated nip and tuck than a butcher’s chop, with subtle changes both inside and out. Will the refresh move the quiet achieving Qashqai on to even greener pastures? Car and SUV spent a week living with the top-spec Ti model to find out more.
Visually, the major changes are at the Qashqai’s front where a new bumper, bonnet, honeycomb grille and headlamps distinguish it from its predecessor. The changes bring a smoother less awkward and more modern look while retaining its unique appeal. At the rear differences are less obvious but the taillights have been replaced with new LED 2-piece units and the tailgate spoiler has been tweaked to help reduce aerodynamic drag. The Ti tested vehicle also includes front fog lamps and rolls on some nicely suited 18-inch alloy wheels. Overall the Qashqai remains a distinctive machine thanks to its bold styling but also its stocky dimensions and off road styling cues like the low black plastic mouldings and raised ground clearance.
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July 16th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Earlier this year, Nissan announced plans to introduce a new diesel engine option for the very first time on its European market Murano crossover. This created a need for additional cooling airflow to the diesel engine and radiators meaning that Nissan had to redesign the front end of the Murano. So the distinctive looking crossover will enters the 2011 model year with a reworked front end sporting a new grille and a reshaped bumper with larger air intakes and different fog lamps.
The Murano diesel will use a smoothed-out version of Nissan’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine which produces 190-horsepower and a healthy 450Nm / 331.9 lb-ft of peak torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5 dCi engine returns a 8.0lt/100km economy combined and 210g/km CO2 emissions.
Euro market cars will come equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels, power tailgate, rear and kerbside cameras and a navigation system with 7″ touch screen, HDD 9.3 Gb music server, ipod, Bluetooth and aux connectivity combined with a premium 11 speaker BOSE system all fitted as standard.
Nissan expects the diesel model to prove very popular in Europe and will account for over 90% of Murano sales. Check back as we bring you details of when the 2011 Nissan Murano will be arriving in NZ.
July 12th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The Nissan X-Trail has just been given a refresh and images have been released of the JDM-spec model. For 2011, there are some subtle design tweaks, mainly to the front end and the interior, plus equipment upgrades and a new diesel variant has been added to the range.
Fron the outside, the new 2011 X-Trail gains a redesigned front grille, front bumper and headlights, along with a rejigged rear bumper and new LED tail lamps. There’s also a new model aptly named the ‘X-Tremer’ which has unique bumpers and alloy wheels.
Inside, the X-Trail is given a redesigned instrument panel and a new larger information display system, plus additional standard features.
The diesel-powered X-Trail 20GT will now be made available with a new 6-speed automatic transmission. This 2.0-litre diesel unit outputs 170-horsepower and 360Nm / 265 lb-ft of peak torque. Nissan has also introduced a new “Advanced Hill Descent Control” fitted with a clever speed-setting function.
The 2011 X-Trail goes on sale in Japan on July 16. Check back for more information on an upcoming NZ launch of the refreshed Nissan X-Trail.
Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the current model Nissan X-Trail.
July 5th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The Nissan Juke, baby brother to the Qashqai and Murano, is on the verge of launching in Europe and could be making its way here to NZ.
It follows in the wheeltracks of Murano and the successful Qashqai & Qashqai+2. Like its bigger brothers, Juke is a distinctive combination of SUV and sporty style. Conceived to inject some masculinity and dynamism into the small car market.
“It takes the best elements of an SUV and sports car and combines them,” says Vincent Wijnen, Nissan’s European Vice President for Marketing. “It’s roomy yet compact, robust yet dynamic and practical yet playful.”
From a design standpoint, the lower portion of Juke is SUV. It combines chunky 17-inch wheels, wide tyres, extended ground clearance and a robust stance with a top portion that’s high waisted, has slim visor-like side glass graphics and a coupe-style falling roofline. The coupe effect is further underlined by the rear doors which have their handles hidden in the frame of the door.
Juke was created at the London-based Nissan Design Europe (NDE) and refined at Nissan’s Design Centre (NDC) in Japan. Its unique shape was first seen in the Qazana show car shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, its lines are carried over virtually intact from the Qazana.
In terms of handling the Juke’s compact dimensions and wide track means it has competent handling characteristics along and enhanced levels of refinement. Juke is based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance B-Platform, which has been updated for this application.
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June 15th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The Renault-Nissan Alliance (the Alliance) and the city of Wellington have formed a partnership to explore the development of a Zero Emission Vehicles program.
The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday under which a working team of representatives from the City Council and Nissan will identify potential areas of co-operation in promoting the use of zero emission vehicles in the city. The memorandum was signed in Japan following Mayor of Wellington, Kerry Prendergast’s test drive of the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle accompanied by Nissan Motor Company’s Corporate Vice President, Zero Emissions Business Unit Mr.Hideaki Watanabe.
“Today, Nissan is proud to partner with the Wellington City Council through the signing of this MOU,” said John Manley, Nissan New Zealand Managing Director. “Technology for zero emissions mobility is a reality and we are prepared to proactively explore ways to bring this technology to New Zealand with collaboration from the Wellington administration. ”
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June 7th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Nissan’s Z cars have a lengthy history that’s been groundbreaking, if not always successful. It all kicked off back in the late 1960s when the 240Z was launched and changed the way the world viewed Japanese performance cars. Before this break-through vehicle Japanese sports cars were often seen as too small, uncomfortable and worse — underpowered. The 240Z threw that perception into its six-cylinder engine and burnt it up, but not every Z car since has been as well received. Now the new 370Z is the sixth vehicle to wear the iconic ‘Z’ badge and the coupe has received raving reviews, but can the roadster variant keep pace? Car and SUV spent some time with the 370Z’s soft-top sibling to find out if it’s pure Japanese sport car or just a very expensive hair dryer.
From the outside the Roadster isn’t a large departure from the Coupe: it’s brawny, bold and, while curvaceous, isn’t at all feminine. The 370Z has ironed out much of the awkwardness that the preceding 350Z was criticised for. The shark tooth look up front is purposeful and a long bonnet with raked back headlight clusters ooze style. At the rear it’s big booty time with a high deck and wide swollen guards that are pinched off by a nearly vertical rear bumper. With so much visual mass at the rear the 370Z is athletically stanced and possesses massive road presence. The look is finished off by perfectly matched 19″ Rays alloys and a Z badges on the front guards that moonlight as indicators.
When it comes to the roof, the 370Z looks better with it dropped, but it remains a commendable effort. It’s longer and tapers off more gradually than the roof on the 350Z roadster. It also uses a lined high-quality fabric rather than vinyl and houses a glass rear window. To lower or raise the roof requires no latches or manual input and is done with the push of a button by an electro-hydraulic system. It’s a busy affair as the roof clunks through its movements. It can also be performed from the outside of the car by holding down the door unlock button. There is a solid feel to the roof and its mechanism, once in place, up or down, there is no creaking or noise from any joining points.
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