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    Nissan Shows A Sporty Side With The Versa Note SR and Frontier Diesel Runner Concept


    • Versa Note Gains Some Sport.. Somewhat. Also, Possibility of diesel for Frontier.


    Nissan rolled out a pair vehicles today at the Chicago Auto Show that show a somewhat sporty side.

    The first is the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR which is somewhat sporty-ish. The SR adds revised front fascia with smoked headlamps, standard foglamps, and black chrome accents. Along with the changes to front, the SR comes with a dark-finished sixteen-inch wheels, revised mirrors, side sills, and a new rear spoiler. The interior also gets some enhancements as well with a 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, swede-like seats with orange accents, and piano black trim.

    Those hoping for an enhancement in power with SR will be disappointed. The Versa Note SR sticks with the 1.6L inline-four engine with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT.

    The Versa Note SR arrives sometime in the spring.

    Nissan's other showing gives us a possible sneak peek into what they possibly have in store for the next-generation Frontier. This is the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept and Nissan is using this concept to gauge consumer interest for a diesel engine in the next-generation Frontier.

    Taking a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 as a starting point, Nissan and diesel partner, Cummins slips in a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine with nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Nissan says the diesel engine boosts the Frontier's fuel economy by 35 percent when compared with the V6. Towing and payload would be roughly the same as the V6.

    SAM 2899

    There are some changes to the exterior such as a two-tone finish of high-gloss red and matte silver paired with carbon fiber trim and off-road wheels.

    Our Take: Nissan has gotten the sporty looks with the Versa Note SR. Now if they could only add some more power.. Like a 1.6L turbo-four.

    As for the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept, we wouldn't be surprised if the next-generation Frontier gets it. Especially if the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon Diesel start selling like hot cakes.

    Source: Nissan

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    2015 NISSAN VERSA NOTE SR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW – OFFERS UNIQUE SPORTY STYLING AND INTERIOR TREATMENTS

    One of two new trim levels, along with Versa Note SL, designed to expand equipment and feature choices for buyers of Nissan's popular sub-compact hatchback

    - Versa Note lineup grows to five trim levels for 2015, set to go on sale this spring

    - New models retain 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with standard 1.6-liter engine and Xtronic® transmission

    - New Versa Note SR adds sporty front and rear fascias and grille, unique rear spoiler, 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels and exclusive interior enhancements

    - Versa Note SL includes standard NissanConnectTM smartphone integration for iOS and Android including Google™, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook; NissanConnectTM Apps; Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant; and Divide–N-Hide® Adjustable Floor

    Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT.

    Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package.

    Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners' emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first-in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price.

    "The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it's as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home."

    About the 2015 Versa Note SR

    The new Versa Note SR's standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character.

    Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note's distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires.

    Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer.

    "The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It's a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy."

    Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined.

    Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.

    Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan's global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability.

    The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets.

    Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnectTM system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnectTM Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio).

    The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior.

    About the 2015 Versa Note SL

    Like the Versa Note SR, the Note SL offers an extensive list of features and equipment that are unexpected in the sub-compact hatchback segment.

    The list of standard comfort and convenience items includes fog lights, NissanConnectTM and NissanConnectTM Apps, 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, variable intermittent front wiper, heated front seats, Nissan Intelligent KeyTM with Push Button Ignition, Easy Fill Tire Alert and SL badge.

    Standard safety and security systems on all 2015 Versa Note models include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available Easy-Fill Tire Alert.

    "With a broader lineup for 2015 – and the standout style of the sporty new SR grade – we expect Versa Note to garner more attention and greater sales in the competitive entry-level hatchback segment," concluded Loing. "When we launched Versa Note last year we called it 'Your Door to More.' Now there are 'More' choices to enjoy."

    NISSAN PRESENTS FRONTIER DIESEL RUNNER POWERED BY CUMMINSTM PROJECT TRUCK AT 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW

    • Project truck created to gauge consumer interest in a next-generation Frontier with a Cummins diesel engine

    • Concept builds upon Nissan's long heritage in innovative pickup trucks

    • Powered by a 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel with nearly 200 horsepower, more than 350 lb-ft of torque

    • Estimated fuel economy increases 35 percent over current Frontier V6

    CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2014) – Nissan is renewing its commitment to the mid-size pickup segment, long a part of its sales success in the United States, with the creation of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by CumminsTM. This project truck, based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, serves to both gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier.

    The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins arrives a mere six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar-year 2015.

    "Frontier continues to be a huge success story for us, with more than 60,000 units sold in 2013," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier. We are always looking for ways to engage our customers, innovate and take the segment in an evolutionary direction."

    At the heart of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins is a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet or exceed future emissions standards. As adapted for use in this truck, the engine produces nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, while increasing fuel economy 35 percent over a V6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier.

    Backed by a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, the two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains, and even increases, the usability of a Frontier truck. Along with the mileage increase, payload and towing capacity are expected to be in range of that offered by the V6-powered Frontier.

    While not a "plug-and-play" engine and transmission installation, many of the Frontier Diesel Runner project's key components, from the body to wiring harnesses to the radiator and more are from a production 2014 Desert Runner.

    Collaboration between Nissan and Cummins stems back to a U.S. Department of Energy project called "ATLAS" (Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems) which began in 2010. Over the course of "ATLAS," Cummins installed 4-cylinder engines into two Nissan Titan trucks as an ongoing platform for research on the next-generation of 4-cylinder automotive clean diesel engines. Research compiled during the "ATLAS" program helped to shape the Cummins engine used in the current project.

    "We've been building pickup trucks in the U.S. for more than 30 years and selling them here for even longer than that, even offering 4-cylinder diesel in our U.S. pickup truck in the 1980s," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, NNA. "With this Frontier Diesel Runner project truck, we can reflect on our extensive heritage while also looking to the future and the changing demands of mid-size pickup buyers."

    The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins was designed by Nissan Design America in San Diego, CA in conjunction with Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan. Exterior modifications include a custom paint treatment that mixes three elements: a bright high-gloss "Arrest Me Red" color inspired by Cummins' engine red; a raw "Matte Silver" color created to express the steel body-on-frame Frontier chassis foundation; and carbon fiber and carbon fiber film accents to signify the truck's outstanding performance and efficiency.

    Along with carbon film-coated features such as the chin spoiler, mesh grille, roof rack, aerodynamic full-bed tonneau cover and tailgate spoiler, the hood of the vehicle draws special attention. A partially transparent acrylic hood insert serves as a window to the engine bay, where all powertrain-related elements continue the red theme. The special carbon fiber engine cover, seen through the hood insert, features an oversize Cummins logo, with a red center, black carbon sides and hidden illumination. "Cummins Turbo Diesel badges" are also recessed into both front fenders.

    The 16-inch wheels, borrowed from a Frontier PRO-4X, have been treated with a special two-tone paint – Arrest Me Red for the rear wheels and Silver in front, each accented by satin black paint. The brake calipers have also been custom painted in contrasting colors - red front and silver rear.

    The Frontier Diesel Runner's interior mirrors the silver and red exterior design, with red accents throughout and carbon-trimmed seats and panels. The front and rear seats feature carbon-print leather appointments with grey accent stitching and black-on-black "Tracks" embroidery. The carbon film-wrapped instrument panel is highlighted by red-tinted gauges and a special black-faced diesel-specific three-gauge pod on top of the C-cluster. Completing the interior enhancements are embroidered floor mats and theme-colored shifter knob and steering wheel.

    The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins will be showcased throughout the consumer days of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Nissan and Cummins have also built a separate development vehicle that is currently undergoing rigorous real-world testing.

    "We hope consumers in Chicago and across the U.S. will let us know what they think of the prospects of a diesel engine in this segment," Loing added.

    KEY SPECIFICATIONS

    Engine Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel

    Horsepower Approximately 200

    Torque More than 350 lb-ft

    Transmission ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic

    Axle ratio (:1) 3.13

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    Nice write up. Agree more power for the Versa and the Diesel I would expect as they will be watching the GM twins and how well they do with a diesel.

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    Versa Note SR looks cool v. its classmates... however, who wants a sport model with the crappy CVT as mandatory? A six speed manual is needed... STAT.

    Cool to see GM leading the midsize pickup class clearly enough to see the competition scurrying to match them. I always liked Datsun pickups (an '86 1/2 Hardbody 4X4 has been my only Asian automotive purchase so far, bought new and kept 3 years), and the current Frontier is a nice truck, except for the dismal fuel mileage ratings (14/19 for the 4X4? pathetic). It'd be great to see them put a diesel in their Frontier... STAT.

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      Press Release is on Page 2



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      Beyond the aerodynamic enhancements, the overall exterior appearance is instantly recognized as pure NISMO with its signature "layered double wing" design in the front, side and rear lower body panels. A thin red stripe accents the lower panels.
      In front, a unique front fascia dominates, along with standard LED Daytime Running Lights, NISMO dark chrome V-Motion grille and NISMO badge. Other styling features include unique side sills, NISMO rear fascia and spoiler, NISMO exhaust finisher, dark chrome door handles and trunk finisher, rear NISMO badge and black NISMO outside mirror caps with integrated turn signals and NISMO red stripe.
      Helping give Sentra NISMO its aggressive stance, while also helping enhance handling performance, are 18-inch NISMO 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with specially selected 215/45R18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires. Ride height has also been reduced by 0.4-inch.
      The 2017 Sentra NISMO is offered in four exterior colors – Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black and Aspen White.
      Inside, the Sentra NISMO interior is designed to support exciting driving – starting with unique NISMO front seats with logo and additional side bolstering. The rear seats feature unique cloth material with red stitching.
      Red motorsports-inspired accents are found throughout the interior, including on the unique Alcantara and leather-wrapped steering wheel, the push button start with red start ring, NISMO meter cluster with red tachometer, leather shifter knob and NISMO embroidered carpets. A dark headliner and NISMO logo on the instrument panel complete the special interior treatment. Just one interior color is offered, Charcoal with red accents. "The NISMO interior treatment adds a high level of driving support and sporty style without compromising the everyday drivability," said Bunce.
      Along with the long list of unique NISMO features, the 2017 Sentra NISMO also offers a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) located between the tachometer and speedometer, soft-touch instrument panel, sliding armrest, Nissan Intelligent Key® keyless entry, RearView Monitor, power windows with driver's one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.
      An AM/FM/CD system with 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition and smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android phones are also standard. The optional NISMO Premium Package adds a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers.
      Also offered with the NISMO Premium Package is NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps – with 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnect Mobile Apps.
      Balanced Performance
      As a pure factory tuned performance vehicle, Sentra NISMO offers buyers something aftermarket tuners can't – a balanced approach that goes deep under the skin of the vehicle with modifications to the structural integrity.
      Starting with the solid Sentra body, which packs ample interior roominess in a compact-size exterior, the Sentra NISMO body structure is enhanced with a number of factory tuned body reinforcements. The cowl is thicker and vehicle floor and rear parcel shelf are reinforced to stiffen the body structure, improving responsiveness to steering inputs – helping provide an enhanced platform for the new engine and NISMO-tuned suspension.
      "This is not just a ‘lipstick' application that adds a little performance and a lot of flash," added Bunce. "The beauty of the new Sentra NISMO is that every single aspect from front fascia to rear spoiler and everything in between works together to provide an enhanced driving experience – with equal emphasis on power and handling."
      The power side of the equation comes in the form of Sentra NISMO's new 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGTM) turbocharged engine, which is shared with the new-for-2017 Sentra SR Turbo model. Rated at 188 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 - 5,200 RPM, the 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine includes a 10.5:1 compression ratio, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores, a variable pressure oil pump and a low-pressure EGR system, which helps lower exhaust gas temperature and improve knock sensitivity.
      The Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) includes an intermediate lock function on the intake side, while the use of spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores (versus the iron liners) provides an estimated 12 percent reduction in internal friction, which also improves anti-knock performance and reduces engine weight. The DIGTM system helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions, while the use of the turbocharger and intercooler helps boost power. The variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
      The engine is matched with choice of a 6-speed manual transmission, with gear ratios selected to take maximum advantage of the engine's powerband and torque curve, or an advanced, tuned Xtronic transmission.
      "It was important to offer a 6-speed manual transmission with the new Sentra NISMO, both to reinforce its pure performance credentials and to up the direct engagement factor between driver and the vehicle," said Bunce. "While today's sophisticated, paddle shifted automatic gearboxes can often match or exceed the performance of a manual transmission, there's still nothing like the experience of rowing through the gears with three pedals in the footwell."
      For buyers choosing the Xtronic transmission, it has been specially tuned to match the engine's performance. Acceleration feel is enhanced with the Xtronic's D-mode step shift program, giving a more linear acceleration feeling without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds.
      Delivering on the handling aspect of the Sentra NISMO, the engineering team sought to provide a noticeable improvement even beyond the enhanced performance of the new Sentra SR Turbo. Five key areas were designated to meet the NISMO standards – handling response, grip, steering feel, body control and ride/handling balance.
      The NISMO-tuned independent strut front/rear torsion beam suspension goes beyond the SR Turbo's enhanced design (versus non-turbo Sentra grades) by adopting monotube rear dampers and unique tuning of the front springs and struts. The lightweight monotube shock design features separate oil and gas chambers and high-pressure gas charge to help provide quicker response to damper stroke and velocity changes. Faster damper response means faster reaction to changing steering or road conditions. In addition, the NISMO tuning of the springs and struts helps improve body control (roll and pitch) for higher demand cornering.
      Steering effort of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system has also been specially tuned to provide a "NISMO feel." The special dialing in of the effort/response relationship helps provide good highway and winding road feedback, precise on-center definition without overly high driver effort and a linear, direct steering feel at turn-in.
      Also contributing to the overall handling performance is the unique Sentra NISMO wheel and tire combination. Utilizing NISMO 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with newly developed 215/45ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires, cornering power and grip levels are improved, even over the new Sentra SR Turbo. It is the first time 18-inch wheels and tires have been offered on a Sentra. For customers seeking maximum grip, high-performance 215/45WR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires are available through Nissan dealers.
      Like the SR Turbo, the steering system includes a larger steering motor and revised electronic mapping to provide reduced effort at parking and low speeds. The Sentra NISMO also utilizes a 4-wheel disc brake system with 11.7-inch vent front discs and 11.5-inch solid rear discs.
      Like all 2017 Sentra models, Sentra NISMO offers a long list of standard safety and security features – including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
      Also included are child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and available Easy Fill Tire Alert system.
      Just one factory option is available with the Sentra NISMO: the NISMO Premium Package with NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, and Bose® Premium Audio system with 8 speakers.
      "The new Sentra NISMO will attract new customers not currently considering Sentra – enthusiasts looking for a fun-to-drive vehicle with a sporty image yet at an attainable price point," said Bunce. "As the first ‘core' NISMO model in the Nissan lineup, Sentra NISMO takes us back to Nissan's roots of compact performance sedans. The time has come."

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Nissan Sentra isn't what you would call an interesting compact sedan. That has been changing thanks to the introduction of the Sentra SR Turbo earlier this year. Now, Nissan hopes the Sentra NISMO introduced today can go further.
      The exterior looks like it is up to the task. There is a “layered double wing” body kit - lower-body bits to the front, rear, and side - rear spoiler, updated rear bumper, red accents, and 18-inch wheels finished in gray. Four colors are available for the NISMO - Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Aspen White, or Gun Metallic. Inside, the front seats get extra bolstering, a sport steering wheel with Alcantara and leather trim; red accents, and a dark headliner.
      NISMO has played around with the Sentra's suspension, adding revised springs and struts up front, monotube shocks in the rear, a set of stabilizer bars, and a lowered ride height. The electric power steering system has been tweaked to provide a "NISMO feel." (We'll need to spend some time to figure out what they mean). You can option a set Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires through your Nissan dealer.
      You man have noticed that we haven't talked about the engine. There is a reason for that because it is a bit of a disappointment. The Sentra NISMO packs the same engine as the one found in the SR Turbo - a turbocharged 1.6L inline-four with 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or xTronic CVT. Why not more power? According to those who were at the debut, Nissan said they wanted to keep power and handling balanced, and keep the price at a point that is accessible to many buyers. 
      Nissan says pricing for the Sentra NISMO will start just above $25,000 when it goes on sale early next year.
      Source: Nissan
      Press Release is on Page 2



      2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO makes world debut at Los Angeles Auto Show
      First-ever Sentra NISMO is first mainstream U.S. Nissan model to offer motorsports-inspired NISMO factory-tuned performance Comprehensive transformation includes aggressive exterior treatment, performance-oriented interior, stiffened body structure and unique suspension tuning Available with a choice of 6-speed manual or unique Xtronic transmission with manual mode – each tuned specifically to turbo engine Retains everyday sedan practicality, adds motorsports-inspired driving excitement The 2017 Sentra NISMO is the latest in a long line of compact Nissan performance sedans going back nearly 50 years to the Datsun 510 and the original Sentra SE-R. The new, first-ever Sentra NISMO is also the first mainstream U.S. Nissan model to offer motorsports-inspired NISMO factory-tuned performance. It joins the GT-R NISMO, 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and JUKE NISMO RS in the 2017 Nissan lineup.
      The 2017 Sentra NISMO model's comprehensive transformation from everyday sedan to a highly personal performance machine includes aggressive exterior treatment, performance-oriented interior and unique suspension tuning.
      "With the addition of the new Sentra NISMO, the enthusiasts behind NISMO production sports vehicles like the GT-R NISMO and 370Z NISMO sought to widen the reach of the NISMO brand," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "But they wanted to do it without diluting the NISMO brand – which meant Sentra NISMO going deeper than just visual changes to an enhanced, visceral driving experience."
      At the heart of any NISMO-badged production vehicle is the engine, such as the GT-R NISMO's 600-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. For the new Sentra NISMO, the engineers started with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that fit perfectly within the aerodynamically aggressive Sentra NISMO bodywork. More than just an engine transplant, however, the motorsports-inspired transformation from practical sedan to a vehicle worthy of the NISMO badge involved a precisely balanced tuning of body, interior, chassis, suspension, steering and powertrain.
      "Sentra is Nissan's third most popular vehicle behind Rogue and Altima. For the 2017 model year, a new Sentra SR Turbo grade was added to the previous lineup of Sentra S, SV, SR and SL trim levels," added Bunce. "But it is the new Sentra NISMO that will undoubtedly set the nameplate's image on fire. It is the first introduction of the NISMO brand on a core, affordable Nissan model in the U.S."
      A Distinctive Presence
      The first thing most people will notice about the new Sentra NISMO is its highly aggressive presence, which goes even above the sporty Sentra SR and Sentra SR Turbo grades. Applying the NISMO philosophy of "totally balanced tuning for high speed driving, to provide ultimate driving pleasure," the Sentra NISMO aerodynamic design focus was on realizing zero lift without harming overall coefficient of drag (Cd). Therefore Sentra NISMO offers the same 0.29 Cd as standard Sentra models, but features a 30 percent reduction in lift force. While most of the reduction is provided by the unique NISMO rear spoiler, the revised rear bumper design also contributes.
      Beyond the aerodynamic enhancements, the overall exterior appearance is instantly recognized as pure NISMO with its signature "layered double wing" design in the front, side and rear lower body panels. A thin red stripe accents the lower panels.
      In front, a unique front fascia dominates, along with standard LED Daytime Running Lights, NISMO dark chrome V-Motion grille and NISMO badge. Other styling features include unique side sills, NISMO rear fascia and spoiler, NISMO exhaust finisher, dark chrome door handles and trunk finisher, rear NISMO badge and black NISMO outside mirror caps with integrated turn signals and NISMO red stripe.
      Helping give Sentra NISMO its aggressive stance, while also helping enhance handling performance, are 18-inch NISMO 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with specially selected 215/45R18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires. Ride height has also been reduced by 0.4-inch.
      The 2017 Sentra NISMO is offered in four exterior colors – Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black and Aspen White.
      Inside, the Sentra NISMO interior is designed to support exciting driving – starting with unique NISMO front seats with logo and additional side bolstering. The rear seats feature unique cloth material with red stitching.
      Red motorsports-inspired accents are found throughout the interior, including on the unique Alcantara and leather-wrapped steering wheel, the push button start with red start ring, NISMO meter cluster with red tachometer, leather shifter knob and NISMO embroidered carpets. A dark headliner and NISMO logo on the instrument panel complete the special interior treatment. Just one interior color is offered, Charcoal with red accents. "The NISMO interior treatment adds a high level of driving support and sporty style without compromising the everyday drivability," said Bunce.
      Along with the long list of unique NISMO features, the 2017 Sentra NISMO also offers a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) located between the tachometer and speedometer, soft-touch instrument panel, sliding armrest, Nissan Intelligent Key® keyless entry, RearView Monitor, power windows with driver's one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.
      An AM/FM/CD system with 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition and smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android phones are also standard. The optional NISMO Premium Package adds a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers.
      Also offered with the NISMO Premium Package is NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps – with 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnect Mobile Apps.
      Balanced Performance
      As a pure factory tuned performance vehicle, Sentra NISMO offers buyers something aftermarket tuners can't – a balanced approach that goes deep under the skin of the vehicle with modifications to the structural integrity.
      Starting with the solid Sentra body, which packs ample interior roominess in a compact-size exterior, the Sentra NISMO body structure is enhanced with a number of factory tuned body reinforcements. The cowl is thicker and vehicle floor and rear parcel shelf are reinforced to stiffen the body structure, improving responsiveness to steering inputs – helping provide an enhanced platform for the new engine and NISMO-tuned suspension.
      "This is not just a ‘lipstick' application that adds a little performance and a lot of flash," added Bunce. "The beauty of the new Sentra NISMO is that every single aspect from front fascia to rear spoiler and everything in between works together to provide an enhanced driving experience – with equal emphasis on power and handling."
      The power side of the equation comes in the form of Sentra NISMO's new 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGTM) turbocharged engine, which is shared with the new-for-2017 Sentra SR Turbo model. Rated at 188 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 - 5,200 RPM, the 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine includes a 10.5:1 compression ratio, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores, a variable pressure oil pump and a low-pressure EGR system, which helps lower exhaust gas temperature and improve knock sensitivity.
      The Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) includes an intermediate lock function on the intake side, while the use of spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores (versus the iron liners) provides an estimated 12 percent reduction in internal friction, which also improves anti-knock performance and reduces engine weight. The DIGTM system helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions, while the use of the turbocharger and intercooler helps boost power. The variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
      The engine is matched with choice of a 6-speed manual transmission, with gear ratios selected to take maximum advantage of the engine's powerband and torque curve, or an advanced, tuned Xtronic transmission.
      "It was important to offer a 6-speed manual transmission with the new Sentra NISMO, both to reinforce its pure performance credentials and to up the direct engagement factor between driver and the vehicle," said Bunce. "While today's sophisticated, paddle shifted automatic gearboxes can often match or exceed the performance of a manual transmission, there's still nothing like the experience of rowing through the gears with three pedals in the footwell."
      For buyers choosing the Xtronic transmission, it has been specially tuned to match the engine's performance. Acceleration feel is enhanced with the Xtronic's D-mode step shift program, giving a more linear acceleration feeling without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds.
      Delivering on the handling aspect of the Sentra NISMO, the engineering team sought to provide a noticeable improvement even beyond the enhanced performance of the new Sentra SR Turbo. Five key areas were designated to meet the NISMO standards – handling response, grip, steering feel, body control and ride/handling balance.
      The NISMO-tuned independent strut front/rear torsion beam suspension goes beyond the SR Turbo's enhanced design (versus non-turbo Sentra grades) by adopting monotube rear dampers and unique tuning of the front springs and struts. The lightweight monotube shock design features separate oil and gas chambers and high-pressure gas charge to help provide quicker response to damper stroke and velocity changes. Faster damper response means faster reaction to changing steering or road conditions. In addition, the NISMO tuning of the springs and struts helps improve body control (roll and pitch) for higher demand cornering.
      Steering effort of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system has also been specially tuned to provide a "NISMO feel." The special dialing in of the effort/response relationship helps provide good highway and winding road feedback, precise on-center definition without overly high driver effort and a linear, direct steering feel at turn-in.
      Also contributing to the overall handling performance is the unique Sentra NISMO wheel and tire combination. Utilizing NISMO 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with newly developed 215/45ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires, cornering power and grip levels are improved, even over the new Sentra SR Turbo. It is the first time 18-inch wheels and tires have been offered on a Sentra. For customers seeking maximum grip, high-performance 215/45WR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires are available through Nissan dealers.
      Like the SR Turbo, the steering system includes a larger steering motor and revised electronic mapping to provide reduced effort at parking and low speeds. The Sentra NISMO also utilizes a 4-wheel disc brake system with 11.7-inch vent front discs and 11.5-inch solid rear discs.
      Like all 2017 Sentra models, Sentra NISMO offers a long list of standard safety and security features – including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
      Also included are child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and available Easy Fill Tire Alert system.
      Just one factory option is available with the Sentra NISMO: the NISMO Premium Package with NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, and Bose® Premium Audio system with 8 speakers.
      "The new Sentra NISMO will attract new customers not currently considering Sentra – enthusiasts looking for a fun-to-drive vehicle with a sporty image yet at an attainable price point," said Bunce. "As the first ‘core' NISMO model in the Nissan lineup, Sentra NISMO takes us back to Nissan's roots of compact performance sedans. The time has come."
    • By William Maley
      Let's be honest for a moment. The current Volkswagen Passat is about as interesting a looking a white wall. But we have to admit Volkswagen has been able to give Passat some style with the introduction of the Passat GT concept. 
      The exterior features a number of cues that you would find on the GTI such a honeycomb grille with a red outline, LED headlights, smoked taillights, and bumper treatments. The roof, mirror caps, and spoiler are blacked out. The interior features carbon fiber trim, black and gray sport seats, and a center console finished in piano black.
      Power comes from a 3.6L VR6 engine with 280 horsepower paired with a six-speed DSG transmission. A new exhaust system with trapezoidal tips has been tuned to produce a nice growl. The suspension has been dropped by 0.6-inches 
      “The Passat GT is an early example of how the new Volkswagen North American Region will meet the needs and desires of American customers going forward. We have the freedom and the responsibility to shape future North American vehicles here in the U.S., combining engineering resources from around the world with our unique perspective and talented local team,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer for the North American Region, Volkswagen. 
      Whether or not we see Volkswagen put the Passat GT into production remains to be seen.
      Source: Volkswagen 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Volkswagen Unveils Passat GT Concept at Automobility LA

      Nov 14, 2016
      Designed in America at the Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. More than 20 interior/exterior updates create the most aggressive Passat yet Combines 280-hp VR6 engine with lowered suspension and sport exhaust Herndon, Va. –  This week at Automobility LA, Volkswagen of America, Inc. will unveil the Passat GT concept, designed by the company’s North American engineering hub in Chattanooga, Tenn. Combining fresh styling updates with the powerful 280-hp VR6® engine, the Passat GT concept previews a potential addition to the Passat lineup. The concept was created by Volkswagen’s North American Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers.
      “The Passat GT is an early example of how the new Volkswagen North American Region will meet the needs and desires of American customers going forward,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer, North American Region, Volkswagen. “We have the freedom and the responsibility to shape future North American vehicles here in the U.S., combining engineering resources from around the world with our unique perspective and talented local team.”
      More than 20 design changes from the standard Passat mark the GT as a unique, eye-catching sedan. Starting from the black honeycomb grille insert with red accent lines that harken to those on the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the upgrades include unique bumper treatments, black window surrounds, a black roof and trunk spoiler, LED headlights, smoked taillights, a dual trapezoidal exhaust and a sport muffler. The 19-inch Tornado wheels cover red-painted brake calipers, and a 0.6-inch reduction in ride height gives the Passat GT concept a road-hugging stance.
      Inside, the Passat GT creates a sportier impression with carbon-fiber pattern door trim and instrument panel, two-tone black-and-gray sport seats with contrast stitching, a black headliner and piano black center console trim. Power comes from the Volkswagen 3.6-liter TSI® VR6, which makes 280 horsepower, tied to a six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, controlled through shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Let's be honest for a moment. The current Volkswagen Passat is about as interesting a looking a white wall. But we have to admit Volkswagen has been able to give Passat some style with the introduction of the Passat GT concept. 
      The exterior features a number of cues that you would find on the GTI such a honeycomb grille with a red outline, LED headlights, smoked taillights, and bumper treatments. The roof, mirror caps, and spoiler are blacked out. The interior features carbon fiber trim, black and gray sport seats, and a center console finished in piano black.
      Power comes from a 3.6L VR6 engine with 280 horsepower paired with a six-speed DSG transmission. A new exhaust system with trapezoidal tips has been tuned to produce a nice growl. The suspension has been dropped by 0.6-inches 
      “The Passat GT is an early example of how the new Volkswagen North American Region will meet the needs and desires of American customers going forward. We have the freedom and the responsibility to shape future North American vehicles here in the U.S., combining engineering resources from around the world with our unique perspective and talented local team,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer for the North American Region, Volkswagen. 
      Whether or not we see Volkswagen put the Passat GT into production remains to be seen.
      Source: Volkswagen 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Volkswagen Unveils Passat GT Concept at Automobility LA

      Nov 14, 2016
      Designed in America at the Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. More than 20 interior/exterior updates create the most aggressive Passat yet Combines 280-hp VR6 engine with lowered suspension and sport exhaust Herndon, Va. –  This week at Automobility LA, Volkswagen of America, Inc. will unveil the Passat GT concept, designed by the company’s North American engineering hub in Chattanooga, Tenn. Combining fresh styling updates with the powerful 280-hp VR6® engine, the Passat GT concept previews a potential addition to the Passat lineup. The concept was created by Volkswagen’s North American Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers.
      “The Passat GT is an early example of how the new Volkswagen North American Region will meet the needs and desires of American customers going forward,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer, North American Region, Volkswagen. “We have the freedom and the responsibility to shape future North American vehicles here in the U.S., combining engineering resources from around the world with our unique perspective and talented local team.”
      More than 20 design changes from the standard Passat mark the GT as a unique, eye-catching sedan. Starting from the black honeycomb grille insert with red accent lines that harken to those on the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the upgrades include unique bumper treatments, black window surrounds, a black roof and trunk spoiler, LED headlights, smoked taillights, a dual trapezoidal exhaust and a sport muffler. The 19-inch Tornado wheels cover red-painted brake calipers, and a 0.6-inch reduction in ride height gives the Passat GT concept a road-hugging stance.
      Inside, the Passat GT creates a sportier impression with carbon-fiber pattern door trim and instrument panel, two-tone black-and-gray sport seats with contrast stitching, a black headliner and piano black center console trim. Power comes from the Volkswagen 3.6-liter TSI® VR6, which makes 280 horsepower, tied to a six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, controlled through shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
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