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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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