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    New York Auto Show: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    March 27, 2013

    Nissan is taking the next big on the evolution of the fourth-generation Pathfinder with the introduction of the new 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid at the New York Auto Show today. The Pathfinder Hybrid is the first model to debut Nissan’s new hybrid system.

    The hybrid system is made up of a 2.5L supercharged four-cylinder gas engine and a electric motor paired with a compact Lithium-ion battery. Total output stands at 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. That power is routed through Nissan’s Xtronic CVT to either the front wheels or all four wheels.

    The system also features Nissan’s Intelligent Dual Clutch System. Positioned between the engine and CVT, the system manages power from both the electric motor and the gas engine to have them running at most efficent. The system also acts a generator, collecting energy from the CVT.

    Fuel economy numbers are estimated to be 25 City/27 Highway/26 Combined. With a 19.5 gallon gas tank, Nissan says the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid can travel up 526 miles on one tank. The Hybrid can also tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

    The 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid arrives this summer.

    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


    2014 NISSAN PATHFINDER HYBRID OFFERS 26 MPG COMBINED FUEL ECONOMY AND 526-MILE DRIVING RANGE – WITH NO COMPROMISE OF PERFORMANCE OR INTERIOR ROOMINESS

    – Most Fuel-Efficient Pathfinder Ever Features New Affordable Hybrid System;

    Available in Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive or Front-Wheel Drive and Choice of Trim Levels –

    With the introduction of an all-new fourth-generation Pathfinder for the 2013 model year, Nissan’s legendary adventure-ready Next Gen SUV took a major step forward in refinement, enhanced fuel economy, cutting-edge technology and family utility – including its industry first EZ Flex™ Seating System with innovative LATCH AND GLIDE™ technology. Now, for the 2014 model year, the evolution of the Pathfinder continues with the introduction of a new affordable hybrid powertrain system designed to enhance fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions with no reduction of driving performance, passenger roominess or cargo capacity.

    The Pathfinder’s new Hybrid powertrain option will be available in three fully equipped trim levels – SV, SL and Platinum – when it joins the lineup in late summer 2013. It is expected to be priced at around just $3,000 more than Pathfinder 3.5-liter V6 models.

    Said Nissan North America, Inc. Vice President, Product Planning Pierre Loing: “The Pathfinder Hybrid is highly affordable because it matches motor and battery size well, while minimizing the number of additional parts or modifications needed to the platform and body. It is designed as a logical bridge between conventional internal combustion engine powertrains and the wider acceptance of hybrid systems by providing enhanced efficiency with no compromises versus the standard vehicle.”

    Adventure Goes Green

    Known as the perfect family adventure vehicle, the Pathfinder Hybrid blends “green” technology with comfortable seating for seven and 3,500-pound towing capacity (when properly equipped).

    For the Hybrid version, Pathfinder’s standard 3.5-liter V6 is replaced by a new supercharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a compact Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. The 15 kW electric motor and gas engine work in tandem to provide performance similar to the conventional Pathfinder. The system is rated at 250 net horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque – versus the 3.5-liter V6’s 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.

    The hybrid system also uses a Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch System (one motor / two clutch parallel system) that efficiently manages power from both the electric motor and the gas engine. Positioned between the gasoline engine and the next-gen Xtronic CVT® (where the torque converter would normally be), the motor also functions as a generator, conveying deceleration force from the CVT to the battery. One clutch is installed between the gasoline engine and the electric motor, the other within the CVT.

    Fuel economy is estimated* at 26 mpg Combined, an increase of 24 percent over the standard Pathfinder. Estimated City fuel economy is 25 mpg, while Highway mileage is estimated at 27 mpg. With the Pathfinder Hybrid’s large 19.5-gallon fuel tank, the same as non-hybrid models, driving range is estimated at more than 526 miles**.

    Another key to the system’s non-compromising design efficiency is the use of a space-saving Li-ion battery fitted under the 3rd row seat, preserving Pathfinder’s unique 2nd row sliding functionality and easy access to the 3rd row. A regenerative braking system automatically recharges the battery by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy that would be otherwise lost in braking.

    Said Loing: “With this innovative design, there is no reduction of passenger seating capacity, 2nd or 3rd row legroom or cargo space. And, with the flat rather than raised floor, entry and exit to and from every row is as easy and convenient as the non-hybrid Pathfinder models.”

    Visually the Pathfinder Hybrid is marked by efficient LED taillights and Nissan PUREDRIVE® Hybrid badges. In addition, special hybrid information screens are added to the instrument panel’s Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display.

    Next Generation Style, Spaciousness and Comfort

    Beyond its hybrid powertrain and distinctive LED taillights, the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid is pure fourth-generation Pathfinder. That means that along with reduced weight of its unibody construction (versus the previous generation’s body-on-frame design), it offers an attractive, aerodynamic exterior without compromising headroom or cargo capacity. The look is adventure-ready with wheel-oriented muscular fenders and a strong, stable stance. The upper body features an open cabin with a low beltline and thin A- and D-pillars, which flow smoothly into the rugged, durable-looking lower body. The coefficient of drag is 0.34.

    Other exterior details include a wide chrome grille and large aerodynamic headlights, recessed front windshield wipers, chrome door handles and the large rear LED combination lights. An available Dual Panorama Moonroof, with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel which extends over the 2nd and 3rd rows, combines with the large windows to create an open, airy interior environment.

    Pathfinder’s quiet, comfortable interior includes a wide range of available features, including three rows of rich leather-appointed seating surfaces, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, multiple user memory settings and an advanced Bose® Audio System with 13 speakers. SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).

    An unmatched level of versatility comes to life in the design of the 2nd and 3rd rows with exceptional 3rd row access – thanks to large rear door openings and the EZ Flex™ Seating System with 5.5 inches of 2nd row seat travel for ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row. The 60/40-split 2nd row features innovative LATCH AND GLIDE™ technology that allows forward movement and access to the 3rd row with a child safety seat remaining securely in place (on the passenger curb side). With the extensive 2nd row seat travel, it’s easy to adjust legroom or accommodate cargo spontaneously as needed.

    The 3rd row seat is a 50/50 split-folding design, offering added cargo flexibility, and it also reclines for greater passenger comfort – a feature not offered with other SUVs in class. Both the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat for optimal cargo capacity.

    Thoughtful, Advanced Technology

    Thoughtful technology is also found throughout the Pathfinder Hybrid interior, starting with the instrument panel, which includes the Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display in the center of the instrument cluster right in front of the driver. With hybrid-equipped models, the customizable, easy-to-read 4.2-inch color monitor can show power flow readings from the electric motor and gas engine, along with power regeneration back into the battery.

    The instrument panel also includes a large multifunction center IT display, available Nissan Navigation System with NavTraffic real-time traffic and NavWeather weather information (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat Survey® restaurant guide, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and RearView Monitor.

    Pathfinder also features available advanced, class-exclusive*** Around View® Monitor, which provides the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. Other technology includes Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, power rear liftgate, iPod® integration and tri-zone entertainment system with 2nd row head restraint-mounted DVD display screens.

    The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display and class-exclusive Easy Fill Tire Alert that provides both visual and audible signals to help owners conveniently maintain correct tire pressures without the use of a gauge is standard. The available remote engine start function allows the climate control system to warm up or cool down the interior prior to driving.

    Responsive Handling, Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive

    Like all Pathfinders, Hybrid versions offer a quiet, comfortable ride and handling provided by an independent strut front/multi-link rear suspension and with hydraulic electric power-assisted steering standard. Available wheel and tire combinations include 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/55R20 all-season tires.

    With the available intuitive four-wheel drive, Pathfinder continues to serve as an excellent vehicle for inclement weather driving conditions.

    Pathfinder is the only vehicle in class**** with selectable 2WD, Auto or 4WD Lock modes for its available intuitive ALL-MODE 4x4-i system. The system lets the driver choose full-time 2WD for maximum fuel economy, Auto mode to automatically monitor conditions and adjust the balance of power between front and rear wheels for best traction, or 4WD Lock mode when the confidence of full-time 4WD is desired. In addition, standard Hill Start Assist helps add control when starting and driving away on a steep incline (both 4WD and 2WD models).

    Hybrid-equipped Pathfinders also retain the ability to tow boats, jet skis, trailers and a variety of other recreational gear with standard towing capacity of 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped).

    “The Pathfinder Hybrid takes all the style, features, utility and amenities of the popular new Pathfinder and adds fuel efficiency and driving range, without losing one bit of its real-world, everyday lifestyle-enhancing fun and flexibility,” concluded Loing. “As the most fuel-efficient Pathfinder ever, we believe it’s going to be a great addition to the lineup for 2014.”

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      2015
       
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    • By William Maley
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      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
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      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
      Nissan Group reports October 2016 U.S. sales
      NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Group today announced total U.S. sales for October 2016 of 113,520 units, a decrease of 2.2 percent from the prior year.
      Nissan highlights:
      Nissan Division finished October with 102,312 sales. Overall sales of Nissan crossovers, trucks and SUVs rose 12.7 percent, setting an October record. Murano crossover sales also set an October record, increasing 100 percent to 10,701. Frontier sales in October increased 33.6 percent to 6,364. Pathfinder SUV sales increased 15 percent to 6,421. Armada full-size SUV sales gained 79.4 percent to 1,740.
        NISSAN DIVISION
      OCTOBER
       
      OCTOBER
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Nissan Division Total
      102,312
       
      104,904
       
      -2.5
       
      1,188,561
       
      1,131,824
       
      5.0
      Versa
      8,911
       
      13,855
       
      -35.7
       
      115,366
       
      123,687
       
      -6.7
      Sentra
      14,168
       
      14,974
       
      -5.4
       
      183,644
       
      169,244
       
      8.5
      Cube
      0
       
      14
       
      N/A
       
      15
       
      926
       
      -98.4
      Altima
      20,257
       
      20,948
       
      -3.3
       
      262,578
       
      283,372
       
      -7.3
      Maxima
      3,908
       
      4,903
       
      -20.3
       
      53,284
       
      31,704
       
      68.1
      LEAF
      1,412
       
      1,238
       
      14.1
       
      10,650
       
      14,868
       
      -28.4
      Juke
      858
       
      1,804
       
      -52.4
       
      17,072
       
      23,266
       
      -26.6
      370Z
      400
       
      647
       
      -38.2
       
      5,205
       
      6,529
       
      -20.3
      GT-R
      57
       
      58
       
      -1.7
       
      594
       
      987
       
      -39.8
      Total Car
      49,971
       
      58,441
       
      -14.5
       
      648,408
       
      654,583
       
      -0.9
      Frontier
      6,364
       
      4,764
       
      33.6
       
      75,752
       
      52,025
       
      45.6
      Titan
      3,181
       
      882
       
      260.7
       
      14,155
       
      10,403
       
      36.1
      Xterra
      0
       
      421
       
      N/A
       
      38
       
      10,433
       
      -99.6
      Pathfinder
      6,421
       
      5,584
       
      15.0
       
      65,532
       
      68,581
       
      -4.4
      Armada
      1,740
       
      970
       
      79.4
       
      9,823
       
      10,769
       
      -8.8
      Rogue
      21,179
       
      24,939
       
      -15.1
       
      262,798
       
      238,146
       
      10.4
      Murano
      10,701
       
      5,350
       
      100.0
       
      71,483
       
      50,250
       
      42.3
      Quest
      152
       
      753
       
      -79.8
       
      10,207
       
      8,362
       
      22.1
      NV
      1,360
       
      1,391
       
      -2.2
       
      14,743
       
      13,929
       
      5.8
      NV200
      1,243
       
      1,409
       
      -11.8
       
      15,622
       
      14,343
       
      8.9
      Total Truck
      52,341
       
      46,463
       
      12.7
       
      540,153
       
      477,241
       
      13.2
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      INFINITI
      OCTOBER
       
      OCTOBER
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Infiniti Total
      11,208
       
      11,143
       
      0.6
       
      107,983
       
      106,711
       
      1.2
      Infiniti Q40
      0
       
      33
       
      N/A
       
      59
       
      8,536
       
      -99.3
      Infiniti Q50
      3,689
       
      3,811
       
      -3.2
       
      34,852
       
      35,414
       
      -1.6
      Infiniti Q60
      725
       
      273
       
      165.6
       
      2,138
       
      3,453
       
      -38.1
      Infiniti Q70
      451
       
      682
       
      -33.9
       
      4,946
       
      6,986
       
      -29.2
      Infiniti QX30
      723
       
      0
       
      N/A
       
      1,046
       
      0
       
      N/A
      Infiniti QX50
      1,106
       
      989
       
      11.8
       
      13,505
       
      3,107
       
      334.7
      Infiniti QX60
      2,929
       
      3,669
       
      -20.2
       
      33,996
       
      33,047
       
      2.9
      Infiniti QX70
      371
       
      480
       
      -22.7
       
      4,433
       
      4,430
       
      0.1
      Infiniti QX80
      1,214
       
      1,206
       
      0.7
       
      13,008
       
      11,738
       
      10.8
      Total Car
      4,865
       
      4,799
       
      1.4
       
      41,995
       
      54,389
       
      -22.8
      Total Truck
      6,343
       
      6,344
       
      0.0
       
      65,988
       
      52,322
       
      26.1
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      NISSAN GROUP
      OCTOBER
       
      OCTOBER
       
      Monthly
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      CYTD
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
      2016
       
      2015
       
      % chg
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      TOTAL VEHICLE
      113,520
       
      116,047
       
      -2.2
       
      1,296,544
       
      1,238,535
       
      4.7
      Total Car
      54,836
       
      63,240
       
      -13.3
       
      690,403
       
      708,972
       
      -2.6
      Total Truck
      58,684
       
      52,807
       
      11.1
       
      606,141
       
      529,563
       
      14.5
      Selling days
      26
       
      28
       
       
       
      255
       
      257
       
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Only a few months after Nissan announced it would buy a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, the deal is now official. Nissan will pay 237 billion yen (about $2.29 billion) to purchase a 34 percent stake into Mitsubishi. As part of this deal, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become Chairman of the Board. Osamu Masuko will remain Mitsubishi Motors CEO and President.
      "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder. As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance," said Masuko in a statement.
      With Ghosn becoming chairman at a third company (he also holds the role at Nissan and Renault), he has appointed Nissan Vice Chairman and Chief Competition Officer Hiroto Saikawa as his co-CEO at Nissan.
      The two companies are planning to collaborate on joint purchasing, localization, factory sharing, and using common vehicle platforms. Ghosn says this will help bring savings totaling $231 million next year and rising the year after.
      "We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust. This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship," said Ghosn.
      Source: Mitsubishi Motors, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Mitsubishi Motors Joins Renault-Nissan Alliance
      MMC to receive strategic, operational and management support from Nissan Synergy benefits to enhance MMC profit margins and earnings per share Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman and CEO, named chairman-elect of MMC New role created of Director for Global Risk Control Tokyo , October 20 , 2016 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announces that Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has become its largest shareholder after completing the purchase of 34% of MMC-issued stock for 237 billion JPY.
      As part of Nissan's strategic investment, MMC will become a full member of the 17-year strong global alliance between Nissan and Renault – paving the way for synergies to enhance profit margins and earnings per share.
      Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has been nominated to become chairman of the Board. Ghosn will be joined by three other Nissan nominated directors, including Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan's former executive vice president of research and development, who joined MMC earlier this year as head of development. The other nominees are Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Nissan chief sustainability officer and head of global external affairs, and Hiroshi Karube, Nissan global controller and global asset manager.
      MMC President and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko requested that Nissan also provide a senior executive to join the company's executive committee to bolster MMC's management. Trevor Mann, currently Chief Performance Officer of Nissan, will become Chief Operating Officer of MMC.
      "I welcome Nissan's willingness to provide strategic, operational and management support as our new lead shareholder," said Masuko. "As part of our Board and management team, Nissan will help us to rebuild customer trust in our company and maximize potential future synergies through our deeper alliance."
      MMC will appoint a new role of director for global risk control to report directly to the chief executive officer, who will oversee compliance and risk control. This director will regularly report to the board on moves to enhance governance at MMC.
      The three largest institutional shareholders in MMC – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – have welcomed Nissan's investment and pledged their support for its board nominees. Moving forward, these three Mitsubishi institutional shareholders together with Nissan will maintain a more than 51 percent of the share capital.
      Nissan and MMC will begin cooperating on a wide-ranging synergy program, building on a five-year alliance in minicars between the two companies.
      The two companies have identified a number of valuable synergies in areas including:
      - Joint purchasing cost-reduction
      - Deeper localization in operations around the world
      - Joint plant utilization
      - Common vehicle platforms
      - Technology sharing
      - Cooperation in emerging and developed markets; and
      - The use of the Nissan Sales Finance Company to serve MMC customers in any market where mutually beneficial.
      The partnership is expected to generate significant recurring synergies for MMC, equivalent to a 1 percentage point increase in operating profit margin in fiscal year 2017, 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2018, and more than 2 percentage points in fiscal year 2019. The projected synergies are also forecasted to enhance MMC earnings per share in fiscal year 2017 by 12 yen per share, and by 20 yen per share in fiscal year 2018.
      Ghosn said: "The expanded Alliance will be one of the largest automotive groups in the world, with annual sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016. The addition of Mitsubishi Motors will build on the entrepreneurial spirit and management cooperation that has characterized our alliance with Renault for 17 years. I am confident this will benefit all stakeholders."
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