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    William Maley

    The Production Version of the Nissan IDx Has Reached A Dead End

    The Nissan IDx concepts received rave reviews from the press and public when they debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2012. A modern interpretation of the iconic Datsun 510 from the 70's, the concepts were small, rear-drive coupes that could compete with the likes of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. The past year or so saw reports of a production model possible arriving in 2016. But since then, Nissan hasn't said anything about them.
    The Truth About Cars reports that plans for a production version of IDx has been canned. Speaking with Pierre Loing, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America, he explained that the company doesn't have a small enough rear-drive platform to do a production IDx. The 370Z was a possible candidate, but it was deemed too big.
    What about developing a new platform for the IDx?
    “Small, sporty cars are very attractive for consumers but not in huge numbers. To do them properly – in our case – you can’t rely on an existing rear-wheel drive platform, because its dimensions are for a much larger powertrain. So, for us, it would mean developing a different rear-wheel drive platform and then we are bumping into the same obstacles every other automaker has: the volumes of a small, sporty car are not enough to justify the investment,” said Loing.
    So while the dreams of a rear-drive IDx have been dashed, the design of the IDx could be transferred to a front-wheel drive based model.
    “I think we may still have some room (to add a retro-inspired car). We have a wide lineup.”
    Source: The Truth About Cars

    William Maley

    A sad day for Nissan and Z fans

    Yutaka Katayama, a former executive for Nissan and "father of the Z,"passed away this week at the age 105 due to heart failure. His son Mitsuo confirmed the news to The Associated Press.
    Katayama has a long history with Nissan as he joined the company back in 1935. He held many roles at the company dealing with marketing and publicity. Many consider his greatest achievement to be the person who gave life to the original Datsun Z sports car.
    "A car is a horse. I want to drive a thoroughbred that's in tune with my heartbeat, but not something that's too dressed up for someone like me," said Katayama to The Associated Press in a 2002 interview.
    His other achievement was bringing Nissan into U.S. via the Datsun brand.
    "His greatest achievement, I think, was the fact that he was able to give many American Datsun dealers their own success story," said Mitsuo Katayama.
    Katayama would retire from Nissan in 1977. He was inducted into to both the American and Japanese Automotive Hall of Fame.
    Yutaka Katayama is survived by his wife, four children, 11 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.
    Source: Associated Press, Nissan
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Nissan legend Yutaka Katayama, aka “Mr. K,” dies at 105
    YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan legend Yutaka Katayama, the man known as “Mr. K,” has died. He was 105.
    Katayama ran Nissan’s U.S. operations from in the 1970s and is widely known as the father of the Datsun Z, the world-class affordable sports car. He retired from Nissan in 1977.
    In September last year, Katayama granted a rare three-part interview with the Nissan Global Media Center in which he reflects on nearly 80 years in the car business.
    Born in September 1909, in what is now Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Mr. K joined the company in 1935 and was assigned to the Administration Department, first handling publicity and then advertising.
    He made one of the first color films of a Datsun on Japanese roads and later filmed motor sport races across the globe, raising the bar for decades of visual story telling ahead.
    With a love of cars and a flare for promotion, he built the Datsun brand, Nissan's initial brand name in the U.S., from scratch.
    He had first visited the U.S. as an assistant on a high-speed vessel carrying raw silk in 1927 while a student at Keio University.
    In his storied career, he was team manager as two Datsun 210s were entered in a grueling rally circumnavigating the Australian continent. The subsequent victory instantly catapulted the brand into worldwide renown and set the stage for Datsun exports.
    Notably, he put together the key concepts for the Z-car, contributing significantly to the birth of an exceptional sports car still revered by driving enthusiasts.
    Retiring in 1977, he was later inducted into the American Automotive Hall of Fame in 1998 for ushering in a generation of vehicles that redefined the American car market, as well as the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame for pioneering deeds on both sides of the Pacific.
    Among other key achievements, Katayama promoted the first All-Japan Motor Show in 1954, as well as laid the foundations for Nissan North America.

    William Maley

    Surprise! Nissan Reveals the new Maxima.. and their LMP1 racer

    Nissan decided to their commercial on the Super Bowl to reveal two new cars. The first is their LMP1 racer that will enter Le Mans in June. What makes their racer stand out is that it happens to be a front-engine model, not the mid-engine variety that has been part of endurance racing for quite awhile.
    Now for the big surprise of the ad. Towards the end of the ad, there's a peculiar sedan draped in red which looks very familiar to the Sports Sedan Concept shown at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Before it fades to black, we see the back of the sedan where the Maxima nameplate appears.
    We'll likely learn more about the Maxima in the coming months. In the meantime, you can check out Nissan's ad below.
    Source: Nissan


    William Maley

    Nissan Changes Their Tone Concerning Future Products

    For awhile, it seem Nissan was going a bit crazy with exciting, performance-focused concepts. Recent examples include the IDx concept, the distinctive electric BladeGlider concept, and the Formula One inspired Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept. Executives at both automakers talked up these concepts and the possibility of them going into production. But now, talk has almost gone to a dead silence.
    Automotive News notes that there is a distinctive change in tone at both automakers during the auto show when speaking with executives. Instead of being excited and speaking about these concepts, Nissan's executives talked about putting their efforts behind a core group of cars that sell in high volumes. Cases in point include a major change for the Nissan Altima in 2016, and Infiniti working on trying to rebuild its portfolio starting with the upcoming Q60 coupe.
    It also helps that two key proponents of these vehicles have moved on. Former head of Infiniti Johan de Nysschen stepped down in summer to take the reigns at Cadillac. Meanwhile Andy Palmer - then Nissan's global product planning chief - became CEO of Aston Martin late last year.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Crossovers and Trucks Wearing the NISMO Nameplate? It Could Happen

    Nissan is working hard into changing its performance and racing arm, NISMO, into a real player. This is being shown by how many hatchbacks and sport cars are coming out with the NISMO name. But NISMO is considering expanding their reach to other Nissan models.
    CarAdvice.com.au recently spoke with Nissan marketing chief Darren Cox and Nismo boss Shoichi Miyatani, and both said a Nismo-tuned SUV or pickup are on the table. That could include the Navara and Qashqai crossover. But there's no telling what other vehicles could go under the NISMO transformation.
    “Nismo has to be a credible production car from Nissan that’s sporty and therefore we study the implications of that, a pickup could be an interesting product because of its global nature when we go into other markets.” said Cox.
    Source: CarAdvice.com.au

    William Maley

    What Nissan Has In Mind For Their Next Midsize Truck?

    With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon heading into showrooms in a few months, we've haven't heard anything from Nissan or Toyota about what they have in store for their next-generation midsize trucks. But that has changed for one automaker.
    The Truth About Cars has heard some information about what's in store for the next-generation Frontier. A supplier source has told them that Nissan will be using the new Navara truck as the base for the next-generation truck. Previously, Nissan was going to use bones of the first-generation Frontier (D22 platform) for their next-generation truck. The reason for this is that the company saw a possible chance for the affordable, fuel-efficient compact truck to make a return. However, Nissan's engineers weren't able to bring the truck to modern safety standards and the costs to make it modern were too much.
    Using the Navara as a base will give Nissan a truck that can meet modern safety standards and be able to come with a range of different engines, including a diesel of some sort. The downside of using the Navara platform is that it's too expensive for what Nissan is looking for, so a number of features and content will be removed for the U.S. market.
    Nissan Mexico will be in charge of working on this new truck and will go on sale in 2018.
    Source: The Truth About Cars, 2
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    The Nissan IDx Concept May Just Remain A Concept

    Last year at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan debuted the IDx concepts. Looking like a modern interpretation of the Datsun 510 from the seventies, the IDx was a small, rear-drive coupe that could be a competitor to the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S. In fact, many reports have cited comments made by Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer saying that production model could arrive by 2016. But according to Wards Auto, the dream maybe is just that.
    Wards had the chance to speak with Pierre Loing, vice president-product planning for Nissan Americas. Loing explained that the automaker is having a tough time trying to make a business case for the vehicle.
    “It’s not easy to do, (and) if you do something like this and you manage to do a vehicle at (a low) price, what else would you do on this platform? Because frankly to do a platform for 50,000 or 60,000 (units) a year – it’s not worth it,” said Loing. “Will (the IDx) become something or not is debated, but certainly not (by 2016).”
    Source: Wards Auto
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Drew Dowdell

    Just a few weeks after been unveiled in New York, some 2015 Nissan Murano prototypes step out for a drive.

    Three weeks ago, at the New York International Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the 2015 Murano. The Murano has always been a crossover with more curvaceous lines than the rest of its peers and this new version is no exception. As it was so soon after the NY Auto Show, I was caught off guard today during a trip from Indianapolis, IN to Columbus, OH by these two 2015 Murano prototypes cruising on I-70 with no camouflage. The silver one looked fairly complete and wearing all of its trim, while the black one had clearly been taped up with plastic previously and was missing several exterior trim pieces. You can clearly see the “floating roof” treatment that Nissan is trying out with this model by blacking out part of the D-pillar.
    The 2015 Murano will be powered by a carryover 3.5 liter VQ-V6 producing 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. An updated version of Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission will contribute to the reported 20% gain in fuel economy over the existing model.
    The 2015 Nissan Murano goes on sale late this year.

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    Drew Dowdell

    Nissan reveals a refreshed 2015 GT-R along with a race inspired NISMO version

    November 19th, 2013
    Drew Dowdell
    Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com
    Nissan has unveiled an updated GT-R for the 2015 model year while also adding a race inspired NISMO version.
    Visually, the 2015 GT-R exterior differs little from the 2014 model with changes limited to new exterior lighting. Nissan added multi-LED headlights with a new Adaptive Front Lighting System feature that automatically adjusts the angle of the headlight beam as the speed of the car changes, sending the headlight beam further at highway speeds and closer in suburban driving. included in the headlight is a "lightning" LED light pipe design. Tail lights are 4 rings of LEDs. In the interior, there is a new pail ivory trim option and all trims now have accent stitching.
    Most of of the updates to the GT-R fall under the mechanical heading. The electronically controlled suspension has been has been refined for both better stability and better ride. Braking calibration is changed for better everyday driving and steering effort has been reduced at low speeds while keeping the heavier feedback during more spirited driving.
    2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO
    Claimed to be the fastest GT-R ever, the NISMO with track options holds the current production car lap record on the Nürburgring.
    With new larger turbo-chargers, upgraded fuel pump and ignition control, the 3.8 liter twin-turbo V6 is now rated at 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. This compliments suspension improvements that include custom Bilstein 3-mode dampers at all four corners, exclusive new Dunlop tires, and new hollow rear anti-roll bar to raise roll stiffness while reducing weight.
    Externally, the redesigned front bumper, engine undercover, and carbon fiber rear spoiler work together to increase downforce.
    NISMO version of the Nissan GT-R will be available in the U.S. around mid-year 2014.
    Press releases on page 2 and 3
    2015 Nissan GT-R Overview
    Outstanding performance meets a new level of sophistication
    Mechanical Updates
    With outstanding adhesion from its tires, the GT-R is capable of stunning confident acceleration and braking performance
    The suspension was fine-tuned to reduced load fluctuation between the four wheels, giving better stability and more consistent grip. More constant tire contact is achieved by optimized electronic control of the shock-absorber valves, as well as modified front stabilizer spring rates and updated bush link. The tuning of these parts, which makes best use of the suspension strokes and enhances road-holding capability, gives a poised, confident ride and outstanding traction on rough roads. With minute vibrations and road noise reduced, a relaxing, comfortable ride is assured. An additional benefit is improved straight-line stability, with fewer small steering corrections needed to maintain the correct trajectory during highway driving. The upgraded GT-R is now fitted as standard with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT tires, for outstanding road-holding and precise response in all conditions thanks to stiffer sidewalls which reduce deformation, improving steering response under hard cornering. At the front, their specification is: 255/40ZRF20(97Y) and at the rear: 285/35ZRF20(100Y) The braking calibration has been retuned for a more firm, linear response at everyday speeds, making smooth braking more intuitive, generating greater confidence, particularly in wet conditions. The GT-R’s steering has been fine-tuned to reduce the effort required for in-town maneuvers, while maintaining its exceptional feedback during high-speed driving. The combination of retuned suspension and exceptional steering feel give outstanding confidence at high speed. Exterior design
    Dazzling motion when standing still
    The 2015 Nissan GT-R maintains its position as one of the most striking supercars in the market. Significant updates to the Nissan GT-R’s lights both enhance the visual impact of the car. Customers looking for added visual impact now have a wider color palette to choose from.
    The 2015 Nissan GT-R sports new efficient, high-intensity, multi-LED headlights that create a distinctive “lightning” motif, generating a striking exterior visual signature. With such a unique visual reference, the GT-R’s road presence is enhanced, particularly in low light and at night – while the fitment of the new headlights gives the driver increased visibility. The new headlights feature AFS (Adaptive Front lighting System*) that automatically adapts the angle of the light beam according to the speed of the car. At highway speeds, actuators in the headlight unit adjust the angle of the projectors to project the light further. The four LED units are configured with new intensive LED high beam and three different LED low beams including long-distance-illumination and wide-illumination. At the rear, the GT-R’s distinctive four-ring tail light signature now forms coherent circles of illumination, giving the GT-R an equally distinctive appearance, making it easily recognizable to fellow owners and enthusiasts. Upon start up, the full new lighting signature is illuminated, creating a dramatic start-up procedure. Visual appeal is reinforced with the addition of a new body color called Gold Flake Red Pearl. As its name suggests, there are microscopic gold-tinted glass flakes infused into the red paint, creating a spectacular effect in the deep, lustrous paint as the light catches the finish.  
    Upscale cabin appointments
    Choice of three interior color schemes includes a new pale ivory trim option. The steering wheel is trimmed in leather, for premium tactility, while the part-aniline leather seats are further embellished with stitched accents, giving the ambience of a genuine GT designed for cross-continental, first-class travel.  
    Body construction
    Advanced body construction
    To achieve the project’s ambitious targets for high-speed handling and ride comfort, Nissan enhanced the level of precision-constructed body elements and advanced assembly methods to create the 2015 Nissan GT-R. Each part is made of materials selected for optimum performance: Precision-constructed, multi-material hybrid body combines steel, carbon fiber and die-cast aluminum to achieve high stiffness and light weight. Thanks to the rigidity of the GT-R’s body construction, suspension precision is guaranteed while refinement is enhanced, resulting in exceptional cabin refinement even at high speeds and under hard cornering. Thanks to optimized insulation and acoustic tuning, even at high speeds, the occupants are able to enjoy the sporty engine sound. An optional carbon rear wing is offered, which is attached to a carbon trunk lid, giving a weight saving of half compared with the standard trunk lid.  
    *Adaptive Front lighting System is unavailable in some regions.
    – Nissan GT-R NISMO Joins 2015 Nissan GT-R –
    World premiere of race-inspired version of Nissan’s legendary GT-R 600hp (447kw) for blistering performance Advanced aerodynamics generating additional 100kg of downforce at 300km/h (186mph) for exceptional road-holding YOKOHAMA, Japan – Records fall and dreams come true with the debut of the Nissan GT-R NISMO. This race-oriented model delivers “factory tuned” supercar dynamics with revolutionary enhanced aerodynamics and ultra-precise handling. The Nissan GT-R is already established as one of the best performing supercars in the automotive sphere, and now Nissan has drawn on decades of racing experience gathered by NISMO, the brand’s motorsport specialists, to develop the ultimate Nissan GT-R.
    The Nissan GT-R NISMO features exclusive styling that embraces the longstanding racing philosophy of form following function. It has numerous motorsports-inspired technologies to enhance the car’s performance through optimized aerodynamics, suspension and powertrain, creating a well-balanced machine that is at home on both the road and track.
    The Nissan GT-R NISMO will be available in Japan in late February 2014, U.S. and Europe later in 2014.
    Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says this is the fastest Nissan GT-R ever. "With a 7:08.679 lap time, we can authoritatively say that the Nissan GT-R NISMO* holds the volume production car lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is the gold standard of high performance achievement."
    Nissan GT-R NISMO Overview - Flagship of the NISMO lineup
    1. Mechanical Features
    Nissan GT-R NISMO employs innovation, uncompromising engineering and motorsports-inspired technologies to achieve new levels of power, speed and handling.
    Under the hood, the 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine benefits from the know-how that NISMO has gained from participating in such events as the world-renowned Nürburgring 24 hour race. Engine power has risen and is now rated at 600hp (447kw) and 481 lb ft (652 Nm) of torque. New high-flow, large diameter turbochargers, which are used for GT3 racing, improve breathing, while optimized individual ignition timing control for each cylinder and upgraded fuel pump improve combustion. Chassis
    The suspension set-up is inspired by that of the NISMO racing GT-R and tuned for stunning agility, road-holding and handling finesse, without compromising refinement. The springs and custom-developed Bilstein DampTronic dampers in the front and rear suspension are specially tuned to deliver exceptional grip levels and progressive handling response at the limit. Three suspension modes can be selected: Comfort, Normal and R, for circuit applications. Exclusive NISMO tires – developed by Dunlop – exhibit outstanding grip and handling characteristics. Front: 255/40 ZRF20; rear 285/35 ZRF20. Specially developed links fitted to the front double wishbone suspension increase castor trail to optimize wheel position during high-G cornering and improve straight-line and cornering stability. Additionally, large high-rigidity bolts are used to increase stiffness of the wheel-hub attachment area. To minimize body-roll during cornering and changes of direction, the Nissan GT-R NISMO features a 17.3 mm hollow rear anti-roll bar, which raises roll stiffness while reducing weight. Body construction
    Increased rigidity in the body shell is achieved using adhesive bonding in addition to spot welding leading to precise suspension response under extreme load, the NISMO “factory tuned” enhancement. 2. Exterior design – Exclusive styling with improved aerodynamics
    Using the latest Computational Fluid Dynamic simulation techniques to analyze airflow, NISMO has developed an aero package that improves road-holding, minimizes the negative impact of drag, while giving the car a menacing and muscular appearance. Together, the front bumper, engine undercover strake and carbon rear spoiler increase downforce, lowering the center of gravity and generating an additional 100kg (at 300km/h) compared to the freshly updated 2014 GT-R model. The car’s aerodynamic characteristics are tuned to ensure the downforce is equally spread front to rear at all speeds for progressive handling characteristics. A widened front bumper configuration and elongated yet tapered rear bumper design keep the drag to Cd 0.26, same with that of 2014 Nissan GT-R. The Nissan GT-R NISMO will be available in five body colors: Brilliant White Pearl, Meteor Flake Pearl Black, Ultimate Metallic Silver and Vibrant Red. And unique to the GT-R NISMO model, a Dark Matte Grey accentuates the car’s imposing exterior muscularity. The GT-R NISMO’s black 6-spoke wheels are inspired by Nissan’s legendary GT500 race car. 3. Interior
    The Nissan GT-R NISMO cockpit inspires driver confidence through both its craftsmanship and optimized driving position. Ergonomically sculpted carbon-fiber-backed reclining RECARO® seats (Europe/Japan) comfortably, yet firmly, support the driver and front-seat passenger. NISMO racers influenced the design of the steering wheel which is dressed in Alcantara®, with three spokes, red center mark and red stitching to give the best combination of grip, feedback and comfort. The combi meter has carbon-like finish, and tachometer features a red design. The meter hood is also dressed with Alcantara®. Interior trim features include discreet red stitching on the seats, center console, door trim and steering wheel. About NISMO
    NISMO, a short form of "Nissan Motorsports," is the performance brand for Nissan, and is one of the company's purveyors of “innovation that excites.” NISMO offers products featuring innovative technology and high performance to a wide range of customers for street use. NISMO cars provide an exciting driving experience with motorsports-inspired aerodynamics and styling, enhanced handling characteristics and unmatched agility. In the motorsports world, NISMO competes in the highest forms of GT and sports car racing, such as Japan's Super GT Series and the World Endurance Championships (WEC), as well as providing engines to teams that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The Nissan GT-R captured the Super GT championship in 2011 and 2012.  
    * Nissan GT-R NISMO with track options
    * Autech Japan is responsible for the planning and production of Nissan GT-R NISMO, which requires vehicle registration in person.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 22, 2013
    The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S really doesn't have any direct competitors aside from the Mazda Miata. But that could be changing.
    What Car? is reporting that Nissan is readying a concept car that is the company's possible answer to the GT86. The design of this concept is inspired by a car from the company's past. Nissan isn't saying what that vehicle is, but did say it isn't a Z car.
    Nissan will gauge the reception of concept and decide whether or not to put it into production. If given the green light, the production model will use the Juke's turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder.
    Source: What Car?
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 9, 2013
    The New York State Supreme Court may have put a stop to the unified fleet of the Nissan NV200 'Taxi of Tomorrow'. Last night, Justice Shlomo S. Hagler ruled that the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission had no authority of giving Nissan a ten-year contract that makes the NV200 the exclusive taxicab of the city.
    "Simply stated, the power to contract and compel medallion owners to purchase the Nissan NV200 from Nissan for ten years does not exist in the City Charter," wrote Justice Hagler.
    "We believe the Court's decision is fundamentally wrong, and we intend to appeal immediately. It was well within the TLC's authority to authorize the Taxi of Tomorrow," said New York City's corporation counsel Michael A. Cardozo.
    But even if the city wins its appeal, it might be a short-lived victory. The top-two candidates for New York City mayor have opposed the 'Taxi of Tomorrow' plan and might not continue the fight.
    “We are disappointed in the court’s decision, but it will not prevent our plan to start upgrading the NYC taxi fleet with the Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow at the end of the month,” said Nissan spokesman Travis Parman to Motor Trend.
    Asked about the contract, Parman said, "We are evaluating options for next steps regarding the exclusivity contract.”
    Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Motor Trend
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 16, 2013
    Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer let loose some information concerning the next-generation Z. Speaking with Auto Express at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week, Palmer revealed that the company will reveal a concept at the Toyko Motor Show in November that gives some hints of what to expect with the next Z.
    “Do I know what it looks like? Yes I do. Have I driven it? Yes I have. When will you see it? Come to Tokyo,” said Palmer.
    Palmer says the next Z will be lighter and smaller than the 370Z. Also, the next Z will feature a smaller powerplant and possibly be turbocharged. Palmer also stressed that electric power is being looked at as well.
    Source: Auto Express
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    August 21, 2013
    "That's not a knife."
    *Pulls out a bowie knife.*
    "That's a knife."
    Much like Crocodile Dundee, Nissan is using size to their advantage. Engine size that is. At the kickoff of Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan's global product and technology portfolio, the company announced the next-generation Titan pickup would be packing a Cummins 5.0L turbodiesel V8. The V8 is expected to make more than 300 horsepower and well over 500 pound-feet of torque (550 pound-feet is what everybody is guessing).
    “Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup. There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration," said Fred Diaz, Nissan Sales & Marketing divisional vice president.
    The new engine will be built at Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant, while the Titan will continue to be built at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant. No word of when the Titan will be shown or begin production. Our guess, expect a showing sometime next year.
    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
    Nissan to Equip Next-Generation Titan with New Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine
    IRVINE, Calif. – At the kickoff of Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan's global product and technology portfolio, the company announced it will offer a newly-developed Cummins V8 turbo diesel in its next-generation full-size pickup.
    Now in the latter stages of development and testing, the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine has been optimized for the next generation Titan as a result of the partnership between Cummins and Nissan. Cummins also is developing a version of the engine for its commercial vehicle customers.
    "We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup," said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts, Nissan North America. "There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration."
    Nissan has previously announced the next-generation Titan will add powertrain options and cab-and-box configurations to broaden the appeal of the new truck when it comes to market.
    "We are very excited to partner with Nissan on the introduction of the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to the North American pickup truck market," said Dave Crompton, vice president, Cummins Engine Business. "This new engine will offer the right balance of power, performance and fuel economy while delivering the dependability that customers expect of a Cummins engine. This will be a great package."
    With a torque rating in the mid-500s (lb-ft) and more than 300 horsepower, the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will provide light truck customers the combination of towing capacity and mileage that is expected in the highly-competitive North American truck marketplace.
    The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will be built in America's manufacturing heartland at the Columbus Engine Plant, in Columbus, Ind., Cummins headquarters. This plant has the latest technological innovations to continue the 90-plus year tradition of building the highest quality Cummins engines.
    The Titan program is being led by teams in Nissan Americas' headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., while engineering and testing is performed by Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills, Mich. and Stanfield, Ariz. as well as Nissan's global engineering center. Design is being led by Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif.
    Like the current model, the next-generation Titan will be built at Nissan's Canton, Miss. vehicle assembly plant and its gasoline engines cast, forged and assembled at Nissan's Decherd, Tenn. powertrain plant.
    For competitive reasons, Nissan is not announcing launch dates at this stage in the truck's development, however engineering prototype trucks powered by the Cummins engine are currently undergoing extensive on-public-highway performance and durability testing.
    Further information on the upcoming Titan truck and Cummins engine will be released at a later date.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 18, 2013
    "If you slash prices, they will come."
    Okay, maybe I sightly altered one of the famous quotes from Field of Dreams, but if you worked at Nissan, this quote would ring very true. Earlier this year, the company announced they would be cutting the price of Leaf by $6,000 and extending the range. This price cut is working as past few months have seen Leaf sales right around 2,000 unit mark. This has also prompted other EV manufacturers to either offer incentives or price drops.
    The price drop has also caused a problem for Nissan; the demand for Leafs is outstripping the supply.
    "We're going to be short on inventory all through the summer. It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody," said Erik Gottfried, Nissan's director of electric vehicle sales and marketing.
    This is mostly due to the slow ramp-up of Nissan's Smyrna, TN plant where the Leaf is built. The plant can produce 10,000 Leafs a month. But at the moment, the plant is no where near that point.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    June 5, 2013
    Kelly Blue Book expects that prices for used 2013 Nissan Leafs will be lower than the 2012 Leaf.
    Announced this week, Kelly Blue Book forecasts that after three years, a 2013 Nissan Leaf will retain 35 percent of its original sticker price. That is five percent less than 2012 Leaf's resale value after three years.
    A major reason for the drop is attributed to 2013's lower MSRP. A 2013 Leaf starts at $29,650, a drop of $6,400 when compared to the 2012 model. Also hurting the resale value of the Leaf are nearly new models crossing the auction block. Ricky Beggs, managing editor of Black Book tells Automotive News he has seen a number of 2011 Leafs cross the auction block with fewer than 10,000 miles, and some with as few as 1,200 miles.
    "There were some Leafs purchased by a rental car company that didn't get a high amount of usage. The rental company had committed to buying, so almost immediately after the rental company took delivery they got remarketed," said Beggs.
    The average price of a Leaf at auction was just $13,700 in May, according to Black Book.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    May 25, 2013
    Nissan was riding high when the announcement came that their NV Taxi would become New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow last year. Since then, Nissan has been under a barrage of attacks. The latest setback comes from New York Supreme Court Justice Peter Moulton who ruled one part of Nissan's and New York's Taxi & Limousine Commission agreement is "null, void and unenforceable". That part is from the Taxi of Tomorrow requirements which asked for a vehicle to be a hybrid - something the NV200 doesn't meet.
    Nissan argued that it is bringing a hybrid version of the van to market in 2015, but the court ruled against the company. Now this ruling does open the door for taxi companies to buy to non-Nissan hybrid vehicles. Even with this setback, it doesn't sound like this setback will affect Nissan's ten-year contract with New York.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    May 13, 2013
    Nissan's CEO has a small request for its U.S. arm: Double sales by 2017.
    "China was not our biggest, I would say, disappointment. It was mainly the United States. We were expecting a strong year in the United States. It didn't happen," Ghosn told reporters after announcing Nissan's 2012 fiscal results.
    In 2012, Nissan's sales in the U.S. rose to 1.1 million - up five percent (and a record year as well). However Nissan lost 0.5 percent of market share (7.7 percent) in the U.S., which puts them further away from reaching a market share goal of ten percent.
    So how will Nissan USA pull off this feat? According to Automotive News, the company will streamline production, increase the number of dealers in certain regions, and boosting marketing efforts with key groups.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    April 15, 2013
    Well this is a bit of surprise. Last Friday, Nissan announced that Ram Trucks CEO Fred Diaz will become its new divisional vice president for sales and marketing. Diaz’s role at Nissan will have him oversee all sales and marketing for the U.S. market, which includes Nissan’s Commerical and Fleet division.
    Since 2009, Diaz was the head of the Chrysler Group’s Ram division (established in 2009 as well). During Diaz’s tenure, Ram saw it sales rise and and taking home the North American Truck of the Year this year.
    "Fred Diaz is one of the most experienced, results-driven sales and marketing executives in our industry, and we are privileged to welcome him to Nissan. As Nissan Division continues to grow in the United States, we expect Fred to convey a fresh perspective to our dealers and the entire divisional operations team that he will now lead," said José Muñoz, senior vice president, sales & marketing for Nissan Americas in a press release.
    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
    Fred M. Diaz Named Divisional Vice President, Nissan Sales & Marketing for Nissan Division in the U.S.
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today announced that Fred M. Diaz has been named to the newly formed position of divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Nissan U.S., reporting to José Muñoz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Customer Quality and Dealer Network Development, Nissan Americas. Most recently, Diaz was president and chief executive officer - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group, LLC as well as president and chief executive officer, Chrysler de Mexico.
    In this new leadership role, Diaz will assume full responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Nissan Division in the United States, including all sales, marketing, fixed operations, parts and service and administration functions. He will lead the Nissan Division team with the Marketing, Light Commercial Vehicle & Fleet, Parts & Service and Regional Operations functions reporting directly to him.
    "Fred Diaz is one of the most experienced, results-driven sales and marketing executives in our industry, and we are privileged to welcome him to Nissan," said Muñoz. "As Nissan Division continues to grow in the United States, we expect Fred to convey a fresh perspective to our dealers and the entire divisional operations team that he will now lead."
    Previously, Diaz was Chrysler's chief executive in charge of the Ram Truck Brand, a position to which he was named in October 2009. In 2011, Diaz was appointed as the chief executive of Chrysler's Mexican operations where he was the corporate representative responsible for all of the company's business brands in Mexico, including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Mitsubishi.
    During his 24-year career at Chrysler, Diaz progressed through a series of sales company roles beginning as a trainee and zone manager through to the head of national sales and, ultimately, CEO of the Ram brand. He has extensive automotive experience across the sales, field operations, distribution, service and marketing arenas.
    Diaz is a respected executive in the automotive industry who has overseen a period of tremendous growth at the Ram brand. In addition to the Ram brand's 17 percent sales increase in 2012, he was instrumental in leading the brand to win the 2013 'North American Truck of the Year' award for the new Ram 1500 pickup truck.
    Diaz earned a bachelor's degree in management with an emphasis in psychology from Texas Lutheran University and a master's degree in business management from Central Michigan University.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 26, 2013
    Nissan is in the midst of expanding its NISMO brand. At the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the new Juke NISMO and refreshed 370Z NISMO. Today at in Yokohama, Japan. CEO Carlos Ghosn made three key announcements for the future of NISMO.
    The first was that NISMO was moving to a new facility that offers more engineering and development resources. NISMO's 180 employees will have access to a workshop, engine shop, fabrication room, and carbon composite processes at the new facility. Not moving is the production of NISMO vehicles; they will be built alongside their standard counterparts.
    Second was that NISMO would be introducing a their version of the GT-R supercar sometime next year. No word on what the GT-R NISMO will be packing power wise.
    "It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R. The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can't wait to drive it." said Ghosn.
    Finally, Ghosn announced that at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, Nissan would be racing with a “pioneering race car incorporating electric technology". The race car will be built by NISMO and will occupy a special section of the Le Mans grid reserved for innovative technologies, Garage 56.
    “We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology,” said Ghosn.
    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
    Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO as its Global Performance Car and Motorsports Brand
    Redeveloped global headquarters in Yokohama heralds new era for NISMO
    NISMO to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars
    Juke NISMO is the first, followed by new 2014 370Z NISMO
    New GT-R NISMO confirmed, the ultimate Nissan performance supercar
    Nissan’s global motorsports program to be managed by NISMO

    YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for NISMO, confirming it as Nissan’s exclusive global performance car and motorsports brand and officially opening the new NISMO global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan.
    NISMO is already well-known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts in Japan and to millions of global gaming enthusiasts. Now, NISMO is poised for accelerated global impact, enhancing Nissan’s reputation for innovation and excitement with a new line-up of sporty Nissan production vehicles.
    In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how NISMO will play an even more prominent role for the company’s performance car and motorsports activities.
    “NISMO will democratize performance and bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people,” said Mr. Ghosn. “Whether it’s a small car or a sports car, if it’s wearing the NISMO badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.”
    The first new Nissan production vehicle to get the NISMO treatment, the Juke NISMO, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the United States in the spring.
    A new version of the 370Z NISMO for European markets is the next NISMO vehicle, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan’s most popular and accessible sports car. The 370Z NISMO is now in its second generation in the U.S., with a revised 2014 370Z NISMO set for sale this summer.
    Nissan is promising a rapid pace of introduction of even more NISMO models – at least one model every year during the Nissan Power88 period, encompassing the breadth of the Nissan model range. This will include the flagship of Nissan’s performance and technology efforts, the Nissan GT-R.
    “It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R,” said Mr. Ghosn. “The standard production model is a global supercar and the GT-R’s performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.”
    A New Home for NISMO
    Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for NISMO’s operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it the resources for expanding beyond motorsports engineering to encompass performance car development alongside Nissan. The new headquarters facility allows the NISMO team to be co-located in one place, bringing together the functional areas for NISMO’s key activities and technical and competition expertise under one roof.
    The 180-strong team is now located inside Nissan’s Powertrain Engineering complex. The workshop, engine shop, rooms for fabrication, grinding and carbon composite processes are consolidated into the same floor space along with the parts warehouse. A new larger showroom allows up to eight vehicles to be displayed, while the retail area is now almost twice the size of the previous store in the Omori factory.
    “This is a great move for NISMO as we can now shift gears to operate more efficiently and expand the brand globally,” explained NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani.
    “NISMO is a key element in Nissan’s future global vehicle and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan’s exclusive performance brand,” he added. “This is the first time that all of our team has been located together, and the entire facility will become a hothouse of passion and performance.”
    The NISMO Spirit
    At the heart of each new NISMO model will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in everyday driving with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.
    Nissan’s new range of NISMO performance models will be built on the same production lines as their standard counterparts, which combined with inspiration taken from decades of racing and tuning expertise means that the NISMO brand ensures fully integrated performance enhancements.
    Every modification NISMO makes to a production car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence. The spirit of NISMO relies on its proud motorsports heritage and a maverick engineering philosophy. This spirit will be reflected in every new NISMO model with efficient performance, accessible and advanced technology, and bold, smart design, all of which embody Nissan’s philosophy of “innovation that excites.”
    Connecting the Virtual with the Real
    NISMO is known around the world by millions through the virtual world of driving simulation games. In fact, the first opportunity to drive a Nissan Juke NISMO was provided virtually through Gameloft’s Asphalt 7: Heat.
    Now, at the same time as NISMO is moving from race track to road, it is also moving from the virtual world to the real world as, for the first time in many markets around the world, a range of affordable NISMO-badged cars will be available from Nissan dealers.
    “For many would-be NISMO customers, the only way to experience a NISMO performance car has been through a game like Sony’s Gran Turismo® series,” said Simon Sproule, Nissan’s corporate vice president for Marketing and Communications. “Now we can bring them into the family of Nissan owners with exciting, real NISMO cars created by a dedicated and experienced team that is fully linked to the digital world and well aware of what these new customers are looking for in a performance road car.”
    Performance for the Road and Track
    The spirit and inspiration for NISMO started with a group of maverick Nissan engineers almost 50 years ago.
    In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan sedan to create the first of a legendary line of sporty road cars with the Nissan Skyline 2000GT. What came next was a run of highly successful competition and performance vehicles in Japan, culminating in the birth of NISMO itself in 1984.
    With the digital generation, Nissan realized the power of the NISMO legend by working with game creators to create both real and virtual stars and expose a whole generation to the potential for tuning and winning in these cars. Last year alone, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles on Gran Turismo®5 for PlayStation®3.
    Now, as NISMO accelerates to become a global performance car brand specializing in delivering affordable, exciting and innovative performance versions of Nissan cars, the lessons learned from almost half a century of racing can be applied consistently to give drivers a surprising and rewarding ownership experience.
    NISMO Expands Role in Motorsports
    NISMO’s new charter will also impact Nissan’s future motorsports activities, where it is expected to boldly enhance Nissan’s reputation for excitement and innovation. NISMO is taking on global responsibility for managing Nissan’s motorsports program, which includes top level competition in every region of the world.
    “Nissan’s commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan continues, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsports,” explained Miyatani. “Our spirit of pushing the boundaries even further helps us to raise awareness of NISMO around the world but, more importantly, it means we can transfer the lessons we learn into tangible benefits for our customers, whether for NISMO production cars, race cars or tuning parts.”

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 13, 2013
    While Nismo has been known to build hotted-up versions of the 350Z and 370Z, they weren't really known in the U.S. With the introduction of the refreshed 2014 370Z Nismo and the new 2013 Juke Nismo, Nissan is beginning to change that.
    Nissan is planning to expand the Nismo brand in the U.S. by introducing new models within the next few years.There will also be Nismo models with the RS designation that will have more power and performance modifications.
    “In every car (Nismo does), it needs to be good business sense,” said Carl Phillips, Nissan North America’s chief marketing manager.
    So why the heavy push of Nismo in the U.S. now?
    “We’re seeing renewed confidence in the industry,” Phillips said.
    It also helps that support from the top-down in Japan and the U.S. for more Nismo models in the U.S. helps as well.
    Source: Automobile Magazine
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 28, 2013
    The Nissan Titan hasn't really changed since its introduction back in 2003. Sticking with the same 5.6L V8 engine and the choice of either a extended or crew cab means the Titan hasn't set the sales charts on fire. Sales last year for Titan totaled 21,576, a far cry from the nearly 87,000 sales in 2005, its best year. But with the 2015 Titan, Nissan is hoping the new model will become a contender.
    Edmunds had the chance to sit down with Pierre Loing, vice president of product and advanced planning and strategy for Nissan North America, Inc. Loing hinted that a new Titan was on the way and is expecting to take a big slice of the truck market.
    "Reaching 100,000 is certainly possible. We believe there might be a recipe to grab some of this huge segment," said Loing.
    Loing revealed that the next Titan will have a full engine lineup and variety of cabs, including a regular cab. Loing also said that the pricing for the Titan will be changed as well.
    Despite the ambitious sales goal, Loing admits that even with the resdesign, it will be tough to bring in buyers.
    "It is domestic driven. High loyalty to domestic products. So the question is, 'Why bother?' It is still a huge segment. Whether it is through build quality, equipment, some price advantage, you name it, it may work. We will try again."
    Source: Edmunds
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 17, 2013
    Automobile magazine had a chance to talk with Nissan's executive vice president, Andy Palmer at the Detroit Auto Show. Palmer gave some details about what is coming down the pipe within the next few years.
    Starting with the Nissan Resonance concept, Palmer says the concept is "close" to what the next-generation Murano will look like.
    “It’s a true expression of what we believe the next, third-generation Murano should look like. We need to wow and awe again,” Palmer said.
    One Murano model that won't be returning for the next generation is the CrossCabriolet.
    “It was an experiment. It was an expression of our ability to express ourselves, it was a designer’s expression of what you can do. Successful or not, I think it’s very memorable, so it didn’t do us any harm,” said Palmer.
    The Resonance concept also has certain design elements like the deep-V front grille and “floating” roof treatment, will be used on other Nissans to improve the family resemblance.
    “If you look at the industry, you have the corporate grille, right?” he says. “But you don’t see a lot of expression on side views… [A common look] should go right the way through the exterior and the interior."
    Palmer says the Resonance concept's hybrid powertrain (2.5L inline-four, two clutches, a continuously variable transmission, and an electric motor) will be used in the Altima, Pathfinder, and next-gen Murano. Palmer didn't give an date as to when the vehicles will debut, only saying they would arrive within the next couple of years. Palmer also said the company will out more hybrid vehicles.
    “We’ll launch 15 Nissan hybrids by 2016.”
    Don't expect Nissan to go hybrid crazy. Palmer says Nissan is “agnostic” about hybrids, but is “fanatical” about full-electrics like the Leaf.
    Source: Automobile Magazine
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 28, 2012
    After a number of complaints from owners saying that their Nissan Leafs were losing charge capacity, Nissan has announced a new warranty for the Leaf's battery.
    “Nissan will protect against capacity loss in LEAF batteries that fall below nine bars, of the available 12 bars displayed on the vehicle’s battery capacity gauge, for the first five years or 60,000 miles in the United States, whichever comes first,” said Nissan executive VP Andy Palmer in a letter sent to Leaf owners.
    The warranty will debut on the 2013 Leaf, but the warranty will be expanded to cover all 2011 and 2012 models before next summer.
    Before, Nissan claimed the Leaf's lithium-ion battery would only lose 20% of its charge capacity after being driven for five years. However a group of Leaf owners in Arizona said their vehicles were losing charge capacity at a much faster rate and sued the company.
    Palmer in his letter also said that the automaker is also working "to improve the precision of the battery capacity gauge that displays remaining capacity in the Leaf's electric vehicle battery."
    “Our actions today are intended to put customer minds at ease regarding the topic of battery capacity loss,” wrote Palmer. “Even though it is expected the great majority of owners will never have to use this enhanced warranty, we want each Nissan LEAF owner to have the security that should capacity loss exceed this defined threshold, Nissan will cover the repair or replacement of their battery under warranty.”
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), MyNissanLeaf.com
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 8, 2012
    Nissan set a very ambitious goal of selling 20,000 Leafs this year. At the end of September, Nissan only sold 5,212 Leafs, way off the mark.
    "We don't plan on the moment of changing the projection. We're a little disappointed. … The uptake isn't as strong as we first hoped," said Nissan's executive vice president of product planning, Andy Palmer.
    Palmer puts blame poor marketing around the world and a lack of production in the U.S. At the moment, the Leaf is currently built at a plant in Japan and being sent around the world.
    Another problem for the Leaf is the pricetag. The base Leaf currently starts at $36,050, including shipping. Include the $7,500 U.S. tax credit, that puts it below the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt though comes with a gas engine that acts like a generator, giving it more range than the Leaf.
    To help with sales, Automotive News reports that Nissan is planning a lower cost version of the Leaf when a face-lifted version is introduced sometime in 2013.
    The model will drop LED lamps for HID-Headlights and some of the advanced features offered in the current navigation system. The model will also feature components being combined to help cut costs.
    Source: The Detroit News, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    August 31, 2012
    Around the same time the New York Auto Show was going on, Nissan released a commercial which had five new vehicles under white sheets.That commerical revealed the new Altima and said five new vehicles would be coming in next year or so. The second vehicle was the new Pathfinder which was revealed earlier this month. Now, Nissan has revealed a third model, the new Sentra.
    The 2013 Sentra follows in the footsteps of the larger Altima, not in terms of design alone. The two share a similar profile and design cues which include a trapezoidal grille large wraparound headlights with LED accents, and LED taillamps out back. The two models also share a weight loss; the new Sentra drops about 150 lbs from the outgoing model.
    Under the hood of the new Sentra is a new 1.8L DOHC four-cylinder engine producing 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. The base Sentra has the option of a six-speed manual while the whole lineup come with the next generation Xtronic CVT. Nissan says this combination will get the Sentra fuel economy ratings of 30 City/39 Highway/34 combined. The highway number can go up to 40 when the Sentra is equipped with the FE package.
    Inside, the Sentra makes some great strides from the outgoing model. There is a lot more soft-touch materials used throughout the interior and electroluminescent gauges are standard. Nissan has also increased the amount usable space in the vehicle. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows and locks and a six-way manual driver’s seat. Higher-spec Sentras add dual-zone automatic climate control system, a 4.3-inch color display, and a Bose sound system.
    The new Sentra arrives at Nissan dealers later in the fall.
    Source: Nissan
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-New 2013 Nissan Sentra Moves Up in Style, Sophistication, Refinement and Range with Up to 40 MPG Highway and 34 MPG Combined Fuel Economy
    Offers "Class-Above" Style, Premium Design Qualities and Best-in-Class* Combined Fuel Economy
    • All-new lightweight design saves up to 150 pounds
    • New 1.8-liter engine and next-generation Xtronic CVT® with sub-planetary gear for optimal performance and efficiency
    • Best-in-class combined fuel economy of 34 MPG*
    • Sophisticated new design with high-end details such as LED accented headlamps and taillamps
    • Upscale interior craftsmanship and user-friendly technology
    • Available NissanConnectSM with Navigation with Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, POIs powered by Google™ and Google™ Send-to-Car functions
    • On sale at Nissan dealers nationwide this fall
    DALLAS (Aug. 31, 2012) – Nissan's all-new 2013 Sentra, unveiled here today, continues the brand's product onslaught as the third of five all-new vehicles being introduced in a 15-month period.
    Like the recently unveiled Nissan Altima and Pathfinder, the redesign of Sentra focuses on class-above design standards inside and out, as well as efficiency in engineering. The new Sentra is 150 pounds – or five percent – lighter than the outgoing model, yet has slightly larger overall dimensions and more interior room. The lighter and more aerodynamic new Sentra allows Nissan to use a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine, which along with the next generation Xtronic CVT® with sub-planetary gear helps deliver a 13 percent improvement in EPA combined fuel economy.
    With the FE+ models, Sentra achieves up to 40 mpg on the highway. Other CVT-equipped models are rated at 39 mpg on the highway. All CVT models achieve a best-in-class* EPA rated 34 mpg combined (City and Highway).
    "The 2013 Nissan Sentra is the most revolutionary design in the nameplate's 30-year history, a worthy addition to what is without question the most innovative, highest quality, highest value sedan lineup in Nissan history," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "With the complete redesign for 2013, Sentra is closer in look and feel to Altima than a typical compact sedan. Like Altima, the new Sentra offers best-in-segment attributes, such as high fuel economy and easy-to-use connectivity, that offer real customer value and convenience."
    The new Sentra has a strong family resemblance to the recently introduced 2013 Nissan Altima, both in exterior and interior styling cues and its "class-above style" against competitive vehicles in the compact sedan segment.
    Modern, Premium Design
    Sentra's all-new design is elegant, modern and refined, reflecting a "professional" character targeted at upwardly bound buyers who aspire to drive something more premium than some of the other designs in the segment. It adopts Nissan's bold new signature trapezoid-shaped grille and large wraparound headlights with LED accents – the only sedan in the compact segment to offer them as standard equipment. In the rear, LED taillights are also standard, which complements the sophisticated styling.
    Compared to the previous design, Sentra's beltline has been lowered and a new character line has been added that runs from the front fenders, along the sides, and finishes at the sculpted taillights and trunklid, giving the new Sentra a more aggressive stance and enhanced outward visibility for passengers. Other exterior features include chrome door handles and accents, available heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, and available sport front and rear fascias and rear spoiler.
    The 2013 Sentra is built on a new platform that is lighter than the previous design, contributing to the new model's more than 150-pound weight reduction. It also helps Sentra provide one of the largest interior volumes in class, along with ample rear seat legroom and enhanced trunk capacity.
    Compared with the previous generation Sentra, the 2013 model offers a 0.6-inch longer wheelbase (106.3 inches) and a 2.3-inch longer overall length (182.1 inches). The front overhang is shorter and the rear overhang extended. It is slightly lower in height (-0.6 inches) and narrower in width (-1.2 inches) for enhanced aerodynamics, yet offers nearly identical total interior volume (111.0 cubic feet versus the previous 110.. The coefficient of drag has been significantly reduced to 0.29 from the previous 0.34.
    "Sentra has long been known as one of the roomiest sedans in class and the latest iteration is no exception. The fine-tuning of its dimensions has created not only extremely well-balanced exterior proportions but enhanced rear seat legroom and created a larger, more usable trunk space," said Castignetti.
    A Premium, Class-Above Interior
    Sentra's sophisticated new look continues inside with a high-quality interior design with materials not usually found in compact vehicles, including soft-touch instrument panel and driver's door armrest, available leather-appointed seating and available Maple wood-tone trim. Along with offering mid-size roominess in a compact-size exterior, the intuitive interior layout emphasizes driver control and class-leading seat comfort for all occupants. The instrument panel curves out towards the doors and features Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges that are backlit even in daylight, providing a high-quality look that is also easy to read.
    Rear seat legroom of 37.4 inches is among the largest in class and immediately apparent to occupants, even with the front seats in the rear-most position. The rear seat is a standard 60/40 split folding design, offering versatile access to the 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space (2.0 cubic feet larger than the 2012 Sentra trunk).
    Standard interior features include 6-way manual driver's seat, 4-way manual front passenger's seat, front and rear door pockets, front center console with padded armrest and cupholders, rear seat armrest with cupholders, air conditioning with in-cabin microfilter, tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows with driver's one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.
    A new Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) system is offered for the first time with Sentra, allowing the driver or front passengers to set their own individual temperature settings.
    The standard audio system is an AM/FM/CD system with four speakers. Other available systems include a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with 4.3-inch color display, USB connection for iPod® and other compatible devices; and a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers and an amplifier that has been specially tuned to either the cloth or leather interior for best performance.
    Also available is SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System.
    "Nowhere is the new Sentra's 'class-above' style more evident than in the interior. You notice it the minute you sit in the roomy, comfortable seats and when you touch the high quality materials. And when driving you notice the extra attention paid to isolating noise, vibration and harshness from entering the cabin," said Castignetti. "And that's before you even get into the various advanced technology features that you usually don't expect in a compact sedan segment vehicle."
    NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Other Clever Technology
    Like the new Altima, the 2013 Sentra offers a major step forward in technology that helps owners stay connected. An all-new version of the Nissan Navigation system is available. NissanConnectSM with Navigation includes a Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant that reads incoming text messages and allows drivers to reply without taking their hands off of the steering wheel.
    The system also offers Pandora® radio capability, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and a large 5.8-inch touch-screen display. The Navigation System includes NavTraffic and NavWeather functions (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), along with POIs powered by Google™ and Google™ Send-to-Car functions. The Navigation's map views now features warnings for curves and speed limit information.
    Other available technology ranges from the RearView Monitor and Nissan Intelligent Key® with illuminated push-button ignition switch to the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy Fill Tire Alert feature. If air is being added or removed from a tire, the system signals the user when the recommended tire pressure has been reached by sounding the horn.
    New 1.8-liter Engine and Advanced CVT
    As expected from a ground-up redesign, the new Sentra features an all-new engine and CVT transmission. Now displacing 1.8-liters, Sentra's advanced DOHC 4-cyinder engine offers a longer stroke than typical engines in its class, resulting in improved combustion speed and efficiency. The engine is equipped with a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system which modulates both the intake and exhaust valve opening time (similar to that used on the flagship Nissan Maxima).
    The engine's internal friction has been reduced, improving efficiency. The DLC creates about half the friction of previous coatings. In addition, the valve springs are shaped similar to a beehive, with a smaller diameter towards the top – reducing inertia weight, improving valvetrain efficiency and smoothing engine operation. The engine is rated at 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque.
    The new engine is matched with a new-generation Xtronic CVT® (a 6-speed manual is available in the base Sentra S model). The new CVT features a host of enhancements (versus the previous CVT) that contribute to an improvement in fuel efficiency and lower vehicle weight. It also offers a wider gear ratio of 7.3:1 through use of a sub-planetary gear and smaller pulleys, resulting in high-speed fuel efficiency at low rpm and responsive acceleration. Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon City, 39 miles per gallon Highway and a class-leading 34 miles per gallon combined with the CVT*.
    "In the race for fuel economy bragging rights sometimes what gets lost in the mix is drivability. Sentra's new engine and advanced CVT design are perfectly matched to provide the best of both mpg and driving enjoyment – smooth, quiet and efficient operation around town or highway cruising, responsive acceleration and excellent mpg and driving range," said Castignetti.
    The new Sentra also features an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar, power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum braking system (4-wheel disc brakes are available), and vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering. Available wheels and tires include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers with 205/55R16 size all-season tires or 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires.
    In addition to the Sentra S model's long list of standard features, Sentra SV models add cruise control, two additional speakers, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, vehicle security system and premium cloth seating and door trim.
    The Sentra SR adds a sportier appearance, starting with 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, sport front grille, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and chrome exhaust tip finisher. Inside, the Sentra SR includes sport silver interior trim, premium sport cloth seats and driver's seatback pocket.
    The top-of-the-line Sentra SL adds 17-inch split 7-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, Smart Auto headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, Nissan Intelligent Key®, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, 6-speaker audio system with 4.3-inch display, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
    Additional Sentra SL equipment includes leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever knob, Maple wood-tone trim, Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy Fill Tire Alert and more.
    A Range of Well-Equipped Models
    The 2013 Nissan Sentra is offered in a selection of well-equipped S, FE+ S, SV, FE+ SV, SR and SL trim levels. All models come with standard Xtronic CVT®, except the base Sentra S that is available with a choice of 6-speed manual or CVT.
    The NissanConnectSM with Navigation system, leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, rear disc brakes, power sliding glass moonroof and RearView Monitor are among the additional features available with the various equipment packages.
    "From front LED accents to rear LED taillights and every inch in between, the all-new 2013 Sentra serves notice to compact sedan buyers that the Sentra is stepping up in style and stepping up in desirability," said Castignetti. "In what has become one of the most competitive segments in the industry, Sentra is ready to take on all comers."

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