Nissan

Nissan cars

The 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo is perhaps the most underrated and under-loved hot hatch on sale today. But I can’t seem to work out why. It takes the successful recipe utilized by names like GTI and Mazadspeed3 and adds a dash of Nissan flair. Sounds like fun to me.

Marketed as a crossover, the little Juke is the last car that anyone expected Nismo to fettle, but the results speak for themselves.

The car is basically pocket-sized, it is 16 inches shorter than a Honda Civic , but it comes loaded with a 197-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder, three pedals and six forward gears. That is more than enough grunt to make any enthusiast happy. You can pout all you want about the fact that the Mk VII GTI has 215 horsepower, but the current MK VI model only has 200 ponies, and it weighs more than the Juke to boot. The Juke will hit 60 in about 6.5 seconds, only a hair away from the Focus ST despite its 50+ horsepower advantage.

This little Nissan can hang with the big-boys, regardless of what that horsepower number says.

Read more about the 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo and see my video review below.

So let’s just get it right out in the air. I don’t think Ferrari or Lamborghini or any other purveyor of exotic metal is the best enthusiast brand. Part of the enthusiast car market is to make great cars that enthusiasts can actually buy. The Miata , the Mustang and the GTI are the kinds of good fun that we can actually buy.

When trying to figure out who the best enthusiast brand is, I didn’t stop at pure numbers. I looked for cool cars, and interesting cars, not just fast ones. I also tried to focus on the more modern petrol head. Back in the 60s every car company was making wacky and crazy cars, but over the years the enthusiast market has kinda dried up a bit.

I almost went with Honda . The CRX , early Si badged cars and the NSX all hit the right buttons, but over the last 15 years or so Honda has really lots its magic. It feels like they started to care more about Consumer Reports scores than steering feel and spoilers, and so they didn’t make the list.

But who was it? You have to hit the jump to find out.

The world of high-end prototype endurance racers has gotten a lot more interesting in the last year. While Audi has dominated the podium for the last few years at Le Mans, Toyota and Porsche have now returned to challenge the reign of the four rings.

Well Nissan has also announced that starting with the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans , it will also be looking to dethrone the king, and they are using the GT-R badge to lead the charge.

Now one quick look at the photo above will reveal that this is not a GT-R in the traditional sense. That profile looks a lot like every other LMP1 car, but I would expect the car to use a modified version of the GT-R powertrain and AWD system. Remember that 800 horsepower hybrid GT-R rumor ? This may be what sparked it.

As it stands, we have absolutely zero information on what the car looks like, sounds like or any specifications, but needless to say it will be fast.

Keep your eyes here. We will have all the details as soon as we can get them. In the mean time we have included the video of the announcement and some information about Nissan’s other current GT-R cars after the break.

Watch announcement video after the break.

Welcome to the most awesome automotive podcast extravaganza on the internet, the TopSpeed Podcast . We have audio, we have video (after the break), and we have lots of banter about cars!

In this Thursday’s episode we bring you talks of the Nissan 370Z Nismo , the (exciting) Challenger Hellcat and Mark’s NASCAR roadtrip . We even find time to cover the revival of the Nissan Pulsar name and the new/old Jaguar Lightweight E-Type .

We also take a minute to remember F1 legend Sir Jack Brabum .

Our weekly wheels include a discussion about the Acura MDX that Justin got to drive, and the IS 350 F Sport that Mark went to Charlotte in. I am left out of the party again, but I have a new toy to talk about next week.

We have a few questions from the audience including what would make the perfect enthusiast vacation, top tracks to listen to while driving, and we speculate on what old cars need a good dose of carbon in their diet.

As always, we finish things off with Own, Drive, Burn and a trio of McLaren supercars .

Hope you enjoy. As always, you can reach us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast, through email Podcast@TopSpeed.com and you can leave us a comment below.

Don’t forget that you can leave us a rating at iTunes.

See you next Thursday!

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Acura MDX, Lexus IS 350 F Sport

Only one year has passed since Nissan revived its Datsun brand by introducing the GO hatchback , and the Japanese manufacturer has just confirmed its return to the compact car segment (C-segment in Europe) with a brand-new vehicle.

Dubbed Pulsar, a name previously used for a line of compact cars sold in Asia and Australia since 1978 (not to be confused with the Pulsar NX sports car marketed in the U.S. between 1983 and 1990), the new vehicle is a five-door hatchback aimed at models such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus .

Nissan ’s recipe for the Pulsar is pretty much simple and includes an instantly recognizable design with styling cues borrowed from the Qashqai , small, turbocharged engine that deliver decent power and return attractive fuel economy, and a price tag that’s likely to put the hatchback below most of its competitors.

A big bet for the Japanese automaker in Europe, the Pulsar is basically insignificant to the U.S. market, with Nissan having no plans to ship it across the ocean. This might very well change depending on vehicle’s success in Europe, but we’re at least a couple of years away from a pertinent verdict. Either way, the Pulsar is a hatchback worth looking at, and that’s what we’re about to do after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Pulsar.

The Nissan 370Z Nismo is a cool, nippy sports car at 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Drop the hammer and it will reward you with fast-enough acceleration and precise handling. Do that on the track and you’ll be able to sweep the asphalt with a lot of famous and more expensive cars.

But despite its abilities, I always thought the 370Z lacked the looks most enthusiasts are expecting to find on a sports car of this caliber. Its face is just too clean and polished, without any of the sharp cues that make you scream in agony as you’re being chased by one.

Fortunately, that has come to an end today when Nissan took the wraps off the facelifted 370Z Nismo. The Japanese-built sports car has finally received its much-need rhinoplasty, one that throws the boring look to the dumpster and puts a new, "eat my dust" face on the hot coupe .

Of course, the 2015 370Z Nismo is not only about a new, evil grin. The folks over at Nismo have been working hands deep to upgrade the chassis and the suspension system, while developing brand new sports seats with Recaro, the industry’s main provider of high-performance shells.

I was a bit surprised to discover Nissan chose to keep output figures unchanged, but aside from that, it had done a great job to bring the 370Z back in the spotlight.

Updated 05/19/2014: Nissan unveiled a new set of images and a video taken during the car’s official debut at the annual ZDayZ gathering in North Carolina. Check the picture gallery to see all the new pictures.

Updated 08/08/2014: Nissan announced prices for the 370Z Nismo which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $41,990 for the base 370Z Coupe Nismo 6MT and will go up to $46,790 for the 370Z Coupe Nismo Tech 7AT version. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo.

Japanese automaker Nissan has just released a teaser photo of an upcoming model that’s set to make its official debut on May 16th. The company declined to reveal any kind of details, but the darkened photo suggests we’re about to see an updated version of the 370Z Nismo . It appears the sports car will get a more attractive front fascia with a redesigned bumper, a larger air intake and individual daytime running lights mounted on the sides. A red-painted splitter and a Nismo badge mounted on the upped side of the grille are a clear indication of the car’s purpose.

Underpinnings are likely to be a carry over from the 2014 370Z Nismo , but we wouldn’t be surprise to see a few extra ponies shoved under the hood. The current model comes with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque generated by a 3.7-liter, V-6 engine and guided to the wheels by a six-speed manual transmission.

The new Nismo will break cover May 16th at 1:00 PM EDT at ZDayZ festival in North Carolina so make sure you stay tuned to TopSpeed for the full details. Until then, you might as well have a look at our 2014 370Z Nismo test drive .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo.

Nissan has a lot riding on the success of the Murano . That’s not an easy position to be, seeing as the Murano is considered as the halo vehicle for the company’s range of crossovers and SUVs, but also has such a polarizing look. So it figures that Nissan is using the New York International Auto Show as the event to introduce to the auto world the new 2015 Murano.

Far more than just a debut of the vehicle, the Murano’s attendance in New York will also serve as a showcase for the automaker to introduce its new design language, one that will be used on future production vehicles. Big stakes involved here for Nissan, if people haven’t already noticed.

As far as the 2015 Murano is concerned, the SUV’s new look isn’t the only thing that’s worth paying attention to. Far from it, actually. A spacious premium interior is also being offered, as are a host of new safety and connective technology features.

As we anticipated, this new generation for the Murano moves it away from its unconventional look of today and gives it a more mainstream look.

Updated 05/09/2014 Nissan unveiled a new video in which it explains the design features in the 2015 Murano. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Murano.

Posted on by Simona  

Finally, Nissan has lifted the veil of secrecy from the GT-R Nismo, and all we can say is "when do we get one?"

The Nismo version is based on the 2015 GT-R and it gained a series of updates that transformed the GT-R into a real track machine, while keeping it perfectly suitable for the road. This is a delicate balance for any automaker, let alone Nissan, who does not have tons of experience in developing high-end supercars .

On the exterior, Nismo worked on improving the car’s aerodynamics, giving it lower front and rear bumpers that were revised for aerodynamic efficiency, sill side skirts and a huge wing on the rear. On the inside, the Nismo GT-R gets special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching, plus a redesigned steering wheel, pedals, gauges and gear knob.

Under the hood, the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine is tricked to deliver an extra 35 ponies, putting it in line with some of the best supercars in the world.

The new Nissan GT-R Nismo will hit dealerships in 2014, following its release in Japan.

Updated 05/08/2014: Nissan unveiled a new video featuring Hiroyoshi Kato, Technical Meister at Nissan and a veteran test driver, who explains everything you wanted to know about the GT-R Nismo.

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 GT-R Nismo

After setting a new Nurburgring lap record last year, the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo is set to make a return to the iconic German track in racing guise for the 24 Hours endurance event scheduled later this summer.

Dubbed GT-R Nismo GT3, the racing version of the ultra-fast supercar that lapped the "Green Hell" in 7:08.679 will sport an array of aerodynamic upgrades, including a wide-body kit with revised fenders and side sills, a race-spec rear diffuser and a large wing mounted atop its trunk.

Although the automaker declined to reveal any details in regards to the vehicle’s powertrain and chassis upgrades, the GT3 is obviously fitted with a stiffer suspension and benefits from several engine and transmission tweaks of the usual Nismo recipe.

Three Nissan GT-R GT3 vehicles will be entered in this year’s 24 Hours of Nurburgring - two will be raced by Nissan GT Academy Team RJN in cooperation with Nismo engineers brought straight from Japan, while the other one will compete under the Schulze Motorsport banner.

The factory teams will get four drivers each. The No.80 car will be manhandled by former Formula One racer Nick Heidfeld, who will be joined by GT Academy graduates Florian Strauss, Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe. The No.30 car, on the other hand, will be driven by Nissan Super GT pilots Michael Krumm and Kazuki Hoshino, joined by Katsumasa Chiyo and Tetsuya Tanaka.

Lastly, the Nissan GT-R ran by Schulze Motorsport will benefit from the skills of Gran Turismo creator Kazanori Yamauchi and 2009 GT Academy winner Jordan Tresson.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.


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