Nissan

Nissan cars

By most accounts, the Nissan Zeod RC is one of the oddest-looking race cars we’ve seen. If anything, it looks like the kind of car that belongs at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah than it does in Le Mans. Yet there it was, racing around the famous race track on its way to setting the electric speed record at Le Mans. A car with such a unique background is deserved of the attention it gets, so much so that Top Gear actually brought the car to its own track to run a few laps around it.

No, Jeremy Clarkson didn’t drive it. Neither did James May or Richard Hammond for that matter. The Zeod RC was actually driven by Top Gear Magazine Motoring Editor Ollie Marriage, who himself has a background in auto racing.

That’s probably a big reason why Nissan gave him permission to drive the Zeod at full throttle, which is far easier said than done for neophyte race-car drivers like us. But Marriage was able to control the Zeod RC enough to post a picturesque lap. It’s definitely worthy of the three minutes you’re going to spend watching the video .

The Nissan Zeod RC is powered by a 1.5-liter, turbocharged engine that produces 400 horsepower and combined with a pair of electric motors that helps put the total output to an impressive 750 horsepower.

Needing the right tool for the job often requires ingenuity. That’s exactly the case at Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona proving grounds. The team of engineers needed a truck-like vehicle to haul test gear, but something that got great gas mileage around the 3,050-acre complex.

Meet Sparky, the wild idea a few Nissan engineers cooked up while trying to solve the dilemma. The team started with a stock Nissan LEAF, the all-electric hatchback and combined it with several parts scavenged off a Nissan Frontier pickup. The combination is something of a Frankenstein, but it gets the job done.

Not using a drop of fuel, little Sparky makes his way across the grounds and helps out with testing of future Nissan products. "I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring the team together. We had a need for a truck . Something to drive around, a shop truck," says Roland Schellenberg, one of Nissan’s masterminds behind Sparky.

Helping build Sparky was Arnold Moulinet. “I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work,” he says. “We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed.”

Now the Nissan development team has an electrically powered mini truck that functions as park of the team. “It’s something that we all put together,” says Schellenberg. “We all share, so it has a little bit of everybody in there.”

We’ve seen a lot BMW -badged safety cars recently, including the M4 Coupe DTM safety car and the BMW i8 that paces the newly founded Formula E series . Needless to say, Munich’s vehicles are quite common with racing events, but IMSA is among the very few sanctioning bodies that prefer other marques. For this year’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, IMSA opted for the 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo . The coupe, as you may remember, received an extensive facelift in 2014.

Seeing the 370Z make its debut as a safety car in North America isn’t surprising at all. Nissan is an official partner of IMSA, the sanctioning body for both the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championships, and has fielded multiple race cars throughout the 2014 season. In addition, the Japanese automaker also provides powerplants to various independent companies. The Circuit of the Americas race, scheduled for September 19th, will also include Nissan racers. Two 370Z Nismos and a couple of Altima-based race cars will battle for victory in Texas.

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

Ever since the Nissan revealed the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo in June 2014, we’ve been wondering whether its aggressive design will serve as inspiration for the next-generation GT-R or not. We have hunch it will, but we don’t know to what extent, especially considering the Vision Vision ’s extreme body styling. Well, it seems the Japanese are taking the extreme route with the upcoming GT-R, which will be a toned-down version of the 2020 Vision concept.

That’s the word from Motoring, which claims a Nissan designer let slip a few juicy bits on the company’s plans for the next GT-R. "You can expect to see the next-gen GT-R get a toned-down version of the 2020 Vision GT car," the unnamed insider told the Australian outlet. Nissan’s decision to pull out all stops on the GT-R’s design comes straight from company CEO Carlos Ghosn, the report adds. Ghosn is apparently unhappy with current GT-R sales and thinks a more extreme design could draw more customers to showrooms.

Motoring also reiterates Nissan’s plans to turn the GT-R into an ultra powerful and fast hybrid supercar . The new Godzilla will reportedly get around 640 horses from its uprated turbocharged V-6 powerplant, with an extra 134 ponies coming from an electric motor. With a total output of nearly 800 horsepower and more than 730 pound-feet of torque, the next-gen GT-R sounds like a rig ready to compete against much more expensive hypercars.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Nissan GT-R.

Source: Motoring

The 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO carries a base price of $149,990. That’s money I don’t have, and any dream I had of someday owning this Japanese monster has long gone down the tubes. But fortunately, there’s another way for me — and all those who can’t afford the NISMO-clad Godzilla — to enjoy it in all its fire-breathing glory. Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have announced that the GT-R NISMO is now available for Gran Turismo 6.

The companies made the announcement at the GT Academy 2014 European Race Camp at Silverstone. It’s only appropriate that Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi was the one who made the announcement. After all, he did create the video game franchise that remains one of the best-selling car racing games in history. Yamauchi said "The GT-R NISMO is an incredible car, and I am thrilled that Nissan is able to not only offer it to drivers across the globe, but now also to gamers in the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6."

"It’s another great example of how Nissan continues to bring innovation and excitement to all – both in the real and virtual world."

According to the man himself, the GT-R NISMO will be available from the in-game dealership. Gran Turismo 6 players who entered the GT Academy 2014 competition have the added treat of acquiring the car as a free download. No added costs needed; just a fast and reliable Internet connection.

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

Nissan announced over the summer that it would commence in building its second crowdsourced vehicle, a 2014 Titan pickup. The one-off truck would be built with the help of Nissan’s 170,000 Facebook fans in preparation for an epic Alaskan adventure, led by two veterans with the Wounded Warrior Project.

The truck started life as a stock Titan, no different than one found at a local dealership and through the last several weeks, Nissan’s Facebook fans have voted on which parts to add, including wheels, tires, bumpers, mechanical modifications, interior accessories, and exterior graphics. With the truck completed, WWP Alumni David Guzman and Kevin McMahon are setting off on a week-long adventure through the Alaskan wilderness.

Nissan is creating a video mini-series that will debut in the fall of 2014 on YouTube that documents the two veterans’ extreme journey.

While this is Nissan’s first off-road iteration of a crowdsourced vehicle, it’s the automaker’s second similar build. Back in 2012, Nissan’s Facebook fans helped build a 370Z with a twin-turbo kit, a revised and track-ready suspension kit, and a host of visual changes to attract attention.

Updated 09/08/2014: Nissan unveiled a new video revealing a series of new details on its latest Project Titan. The new video shows the Titan with new hardcore wheels, LED lights, and wrap the exterior in a bold, military inspired, custom digital camo print.

Click past the jump for more info on the Titan project

Former Nissan senior executive Andy Palmer proposed buying a stake in Aston Martin when he was still with the Japanese automaker. A report from Reuters indicated that before Palmer takes the reigns as CEO of Aston Martin later this month, he was in the ear of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn about investing in the British company.

Nissan ultimately turned down Palmer’s proposal, sources told Reuters.

Palmer’s move to Aston Martin comes after he successfully brokered an alliance between the company’s luxury brand Infiniti and Daimler, which, incidentally has a five-percent stake in Aston Martin. This automotive merry-go-round is a tad bit confusing, but it’ll make sense if recent reports of Daimler buying out Aston Martin come to fruition.

Aston Martin’s one of the last luxury car brands to not have a parent auto group. That’s kept the company out of important funding that it otherwise could have used to stay competitive in a market that’s becoming more saturated as rival brands, like Fiat-owned Maserati , continue expanding their lineups.

In its current state, Aston Martin is continuously losing money and needs new investors. Having Palmer run the show could serve as a precursor to Daimler taking full control of the company and injecting funds needed to steer it back in the right direction.

It all fits if you think about it.

As far as Nissan is concerned, only time will tell if its decision to pass on buying shares in Aston Martin bites them in the rear.

Source: Reuters

Remember the pair of Nissan IDx concepts we saw at the Tokyo Motor Show back in November 2013? It’s hard to forget those two considering how funky their designs were. Heck, the IDx Nismo concept even had a lower bumper that looked like a tongue sticking out.

It seemed that Nissan decided to develop those concepts because it just wanted to, but it looks as if the company actually had good reason to build those two wonky coupes . Believe it or not, Nissan actually has plans to produce a sports car based on the concepts.

Motoring Australia reports that Nissan is planning to unveil a production version of the IDx with plans of pitting it against the Toyota GT 86 . Sources also told Motoring that the production IDx will look nothing like the two prototypes, which may or may not be a good idea, depending on how you feel about the IDx Nismo and Freeflow concepts.

Details are still vague at this point, but Nissan designers are reportedly tinkering with a sportier and more aggressive design that can stare down the GT 86 and by extension, the Subaru BRZ .

Word also has it that Nissan is leaning toward dropping a 2.0-liter engine in the production version of the IDx, which will feature output levels of up to 181 horsepower. Sure, that’s not going to be enough to beat out the GT 86’s 200-horsepower output, but if Nissan nails the design of this cars, that might not even matter.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan iDX Concepts

If you thought the GT-R -powered Nissan Juke and its 545 horsepower was a crazy idea, then you’re in for a big surprise. Nismo’s crazy limited-edition crossover is far from being the fastest Juke ever built and it’s quite slow compared to the monster a Russian company managed to create. How’s that possible, you may ask? Well, the folks over at Shpilli Villi Engineering squeezed no less than 800 ponies out of Godzilla’s twin-turbo, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine, while adding a shot of nitrous for an extra 200 horses. That’s right, this Juke has no less than 1,000 horsepower traveling through its drivetrain, albeit only for a few seconds.

So what do you do when you have at least 800 horses to spare besides winning a dozen drag races against the world’s most powerful supercars ? You take it to the Nurburgring track, of course, the place where all production cars go to have their engines and chassis refined. Not that this Juke needs further tweaks or any race-course time given its purpose, but at least the Juke R isn’t one of those massive SUVs BMW and Mercedes-Benz keeps bringing at the ’Ring.

Naturally, the overly powerful crossover isn’t the kind of vehicle you’d expect to set a new Nurburgring record, especially on a wet track, but owner and race car driver Vladimir Ulanov manages to put the Juke R through its paces and clock a few fast laps. Thankfully, the Russians captured it all on tape and you can watch the madness in the video above.

I’m not sure if Nissan is simply toying with us or if it’s subtly giving us a preview of things to come within its lineup. While I do know that the former is the case, I’m holding out hope that the latter will come to fruition down the road. In the meantime, do check out these renderings of two models that the Japanese automaker doesn’t have in its lineup…at the moment.

These models are actually concept renderings done as part of Nissan’s #NISMOmashup program. One model combines the Nissan GT-R Nismo with a Nissan Maxima sedan and the other features a combination of the Nissan 370Z Nismo and a Nissan Sentra sedan. You probably didn’t recognize them at first, did you? Don’t worry, I didn’t either.

Of course, Nissan doesn’t plan on building these two models anytime soon, even though their reception has been incredibly positive. The 370Z/Sentra mashup, in particular, looks incredible with its beefier and sportier dimensions. I’m not as big of a fan of the GT-R/Maxima mashup, as it kind of looks like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI at first glance.

Hopefully, Nissan submits to public clamoring and builds these two models in concept form for an upcoming auto show — SEMA may be a good place to show them off. I’ve even thought of names on what the company can call them. How does the "370 SentraZ" sound? How about the "MaxiGT-R"?

Click past the jump to read more about Nissan’s latest Nismo cars.


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