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Infiniti Giving its V-8 Engines the Axe Treatment; Nissan Could be Next

Infiniti Giving its V-8 Engines the Axe Treatment; Nissan Could be Next

Just recently, we reported that Johan de Nysschen left Audi USA to head up Infiniti, and it appears he is already making some necessary changes. According to Car Sales, Nysschen confirmed that it, like many other automakers, is heading away from V-8 engine configurations to help reduced CO2 emissions and help it meet the anticipated CAFE standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. He was quoted saying: “I don’t think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan”

This means that models like the FX50, M56, and other V-8-powered Infinitis will opt for a turbocharged or supercharged V-6 or 4-cylinder engine. Ironically enough, the sister company of Nysschen’s former employer is going the exact opposite route, cutting out its turbocharged V-8 in favor of a V-12 configuration.

It is admirable seeing luxury automakers willing to take a step forward to help meet the needs of the world, as fuel prices continue to rise. This is a sharp contrast to his former employer stance, as Volkswagen has spoken out pretty harshly against these upcoming regulations and is one of only a handful of car manufacturers that has not signed the CAFE agreement. We wonder if this was a ideological difference that helped push Nysschen away from Audi and VW.

Keep an eye out for the next generation of Infiniti cars to be lacking the all mighty Nissan 5.6-liter V-8 engine and we are now awaiting Nissan to announce a similar changeover. This would entail changes to the Nissan Titan and NV van lineups. Ford has already shown that a turbocharged V-6 engine works great in a pickup truck and we’re sure it translates well to a van too.

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Japan Eyeballing the 2020s for Introduction of Automated Vehicles

Japan Eyeballing the 2020s for Introduction of Automated Vehicles

We do our best to keep you in the loop when it comes to new and cool developments in the automotive world. One of the hottest topics going right now in the U.S. is automated driving. Though it is still several decades away from being a national reality, although some states are legalizing autonomous cars, we are still seeing some progress. The leader in this technology to date in the U.S. is the Google Prius, but other automakers - such as Cadillac and Ford - sniffing around the automated car sector.

In Japan, however, they are taking the bull by the horns and setting up an outline for national implementation of an autonomous driving system. According to a report from Tech-On, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) is starting to piece together how to make automated driving a reality in as little as eight years.

Starting immediately, the MLIT will start piecing together the problems related to automated driving and neatly package it in an interim report that is due for release in March of 2013. Some of the issues at hand have to include: driver attentiveness, driver override ability, handling of accidents, and infrastructure development.

The MLIT has already employed the help of Toyota, Nissan, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (A.K.A. Subaru), Honda, and Mazda in this project. Heading up the entire team is Yasuo Asakura, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

For now, this is all just talk and we will see if anything ever comes of it. If this is actually a serious deal, it could drastically accelerate the timeframe that we in the industry have set for automated cars. We will keep a close eye on this situation and update you if any new details come up. Until then, enjoy your steering wheel, while you still can.

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Nissan Dummies Down Tire Pressure

Nissan Dummies Down Tire Pressure

Remember when TPMS was just a cool feature on BMW, GM, and Mercedes vehicles? In 2006, the NHTSA and DOT came together to make it a law for all incoming 2007 vehicles to have direct TPMS standard. When this happened, the tire industry released a collective “Oh man, are you serious?” Well, now another company is taking the simplifying of tire pressure an extra step beyond a flashing indicator saying “Hey, put some air in the tires, please!”

That’s right; starting with the 2013 model year, Nissan will include a system that actually activates the horn when the tires have reached their correct pressure on all of its cars. This all comes on the heels of a successful test of the system on the 2013 Altima. No more “confusing” tire pressure gauges to fumble around with. In all seriousness though, this is actually an ingenious idea. When I was in the tire business, you have no idea how many times a customer would roll up asking us to put 44 psi in his 1995 Cavalier’s tires because that’s what the sidewall of the tire says is the max pressure, or his grandfather once told him that more air increases gas mileage.

So now when you are whipping down the road in your 2013 370Z and that pesky “Low Pressure” light starts flashing, you can just fill `er up `till it beeps. Why not take it a step further and just install a small compressor that fires up and adds air to the tire as you drive via a vein that runs through the casting of the rim?

We’re kidding Mr. and Mrs. Automotive Engineer, if that happens we all had better just stay off of the road, because if you can’t inflate your tires due to lack of knowledge, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place. Let’s all hope that never happens.

Click past the jump to read Nissan’s press release.

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Police find car bomb in Times Square

Police find car bomb in Times Square

The word “bomb” instantly ignites a series of horrifying images in the minds of Americans, as we’re sure it does for a lot of folks outside the U.S. After September 11, 2001, bombs of all shapes and sizes came to have a completely new meaning and the appalling sights of New York will be forever etched in our minds.

Needless to say, when a car bomb was found in a Nissan Pathfinder on a warm Saturday evening while tourists and residents alike enjoyed the evening, hysteria was sure to break out. On Saturday, May 1, 2010, two street vendors came running up to a mounted police officer with news of a car that was filling with smoke while parked on a curb with its engine running and lights flashing. The area was immediately cleared and backup was called.

The Nissan Pathfinder was discovered to have gasoline, propane, firecrackers and simple alarm clocks as well as eight bags of a granular substance inside a 55-inch-tall metal gun locker. The granular substance was later discovered to be non-explosive fertilizer. Officials have taken the bomb to a forensics center in Jaimaca, Queens to pan every inch of it for DNA, hairs, fiber, or fingerprints. No such evidence has yet to be found. The vehicle’s ownership has yet to be determined after a couple of leads turned out to be dead ends.

Hit the jump for the full story.

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