Nissan’s been making waves within the automotive press lately with two announcements – first, that it’s developing a sports car to go head-to-head with the likes of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, and second, that it’s slashing the sticker prices of 2014 370Z Coupes by up to $3 grand versus last year. The two statements seem to go hand in hand, considering the current 370Z’s been around since 2008 more or less unchanged. Dropping the price on the hardtop, which has seen some key new competitors come into the marketplace since then, will incentivize those buyers on the fence to make the move now. What remains to be seen is what, if any, effect that new sports car will have on the next Z car, or if perhaps a change in mission in fact means the next Z is that new BRZ/FR-S competitor.
As I write this, what appears to be a black-construction-paper-interpretation of an origami tadpole sits in my driveway. Nissan calls it a crossover, but I’m inclined to disagree. It might be a dystopian interpretation of the future of the car, but I’d still call it a car nonetheless. The Juke is deceiving. I first saw one in England when I was living there, and having only seen it in pictures up until that point, I was somewhat shocked when I saw it in the metal. It’s small, this thing. It looks big in pictures, but it hardly casts a bigger shadow than a Golf or Impreza hatchback. It gives the impression of being tall by virtue of how short and narrow it is; at 164 inches, it’s shorter than a VW GTI by two inches and narrower by a couple tenths. Being only 4 inches taller than the GTI, it’s clear the design is meant to play visual tricks on passers-by.
Nissan’s Rogue entered the small crossover fray in 2007, a year fraught with potential danger for the company’s new baby. The heads of the class, the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, were still sporting fresh redesigns, the Toyota having received a much-lauded makeover in 2006 and the CR-V an aggressive restyling for the 2007 model year. And while Nissan had successfully dipped its toe in the compact SUV pond elsewhere in the world with the Qashqai/Dualis and X-Trail, the US represented uncharted waters. Indeed, Ford, Honda and Toyota had already done a pretty good job of exploiting Nissan’s absence, so the Rogue had its work cut out for it before it even landed in showrooms. It had to be a bit of a Rogue, but also a gentleman, in order to woo buyers. Luckily, it has pretty much succeeded on both counts. This Rogue has received good marks both in the press and with buyers for its melding of value and comfort, but also (for the segment) sorted driving dynamics. How does the Rogue, now in its sixth model year for this iteration, stand up to scrutiny in a tough segment?
Even with the minivan segment as lean as it currently is, there’s still room to be considered an outsider. Case in point: the Nissan Quest. Originally introduced via a joint venture with Ford (remember the Mercury Villager?) the first and second generation Quests split the deck in the minivan game, fitting nicely between the short wheelbase and long wheelbase variations of the Chrysler vans. With its third generation, Nissan pushed the Quest off the deep end. Sporting more than a touch of French design quirkiness, the Quest expanded in all directions, finally one-upping even the long wheelbase Chryslers in overall size.
Greetings, loyal readers! My name is Kasey Kagawa – some of you might remember me from a few years ago when I hosted the Speed:Sport:Life Radio news podcast – and now I have returned to once again bring you warmed-over news and half-witted commentary, just in this new, textual form that we shall call Speed:Sport:Life News. The 2013 Chicago Auto Show started today, and like all auto shows, there’s announcements with a little “A”, and Announcements. And so, we’ll start this off with the bits of fluff and bother that warrant little more than a brief mention.
Nissan has released this teaser image of their new Resonance crossover concept which is set to be unveiled at the 2013 NAIAS on January 15th. They haven’t released any details other than the Resonance will feature a hybrid-electric powertrain. This concept will likely indicate the design direction of the next Nissan Murano.
For Krider Racing, the 2012 running of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill started with rum and ended with rum. It took a fair amount of rum to garner the courage to take on such a monumental task like “The 25.” This is the story of how a group of friends came together to compete with factory backed professional race teams in the longest road race in North America, while campaigning a $500 car that was originally built for the 24 Hours of LeMons, and somehow walked away victorious. This is the Krider Racing 25 Hours of Thunderhill “Rum Diary”
We’re very sad that we aren’t going to be at Road Atlanta this year for Petit Le Mans, but that isn’t keeping us from paying close attention to the on-track events going on during the week. Yesterday was a test session for all the ALMS cars and unfortunately the Nissan DeltaWing was hit by a GTC car while coming down into turn 12, causing it to roll over. Nissan has released the footage of the incident and really shows the dangers of multi-class racing. We’re hearing that the DeltaWing team has pulled an all-nighter and is expected to have the car back on track later today.
Nissan’s 2013 Altima replacement has leaked ahead of the 2012 New York International Auto Show. Their bread-and-butter replacement boasts what they claim is a segment-beating 38mpg highway rating from a warmed-over 2.5L 4-cylinder engine (the 3.5L VQ V6 returns unchanged). Most importantly, the interior is thoroughly refreshed. Take a gander at the full release below, along with a couple more photos.
The Krider Racing Nissan Sentra SE-R takes second place at the world famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the ChumpCar 7.5 hour enduro.
After lunching an engine at the ChumpCar Laguna Seca event in November 2011, the team throws a new engine in the car and heads back to “The Corkscrew” to take second place just weeks later. After some countless hours nerding out in front of a laptop the post-race compilation video is up and viewable here.