Nissan’s popular Rouge CUV has proven to be a hot seller for Nissan but has also exposed the lack of a smaller entry for the Japanese car giant. Nissan appears to be eager to solve this problem, and introduce the Qashqai CUV to the U.S. market if recent rumors are to be believed.
This is according to several unnamed sources via The Truth About Carswho revealed that the Qashqai will make its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. If this move is indeed legit, it would give Nissan a second entry in the popular CUV segment which is experiencing a surge of demand here in the U.S. There is also some precedence for this as well, with the larger Rouge becoming Nissan’s best selling model in the U.S. during 2016. This achievement also allowed it to completely overtake the Nissan Altima and Sentra sedans for the first time ever in corporate vehicle sales.
Meanwhile, the Qashqai is the best selling model in Europe, and while there is a concern that the Qashqai will cannibalize sales from the larger Rouge if it is offered in the U.S. market, Nissan could treat it as a necessary evil especially since the company would rather prefer that option versus seeing potential customers drifting to rivals like the Toyota CH-R, Honda HR-V, and the recently announced Ford EcoSport.
It’s currently unknown how extensive of a revision program NIssan would have to do to the Qashqai in order to make it pass U.S. regulations, but at first glance the Rouge and Qashqai look very similar to one another though, the Qashqai’s smaller wheelbase and the lack of a third row seat blow its cover on closer inspection. Both models also underpin a platform that is currently used in several other world market Nissan products, but it is unknown what engines would make it over to the U.S. version. That said, we’re confident that the diesel engine that sees duty in the dCi 130 variant will most likely not make the trip across the pond due to it needing extensive work to meet tougher U.S. diesel regulations, especially in the wake of the ongoing Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.
Look for the Qashqai to go on sale sometime in 2017 if the current time table is confirmed with more information possibly being unveiled in Detroit.
Nissan has big plans for its Sentra compact car, and the first chapter was recently unveiled with the debut of the recently unveiled Sentra SR Turbo. However, there will always be a select group of buyers that want a tantalizing slice of the performance enhancements that the Nismo is known for, so the company has unveiled their compelling slice of Sentra pie with the all new 2017 Sentra Nismo.
The exterior styling of the Nismo will be the first key change that many Sentra faithful will notice with the front fascia receiving a “layered double wing” design on the lower front of the front fascia with tweaked side skirts, a revised rear fascia, and a revised rear spoiler adding a visual exclamation point to the design. Red accent stripes help add contrast to the sedan, and buyers can choose from five different colors Brilliant, Silver, Super Black, Aspen White, or Gun Metallic. Rounding out the more aggressive suit of clothes are 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels that look slick, and add a strong finishing point to its profile.
Nismo engineers also revamped the car’s suspension, and the Sentra Nismo benefits from upgraded struts and front springs as well as monotube rear dampers which benefit from the 0.4 inch drop in ride height. Sticky Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires help keep the car planted during all forms of spirited driving. However, for buyers that prefer to have even more grip, the Sentra Nismo can also be equipped with Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires.
Performance hardware for the Sentra Nismo is largely carried over from the Sentra SR Turbo which includes the 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that brings 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. A six speed manual transmission is standard equipment, but buyers can opt for an optional Nismo tuned Xtronic CVT automatic. The Nismo also shares the SR Turbo’s braking gear, and features 11.7 inch vented disc brakes at the front, and 11.5 inch disc brakes at the rear.
The interior also comes nicely equipped and includes a leather wrapped steering wheel with Alcantara inserts, Nismo branded carpets, a red tachometer, and other Nismo touches to spice things up even further. The interior is only available in charcoal with red contrast accents and also comes with only one option. Dubbed the Nismo Premium Package, it features goodies such as an eight speaker Bose audio system, Nissan voice recognition technology, and the NissanConnect system.
Pricing for the Sentra Nismo has not been officially confirmed, but early reports suggest that the sedan will start at just under $25,000 which would be $3,000 more than the SR Turbo with the first units arriving in Nissan showrooms sometime next year.
Following up on a concept that Nissan unveiled three years ago, the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the first prototype version of its BladeGlider concept car.
At first glance, the prototype does not stray too far from the concept with the vehicle retaining the unique front fascia as well as the overall wedge shape. This particular layout places the driver in the center of the vehicle, And assures equal distance between the seat and each of the swept wing doors. Seating will be familiar to supercar enthusiasts with the BladeGlider boasting seating for three, and a driver centric layout for the various controls.
The BladeGlider is a pure EV, but Nissan says that it’s wedge shaped masterpiece borrows technology from its Leaf eco car. Unlike the Leaf, the BladeGlider sends its power to the rear wheels via dual 130-kW electric motors which allows the car to be capable of torque vectoring with the system correcting understeer by sending power to the outside wheel. A built in drift mode allows drivers to turn the system off if they choose.
Despite its role as a demonstration vehicle, Nissan claims that the prototype can reach 62 mph in just under five seconds, with the car eventually topping out at 115 mph. The combined system is capable of producing 268 horsepower and 521 lb-ft of torque which are potent figures for a vehicle weighing 2,870 lbs.
“Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero emission future and Nissan BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that” stated Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
These comments do not reveal whether there is a specific plan for production, or if there is even intent to push this car into a limited production run. If it does somehow get the green light for production, it will face an uphill climb before eventually reaching customers. In addition to complying with safety regulations, the BladeGlider has two front wheels in its nose which means that Nissan cannot sell it as a three wheeled motorcycle. This particular exemption is enjoyed by the Polaris Slingshot and our favorite trike around the office the Morgan 3-Wheeler.
More likely than not, the BladeGlider would be classified as a track only piece, which would put it in the same class as the KTM X-Bow and the Ariel Atom. In the meantime, the BladeGlider will be making the trek to the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, where it will be used as a promotional tool. Nissan also released a brief video about the BladeGlider which can be seen below.
When Aston Martin unveiled the GT12 Vantage, the track focused variant not only pushed the limits of Vantage performance, but also showed just how potent the 10+ year old Vantage still is when controlled by skilled hands. However, it needed something a bit more special and Q by Aston Martin has delivered with a one-off GT12 Vantage roadster that’ll be making its debut at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Crafted for a customer in Europe, the GT12 roadster shares many of the same styling cues that made their debut on the coupe including its newly sculpted hood. Chopping the roof off such a track focused beast may seem a bit eccentric, but the chance to hear the full sound track of the engine while also soaking up the sunshine is a compelling treat that makes the effort worthwhile.
In addition to its race focused styling cues, the roadster also carries over with the coupe’s carbon fiber body panels which help shed 330 lbs despite the addition of the heavier soft top assembly. This focus on weight loss allows the car to be more buttoned down on the track while still offering enough comfort to tackle street driving.
Performance for the GT12 roadster is shared with the coupe and comes from a tweaked 6.0 liter naturally aspirated V12 engine. Good for 592 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque, these figures should be enough for it to shred lap records with 0 to 60 times roughly mirroring its coupe sibling. A seven speed SportShift III automatic transmission is the sole choice avalible but Aston claims that it produces quicker shifts than a traditional manual gearbox.
Pricing for the roadster has not been released, but look for the model to be more expensive than the $343,000 base price wielded by the coupe. Being a one-off piece, the roadster will most likely spend the majority of its life in a garage after it makes its apperance in Goodwood, but we hope the owner will let it go for a jaunt on sunny days.
Following the recent unveiling of the updated 2017 Nissan GT-R, the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the updated Nismo variant and chose to make its debut more dynamic by traveling to the famed Nurburgring race track.
The exterior styling shares many of the same updates that first made their mark on the standard model. These include the new V-motion grille, revamped front splitter, tweaked headlights, as well as more splashes of carbon fiber trim on the front bumper. The rear fascia is more reserved, but a new rear bumper and four round exhaust tips highlight the extent of its updates.
Like the exterior, the Nismo’s cabin also recieves its own host of updates, and benefits from the upscale touches that made their debut on the standard car. Alcantara upholstry is standard equipment, and the updated center console boasts fewer switches and buttons than before. The Nismo also benefits from an eight inch touchscreen infotainment system as well as model exclusive Recaro seats with red inserts.
Nissan engineers chose to not make any revisions to the performance hardware lurking under the hood. This is actually not a bad thing since the car still retains its hand built 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which makes an earth splitting 600 horsepower and an equally stout 481 lb-ft of torque. A six speed dual clutch automatic transmission channels power to all four wheels and should allow the Nismo to make the sprint to 60 mph in the low 2 second range.
The heavily modified body also allowed Nissan engineers to unleash hidden levels of handling potential thanks to stiffer springs, new shock absorbers, and new stabilizer pieces which makes the car more stable at higher speeds while also allowing it to outshine its predecessor on the track.
The 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo is expected to arrive in dealer lots later this year with pricing information being released closer to its official launch date.
Following on the news that Mitsubishi falsified mileage records for every vehicle that it sold in Japan since 1991, and the subsequent collapse of its financial resources and stock value, the ailing Japanese automaker has been saved by an unexpected white knight, Nissan.
The Japanese auto giant confirmed this suprising news in an announcement earlier this week, revealing that it has bought one third of Mitsubishi’s stock (roughly 34 percent) for $2.2 billion. On the surface, this move makes sense for both companies, especially since Mitsubishi’s cover up was revealed thanks to data discrepencies in Mitsubishi assembled Nissan badged JDM vehicles. As such, it’s only logical for Nissan to come in and quickly do damage control before things spiraled further downward.
Mitsubishi’s chairman Osamu Masako claimed that the merger was inevitable revealing to the New York Times that “it would have happened one day” anyway. This move highlights Mitsubishi’s gradual decline over the last two decades, with the company ditching conventional performance models, and instead focusing on a green vehicle initiative that has so far not gotten very far off the starting blocks. Even worse is that Mitsubishi’s current lineup does not standout from competitors with the Mirage economy car failing to make a dent in the entry level segment, while the all electric i-MiEV is lost in the EV sales shuffle.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is confident that he can make Mitsubishi profitable again revealing “We have the track record to make it work” citing Renault’s rescue and subsequent turnaround of Nissan in the early 2000’s. Ghosn also revealed that the deal will help save billions in development costs for both parties. This will be good for Mitsubishi since it can have better access to select Nissan platforms which can help the company fill multiple voids in its model lineup. This can include more crossovers as well as an SUV to help it profit from the increase in demand for those vehicles.
Prior to its unveiling at an event in Chicago, the 2017 Nissan Armada was rumored to finally embrace the same body on frame platform that underpins its international cousin the Patrol. We are pleased to hear that every bit of this rumor is true, and it allows the Armada to be better than ever.
The revamped exterior is a tasteful blend of Patrol and Infiniti QX80 traits with the latter model sharing its platform. The end result is a much more muscular appearance that allows the Armada to look more purposeful than before, while it’s chiseled angles allow it to stand out against rivals. As a neat bonus, the Armada comes equipped with standard LED technology for the low beam headlights and running lamps, again a nod to its Infiniti sibling.
Thankfully, the 2017 Armada retains the stout performance figures that have made the model stand out with buyers. A 5.6 liter V8 is the sole choice available, and is good for a healthy 390 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. A seven speed automatic is also standard, and replaces the ancient five speed automatic that saw duty in the old model. While the engine itself is mainly carried over, key upgrades to select components such as the new pistons and direct fuel injection help it rise above the paltry 317 horsepower that once defined the old Armada. The new figures also allow the 2017 Armada to wield an impressive 8,500 towing capacity which is great for hauling boats and large trailers.
When the Armada eventually arrives on dealer lots, it will be offered in three different trim levels SV, SL, and the range topping Platinum. Each trim level offers an impressive array of standard equipment including an 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system, heated front seats, and a mighty 13 speaker Bose audio system. The SL adds a power operating third row seat, remote start, and a power lift gate. Nissan’s clever Around View monitoring system is also standard, and helps improve safety especially when parking. The Platinum meanwhile crams even more luxury into its flanks, and adds a rear DVD system, moonroof, and an impressive arsenal of safety features. The Platinum model also features a seven passenger layout, but replaces the second row bench seat with comfy captain’s chairs.
Nissan claims that our version of the Armada is essentially the international version of the Patrol that has been enhanced for the U.S. market. This decision will help Nissan benefit in the long run, since it can now invest its development money into a unified global platform versus two separate ones tailored to two different markets. Look for the 2017 Nissan Armada to formally go on sale this summer after it makes its debut later this week at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.
After a shockingly poor showing in various racing events this season, Nissan has thrown in the towel revealing that it is pulling the plug on its groundbreaking but flawed GT-R LM NISMO racecar.
The Japanese company initially planned to exploit a loophole in the regulations when it entered the endurance racing grid last season. Nissan put its fortunes on a radical front engine/front drive layout while the rest of its competition stuck with conventional rear mounted configurations. The idea behind this switch was to improve air flow while also enhancing aerodynamics with more downforce on the rear wheels.
However, the plan did not work, and the results were disappointing at best. All three cars under performed in their qualifying runs at the 2015 24 hrs of Le Mans, and were so slow that they were issued penalties for being too slow for their class. This streak of penalties relegated them to the back of the prototype class grid prior to the race. Things only went downhill from there during the race itself in June, with only one of the cars successfully finishing the race. All three cars also ran with their hybrid systems only functioning at half power, which greatly affected the amount of muscle that they could generate. The car’s performance in the World Endurance Championship series (WEC) during 2015 was also less than spectacular with all three vehicles failing to keep up with established rivals in the LMP1 class.
Nissan revealed in its announcement that it put everything it had into making the cars succeed stating “The teams worked diligently to bring the vehicles up to the desired performance levels.” “However, the company concluded that the program would not be able to reach its ambitions and decided to focus on developing its long term racing strategies.”
While its foray into the factory backed racing business went horribly wrong, Nissan will still be highly active in the WEC but in lieu of fielding any future racing entries, the company will serve as an engine supplier for the organization going forward. Hopefully we will see a new entry from Nissan in the not too distant future. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built over night” and perhaps a similar mantra will help keep Nissan’s dreams afloat.
With the Q50 sedan being a relatively new offering, Infiniti has unveiled the updated 2016 version which spices up the driving experience with a suite of new engines and a new performance model.
The bulk of the updates can be found under the hood where an all new 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 makes itself at home. Replacing the aging 3.7 liter V6, it makes 300 horsepower, and is a noticeable upgrade over the old V6. However for buyers that crave even more power, they can opt for the all new Q50 Red Sport. While the name may not be the most compelling moniker ever created, it does make up for it by offering slick red paint, and an evolution of the 3.0 liter V6 which brings 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. This puts the Red Sport in the same elite bracket as rivals from BMW and Lexus.
The base Q50 meanwhile comes with a 2.0 liter turbocharged 208 horsepower four cylinder engine that also makes a respectable 258 lb-ft of torque. All three engines come equipped with a seven speed automatic transmission and standard issue rear wheel drive. The transmission also comes equipped with steering wheel mounted shift paddles to help drivers take full control of the driving experience. Buyers in snowier climates can opt for an optional all-wheel drive system to add some extra grip to their purchase.
As for the hybrid model, it carries over virtually unchanged which means the familiar 3.5 liter V6 and 50-kilowatt motor are present and accounted for with the combo producing 360 horsepower.
Another key update is an upgraded version of Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering. Unlike the older unit, this iteration can make up to 1,000 adjustments per second and works hand in hand with an all new Dynamic Digital Suspension system (DDS) that allows the driver to quickly alter the firmness of the suspension at the flick of a switch. The system also features software that scans the movement of the shock absorbers to help soak up bumps and road imperfections.
Look for the 2016 Infiniti Q50 to make its official debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. After it makes its debut under the lights, it will go on sale across the U.S in the middle part of 2016. Pricing information and formal performance figures will not be released until it’s formal launch, but look for these figures to be on par with other established rivals.
With the current generation Silverado only on the market for a mere two years since its radical overhaul, Chevrolet has formally unveiled the first major update for its full size pickup truck the 2016 Silverado.
When it eventually arrives in Chevrolet showrooms this fall, the front fascia will feature a much more menacing look than before which is thanks in part to a new hood design, as well as updated headlights with LED accenting. It is this particular change that may prove controversial with Chevrolet buyers especially those that may think that the accents clash with the revamped front grille. Otherwise, the truck will retain much of its basic shape, and more importantly its all steel construction which has recently become a key selling point for the truck when compared to its arch rival the aluminium bodied Ford F-150.
The interior of the 2016 Silverado is also expected to largely retain much of its basic design, but Chevrolet engineers have equipped it with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities for further infotainment options. Chevrolet has also confirmed that the truck will feature “additional safety technologies” for 2016, but it is keeping key details about the technologies under wraps until the truck is closer to its official market launch. We suspect that some details will eventually trickle out regardless, possibly when the truck is formally debuted at a future auto show.
Performance hardware for the 2016 SIlverado will arrive largely unchanged (following the theme set in place by the tweaked interior and exterior) but a key change that buyers may notice is that the company is now expanding the availability of its all new eight speed automatic transmission giving buyers of the mid range 5.3 liter V8 the chance to add it to their rigs. Prior to this move, the eight speed was only available on models equipped with the 6.2 liter V8.
“The redesigned 2016 Silverado will build on Chevy Truck’s legacy of dependability. It will feature a more muscular appearance, and offer new customer-focused technologies.” stated Sandor Piszar marketing director for Chevy Trucks.
This redesign comes in the midst of the current generation recording a 14.6 percent uptick in sales this year, and it is believed that this abrupt refresh is a direct response to the recently introduced Ford F-150 pickup truck. Sales of the F-150 have dipped 2.4 percent this year (mainly due to concerns regarding its aluminium body panels) but this small slide in sales has not affected its place as the best selling vehicle in its segment.
It is currently unknown if its corporate cousin the GMC Sierra will benefit from a similar update or not in the future, but we here at Autoinfoquest strongly suspect that it will eventually follow the Silverado’s path and offer some form of refresh in the near future to help it remain relevant against rivals.