As the year winds down, we look back at the cars we've reviewed in 2008, and try to figure out which one qualifies as the Tech Car of the Year. To that end, our staff has boiled the choices down to five nominees, and, as in past years, you can vote for your favorite. These nominees represent the best cabin and performance tech available in a production car today. To make the list, they also have to exhibit at least one over-the-top tech feature. Check out the nominees, vote in our poll, and discuss your choice. The final winner … Read more
Unfazed by dour economic news, Nissan launched the NV2500 concept vehicle today, a work van designed for the American market. Although they lack the glamour of private cars, commercial vehicles can become a substantial revenue source for automakers. Nissan currently sells commercial vehicles in other markets around the world, but the NV2500 serves as an announcement of its intention to compete in North America. Ford showed a similar interest in buffing up its North American commercial offerings when it brought its European Transit Connect to the New York Auto Show.
But where the Transit Connect is meant for urban environments, … Read more
Automakers in Europe plan new business models for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids before 2011.
The business models will eliminate the need for gasoline stations. Energy will be supplied by utility companies. The automakers also will need to take into account the life span of batteries, which will depreciate and wear out quicker than the cars themselves.
Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler, Renault-Nissan, Volvo, and General Motors are among the carmakers that plan to bring plug-in hybrids and full-electric cars to market in 2011.
When that happens, carmakers, utility companies, and battery suppliers will need to be ready to take over the role of energy suppliers from oil companies. This will require a restructuring of energy supply arrangements and infrastructure.
But the industry also needs to examine such areas as calculations of operating costs, vehicle depreciation and billing systems.
"We have to prepare for a new era in our industry like never before," Thomas Weber, Daimler board member for R&D, told Automotive News Europe. "Managing financial conditions is crucial for a successful electrification of cars."
Nissan just launched the latest version of the Z, the 2009 model designated as the 370Z, taking over where the 350Z left off. This new car takes styling cues from the GT-R, Nissan's new supercar, and shows improved power and performance over its predecessor. We take the car on a California road trip, one of its less suitable activities, and try it out on some winding roads, where its wide tires and downshift rev-matching features make all the difference. Cabin tech in our tester was nothing to write home about, but Nissan makes a full tech suite available, including … Read more
The cheap car price wars are heating up with Hyundai's announcement that it is dropping the price of its Accent GS three door to $9,970, knocking the $9,990 Nissan Versa 1.6 from its short-lived position as the least-expensive car in America. With a single $20 separating the two vehicles, let's take a look at the specs and see how cheapskate champions compare.
Starting under the hood, both vehicles are equipped with 1.6-liter four-bangers. Nissan's 107-horsepower engine is just edged out by the Hyundai's 110-horsepower mill. Both qualify as Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEV) … Read more
Finally, the Z stops looking like a beetle that ate too many Oreos. We take a look at the 2009 Nissan 370Z on the floor of the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Nissan unveiled the Cube for the US market at the 2008 LA Auto Show. Though it's been available in Japan for some time now, we'll know soon enough whether American buyers are ready for the Cube when it hits showrooms as a 2009 model.
Not to be overshadowed by the 370Z, the Cube is the most unconventional designs to come out of Nissan in some time. The Cube features a squared-circle theme punctuated by a radical wrap-around asymmetrical rear window. Inside, the Cube is surprisingly spacious with a relaxing aesthetic with a concentric circle theme that's repeated … Read more
On Tuesday, Nissan revealed the 2009 370Z Coupe at the 2008 LA Auto Show and we've got the pictures to prove it.
Viewed in the round, we can see the new Z's shapely rear end and muscular shoulders. Hints of Nissan GT-R can be seen in the catfish's mouth front air dam and concave roof. Factor in dimensions and proportions that are more in line with the classic Z car formula and you've got what at least looks like a winner.
Of course, not everyone is a fan of the Z's new look. Pop over … Read more
Astute readers will notice that whenever we refer to Nissan's new Z, we specify 370Z Coupe. What about the convertible variant of Nissan's Z car? How do Nissan's recent announcements and unveilings affect the Z Roadster?
Well, for now at least, they don't. The Z Roadster will continue as a 350Z model, with the legacy styling and the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine under the hood producing the same 306 horsepower. In fact, the only update for 2009 is a new Moonlight White exterior color, which replaces Pikes Peak White. In other words, there's no (… Read more