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2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster Review

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Nissan makes great sports cars, and the Z has been one of the best known and most praised of them all. We received a 370Z Roadster to drive for the week and had every bit as much fun as we did with the Porsche Boxster. Top down, it was lunch time, and with Bucky Worboys behind the wheel, I stepped into the passenger seat.

The interior was brilliant; the center console had a bit of a plastic look, but not enough to be discouraging. We raced out of the duPont REGISTRY headquarters and off to the main roads. The windshield was aerodynamically fit to direct wind completely over our heads, making the breeze light enough to wear a hat if we chose. We turned off the main road and proceeded to our signature ‘S’ turns to test the handling.

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The Z gripped the road with little effort; however, both Worboys and I could feel nearly every bump and crack around each turn. We reached our straightaway, stopped, and prepared for take-off. We launched off from the start and hit 60 mph in what I guessed to be just over five seconds. This seems correct, as the factory specification for the Z Roadster is said to be 4.7 seconds, and it did have the extra weight of a passenger.

We arrived back at the headquarters, put the top up in a quick 21 seconds and stepped out, giving me another chance to admire the exterior of the vehicle. The design was clearly sport oriented with aggressive lines and the classic “Z” look. I was able to spot the Nissan sport brakes that came as options as I admired the 19” RAYS forged aluminum alloy wheels. Most of the body, right down to the headlights and taillights, was no different from Zs of the past few years, but I had no complaints. It was a beautiful car.

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Posted by: Ed Jones
Posted on: 11/13/2013 at 8:34 AM
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2013 Nissan Juke NISMO Review

2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO

Price:  $22,990

Engine:  Turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder

Transmission:  6-speed manual

Power:  197 hp & 184 lb-ft

The cab of the Juke NISMO was surprising to say the least. It had an overall sporty feel, with touches of elegance and for the price, it might be harder to find a more attractive interior. Nissan included NISMO sport bucket front seats with some heavy-duty bolsters for extra support around those sharp corners. Alcantara covers the steering wheel, while leather and Alcantara covers the gear selector to posh up the cab. The interior was insanely spacious for how small the vehicle looks on the outside. The seats are great for around town but as for long road trips I would suggest an alternative or a pillow.

The Navigation screen was touch operated or button operated, which was nice for those unwilling to cope with touchscreens. The screen itself wasn't too big, but not too small at 5 inches. Buttons on the console were a little confusing at first, but once mastered quite unique and usable as they each changed function with the press of a button. The gauge cluster was eye-pleasing with the tachometer in red and a speedometer in blue. On the gauge cluster engine readouts could be found, which included how must boost the engine was holding. We found this to be more for show rather than an exact measure. The sound system was very good for the vehicles price range -a Rockford Fosgate sound system.

2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO

The power from a stand still was actually quite tremendous considering we had two adults and two teenagers in the vehicle. The Juke NISMO easily got up in a hurry and went quick enough to keep the driver from shifting before the rev limiter - this crossover will scream through gears pretty easily. Highway power was definitely there, but at the end of the day it’s still a 4-cylinder, albeit a turbocharged 4-cylinder.  Handling is where the car truly showed its NISMO heritage, gripping the road with minimal body roll through tight and twisty roads and asking for more. When it came time to stop, braking power was adequate and nothing stellar.

Overall the Juke was comfortable for the first hour of our road trip, but after that you find yourself twisting and turning in the seats to get comfortable. Its a capable crossover, able to take on the roads thrown at it in quick and flat fashion (even with multiple passengers. There are not many crossovers on the market that will get you as much bang-for-the-buck as the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO will.

2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO


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Posted by: Ed Jones
Posted on: 8/9/2013 at 5:46 AM
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Review of the 2013 Nissan 370z Roadster

The brand new 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster is an absolute treat of a car. Powered by a 3.7-liter V6, this car produces 332hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The model we were given to review was the 370Z Touring with the Sport package, which comes has a starting price of $47,000. While that is a steep price for a Nissan, you get every bit of your dollar's worth of of this car.

Inside the car, you are greeted with two roomy seats and an inviting feeling. Both the steering wheel and center console were free of clutter and only had the buttons that are necessary. The media center and navigation system were simple to use after the brief learning curve. As far as space goes, the 2013 370z has plenty of room. Our 6'4" colleague had plenty of legroom and headroom in cockpit, which is quite a feat for such a small looking car. However, if you happen to be a 7" being, you may have to put the top down, which takes about 20 seconds.

From the outside this car screams 'sports car'. It has a tight little body and and front fascia that is simple yet powerful. My favorite part of the front end were the LEDs on the sides that are reminiscent of Master Chief's helmet from the video game Halo. The styling all around the 2013 370z Touring Roadster is fantastic. It has a short wheelbase, low ground clearance and the car itself is quite short. All of this allows for a low center of gravity, which allows for a fun and exciting drive.

The 3.7-liter V6 that powers this car provides plenty of power off of the line and even through higher speeds. You can choose either the 6-speed manual transmission or the 7-speed automatic transmission. Both come with Downshift rev matching which does exactly what you think it does. While this system may help those who are unfamiliar with a manual transmission, I felt like I was cheating the manual transmission. My daily driver is a manual, and part of the fun is rev matching, because when you get that perfect downshift, you feel like a racecar driver for a split second. But then that feeling is gone within seconds because you realize you are stuck in traffic in an old Mustang.

If you are looking for a top-of-the-line sports car without the $100k price tag, I highly suggest you take one for a test drive at your local Nissan dealer. I had a blast with this car and was very surprised with how well it performed. While the MSRP is near $50k, if will give you every dollars worth.

 

 


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Posted by: Ed Jones
Posted on: 11/29/2012 at 4:56 AM
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Review: 2013 Nissan Rogue

 

Compact SUVs are all the rage in the automotive market and it is a tough market to crack. Some companies have done it right, while others have faltered. Does Nissan have what it takes to make a winner out of the 2013 Rogue?

From the outside, the Rogue is a great looking compact SUV. Really, if someone were to ask me for an example of how a compact SUV should look, I would gladly point them towards a Nissan Rogue. It has very sport appearance that crossovers are so fond of. One thing I loved about its exterior is that it didn’t scream, “I’m just a small SUV.”

Once inside, you are greeted with an interior that is a tad… boring. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very functional interior, but a bit of sprucing up would be nice. This dulled down interior may be because of the Rogue’s low starting price of just $24,000. So, for a crossover at that price, I really can’t complain. It is a reasonably priced compact SUV, but you get your moneys worth, trust me. The roomy interior was a surprise, considering the Rogue’s small stature. All passengers are given plenty of leg and head room in the Rogue. And the trunk gives you room for all of your groceries and then some.

On the road the Rogue feels very much like a car, which is a good thing. These type of SUVs aren’t meant to drive like Range Rovers or Hummers, they are supposed to give you the space of an SUV and the drive of a coupe and the Rogue does just that. However, like I always say, there could be a tad more power under the hood, but with 23/28 mpg, sometimes using less fuel is better than being able to zip down the roads. And what do you really expect from a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine?

I enjoyed by stay with the 2013 Nissan Rogue. There were a few marks for it, but overall I was impressed. Nissan has done great with this model and I look for them to improve on it. Its low price and attractive styling will draw the crowd, while its power may have some second guessing.

 


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Posted by: Ed Jones
Posted on: 11/15/2012 at 3:49 AM
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Categories: Nissan
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Datsun to Create $3,000 Car

 

The Wall Street Journal recently sat down with the CEO and Chair of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, and talk to him about his plans for reviving Datsun.  The most striking topic that was brought up was his plan to create a $3,000 car.  Many are speculating that there is no way to profit off of such a cheap car, by Ghosn is sticking to his guns.  Here is the interview:

 

WSJ: Why Datsun, and why now?

Mr. Ghosn: The responsibility of every CEO is to make sure that you have enough waves for growth for the future…The most obvious one is geographical extension…But all car manufacturers are already practically everywhere. So in a certain way the growth [era] coming from geographical extension is ending because we are all global. We have, in our midterm plan, three [new] accelerators of growth that we have identified. The first one is [Nissan’s luxury brand] Infiniti….The second accelerator, obviously, [is] the [Leaf] electric car…And the third is low-cost cars.

When I say ‘low-cost car,’ I’m talking about the one that we mentioned, $3,000-$5,000, engineered and produced in India first and probably expanded after that to other markets for which we are building platforms and we’re working with partners…The third wave is very important because this is the one which is going to accelerate the move in emerging markets from people who are buying used cars, or people who are driving motorcycles today, or people who have nothing for transportation, to [enabling] people who would like a car. The only reason which is blocking them is the price.

WSJ: Can you make any money on a $3,000 car?

Mr. Ghosn: Oh yeah.

WSJ: How?

Mr. Ghosn: If you engineer well, and if you [don’t] build a car, but build a system around a car, then yes, it’s profitable.

WSJ: No other global auto maker has succeeded in the low end of emerging markets…

Mr. Ghosn: Good! Exactly! Good! So what? We’re going to be the one.

WSJ: But aren’t the risks incredibly high?

Mr. Ghosn: For the [cheap car] concept that [Tata Motors Ltd. Chairman] Ratan Tata launched [with its Nano model], I was the first one to say: ‘He’s right.’ I was the first one. Everyone criticized it, but I was the first one to say he’s right, we’re going to emulate this, and we’re going to do a good job on it…When you take a look [at] the global market, that’s the biggest next wave of growth…moving people who dream to have a car and cannot afford it because the cars are too expensive. That’s the biggest wave and it’s our duty to make sure that we can stimulate this wave and bring a product [to market] in order to do it.

WSJ: How long before a $3,000 car makes its way to the U.S.?

Mr. Ghosn: Our priority is not the United States, frankly. We were talking about India, we’re talking about countries surrounding India, we’re talking about the Middle East, Africa, Russia…If you go to the U.S., it’s not going to end up being $3,000. Because you’re going to have to reinforce the car, you’re going to have to face this test, and this other one, and etc. It’s going to be much more expensive. But you know, every time you create a concept like this, [then] yes, this concept can turn out being developed for new markets. But in a different shape and [with] more reinforcement.

 

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]


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Posted by: Ed Jones
Posted on: 10/4/2012 at 4:49 AM
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Categories: Nissan
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Review of the 2012 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring



The Nissan Z has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1969 but even in 2012 the 370Z Roadster Touring has not lost the Z feel. In order to pick up this year’s 370Z Roadster, you may have to pay anywhere from $43,500 to $48,000, a much greater price compared to the 1969 240Z that had an MSRP of $3,526. When going to pick up your 370Z convertible (Roadster), you have a choice between the base model and the ‘Touring’ edition which has many upgraded features: 19” RAYS aluminum allow wheels, viscous limited slip differential and Nissan sport brakes. The Touring edition adds an extra $2,830 to the MSRP.

The initial feeling of the 2012 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring is amazing. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” must be a popular term around Nissan because this year’s Z still has that distinct Z body style that has become so popular. The interior also maintains the “Z feeling” with the unique triple gauges and cluster. Of course the Z offers a comfy cab, with heated and cooling ventilated seats that hug you around those sharp corners. Looking behind the Z may prove to be a bit of a problem however, as the rear-view mirror seems to be obstructed by the roll-cages of the head rests and the head rests themselves. If this problem irks you, there is no need to fret as the 370Z Roadster has a $785 option for a rear-view backup camera which is displayed on the rear-view mirror. Nissan implemented this feature very well as the screen on the mirror is seemingly invisible when not in use but when in reverse it is very crisp and clear.

Driving the 370Z Roadster Touring is a treat as well. From the unique exhaust note to the handling, the 370Z is sure to keep its driver white-knuckled. With added weight, width and improved rigidity, the 2012 370Z Roadster Touring handles very well for a convertible offering very little body roll around the corner. Of course if you would like to slide around those corners, it’s just a push of a button right next to the steering wheel. Not only is the handling exceptional, but what’s under the hood is surprising as well. Powered by a 332 HP V-6 that pumps out 270 lb-ft of torque, the 2012 370Z Roadster Touring packs a mean punch.

This year’s 370Z convertible offers only a few minor changes compared to last year with an additional 139lbs and the wheelbase being 4 inches shorter. Also the 2012 370Z Roadster is .2 inches wider.

Driving this car may be a treat but the interior may seem a bit cramped to some people as the cluster is very close to the steering wheel and is hard to read at times when driving. Some of the buttons in the car were hard to find, while others were neatly placed. It seems as though the pro’s of this car outweigh the con’s, making this car a very nice iteration of the Z model.

Provided by duPont REGISTRY


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Posted by: Ed Jones
Posted on: 5/22/2012 at 6:26 AM
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Categories: Nissan
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Is the AMS Alpha 9+ Nissan GT-R the ultimate post-Super Bowl reward?

Brandon Jacobs Alpha 9+ Nissan GT-R

Forget about Disney World! If we won the Super Bowl, we would splurge on a highly tuned Nissan GT-R, too. And, that is just what New York Giants Running Back Brandon Jacobs did. With Super Bowl XLVI now over, Jacobs is ready to get behind the wheel of his 900-hp AMS-modified GT-R. As you may have already guessed, Jacobs is more into gut-wrenching performance than snazzy rims or a matte-black wrap.

That is why he headed to the extreme tuners out of Chicago, Illinois, last summer with the intention of making his already modified 850-hp GT-R even faster.

Brandon Jacobs Alpha 9+ Nissan GT-R

AMS Performance upgraded nearly every component of Jacobs’s GT-R, which features an Alpha 3.8-liter race engine, Alpha induction system, AMS intercooler, new exhaust, and a more-powerful fuel delivery system. It also upgraded the transmission and turbos. The result is 900 hp on 93-octane pump gas and an outrageous 1,000 hp on 105-octane race fuel!

Brandon Jacobs Alpha 9+ Nissan GT-R

Jacobs took delivery of his AMS Alpha 9+ R35 Nissan GT-R a week prior to the New York Giants and the New England Patriots faceoff on Sunday, February 5, 2012, in Super Bowl XLVI. Now, he has a Super Bowl championship ring and a crazy-fast GT-R as his rewards for an outstanding season; we can’t think of anything better!

Brandon Jacobs

Provided by duPont REGISTRY


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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 2/14/2012 at 11:08 AM
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GT-R gets even more power and other refinements for 2013

While it is not the hardcore Track Pack we were hoping to get (that goes to Japan to replace the SpecV), Nissan has released some changes to the GT-R for the 2013 model year. Like the upgrades made for 2012, the 2013 model will benefit from a number of engine and suspension refinements to increase its already stellar performance.

Some reworked intake and exhaust tubing results in 15 more hp than the 2012 model for a total of 545. Torque is also up to 463 lb-ft, also an increase of 15. In addition, the suspension has been retuned. Other enhancements include the addition of a new blue lighting treatment inside the tachometer and a rear-view camera as standard. A carbon spoiler has also been added to the Nissan GT-R Black Edition model.

The 2013 Nissan GT-R is offered in Premium and Black Edition submodels and is scheduled to go on sale in January 2012.

2013 Nissan GT-R

Provided by duPont REGISTRY


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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 11/8/2011 at 3:50 AM
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Jon Olsson grabs a Gallardo to transport his skis

Jon Olsson Gallardo Ski Transporter

Ditching last year’s Nissan GT-R, Jon Olsson has acquired a Lamborghini Gallardo as a temporary replacement to transport his winter skis as he waits for delivery of its bigger brother, the Aventador (as you may have guessed, Olsson has a little love affair with Lamborghini products). Dressed in winter camouflage and a ski box, the Gallardo will be driven more than 30,000 miles this winter season says Olsson.

[via Jon-Olsson.com]

Jon Olsson Nissan GT-R Ski Transporter

Provided by duPont REGISTRY


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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 10/31/2011 at 6:23 AM
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Categories: Lamborghini | Nissan
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2012 Nissan GT-R to get hardcore Track Pack

You would think Nissan would take a break from meddling with its GT-R after enhancements to the 2012 Nissan GT-R resulted in more power and even faster acceleration times (which prompted duPont Publishing’s editors to award the GT-R its Best Bang for your Buck award in the 2012 duPont REGISTRY Exotic Car Buyers Guide).

Now we see multiple reports that the Nissan GT-R will be available with a Track Pack for 2012. The SpecV-like Track Pack will include racing seats with high-friction fabric; uprated brakes, exhaust, and suspension and dampers; different wheels; increased cooling and aerodynamics; and no rear chairs. Expect the full announcement on the 2012 Track Pack in the upcoming weeks.

We reached out to Nissan, which would neither confirm nor deny these reports.

[via PistonHeads]

2012 Nissan GT-R SpecV

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 10/26/2011 at 10:12 AM
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Categories: Nissan
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