It’s unclear as to what exactly the car of tomorrow is going to be like, but you can bet that every manufacturer out there has their own ideas as to what the car of the future should be, and deliver to the customer. However, one thing for certain is that race to deliver the car of future is on and Nissan is the latest automotive powerhouse to announce they’re revving up their investment in research and development.
The Renault-Nissan alliance is the fourth largest auto manufacture in the world, with sales of just under 5 million vehicles in 2012. Earlier this year Nissan made a bold statement to become a leader in this field by opening a research lab in Silicon Valley, which plays home to around 60 Nissan engineers. Nissan’s CEO feels this new research lab is going to play a large role in driving the company forward and helping deliver market innovations that will give Nissan the edge.
It’s an exciting time in the automotive world and Nissan’s future development is going be largely focused on the hybrid, electric and even a driverless Nissan range. The latest craze in the automotive world is the driverless car. Although not a new concept, the driverless car could be on our roads and commonplace by the end of the decade.
Nissan believe that the electric range is going to play an important role in the breakthrough of these technologies. The electric range will be capturing data from every single electric car, every time they are used. They will be using this data to help create the driver-less car.
However, the uptake in the Nissan electric range has been lower than expected and as of February this year only 50,000 Nissan Leafs had been sold. Many believe the reason for this is due to the charging infrastructure. Ghosn says” People who are interested in the electric range are hesitant largely because of the infrastructure”. With only 8,000 charging stations across the US (compared to the 130,000 conventional gas stations) there still seems a long way to go.
The world of automobiles will change drastically over the next decade and Nissan is working as hard as possible to make sure their vehicles are using the latest technologies and that they position themselves as a market leader. The world of electric cars, driver-less cars and technology within cars is something that Nissan is looking to bet the house on.
Author bio: Bradley Taylor is an automotive blogger, journalist and enthusiast. Bradley writes for many automotive companies on different topics including: Premium Cars Direct, BMW, Nissan, Audi and Ford. You can him on Google +
Memorial Day is here and many of you are probably enjoying a cold one and getting ready to begin some serious grilling with your family and friends. However, the day will come to an end and everyone will be hitting the roads to drive back home today so these easy to follow tips will at least save you a few dollars.
While Spring gas prices are already trending higher then usual, these tips will be ever more important if we experience record highs for the 2013 summer. The hunt for less expensive gas is not, and does not, need to be difficult. Like most daily activities today, there are apps out there to help.
GasBuddy.com started out as a website that let users report and view fuel prices in their area to help others find cheap gas locally. It now has an app for both iOS and Android devices.
Gregg Laskoski, an analyst for GasBuddy, said the app can help drivers save money.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a gap exists just in their local markets,” he said. “In Miami … there was a gap in the lowest priced station and the highest priced station at $1.05 a gallon. In mini-markets, it can be $0.50, $0.60, $0.70 cents per gallon.”
This app will not only save you money, but it turns into a fun game as well as you earn points for entering gas prices in your local market. Depending how much you drive on annual basis, will clearly determine how much you save with the assistance of an application like GasBuddy, but figure that you will save anywhere between $250 to $300 for every 15,000 miles you drive.
Aside from a helpful app like GasBuddy.com, here are 6 basic money-saving tips to help you determine where, and how, you fill up next.
1. Pay Attention to the Newest Price Reports
Whichever app or website you use to retrieve local gas prices, be sure to pay attention to the age of the information. For example., postings from 22 hours ago are probably not very reliable whereas information posted 3 hours ago is most likely on the money.
2. Pick a Card, But Not Just Any Credit Card
The credit card you use at the gas station can be the critical difference between saving you money at the local pump or costing you more then you initial thought.
Many stations will charge a surcharge unless [you] use their particular gas card. On the flip side, you can seek out and get a credit card that includes specific perks related to purchasing gasoline. For example, the Chase Freedom credit card can provide you with 5 percent rebate on gas. But to complicate matters, you better make sure that you are filling up at a gas station that does not have the up-charge when paying with your credit card since the uptick in cost will most likely wipe out your savings.
To put simply, If you are paying with a credit card, you can sometimes be slapped with an extra fee at the pump so pay attention.
3. Location, Location, Location
Gasoline stations near the highway can be a win if there is more than one major truck or travel stop or a loss if there is only one station and it is small in size. Also, in areas like NJ, Sunoco has contracts with the Turnpike Authority to provide fuel services on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, but under the terms of the agreement, those specific gas stations may only change their prices weekly, prior to 7 am on Fridays.
4. Keep an Eye on Those Truck Stops
Truck stops are a good indicator to see if the price of gas will go up because they sell ample amounts of gas very quickly. Hence, truck stops are constantly receiving new loads of gasoline and that means that truck stop owners are paying the most-up-to-date prices for gasoline. You can use this tip in conjunction with the previous fuel saving tidbit to determine whether or not you should fill your vehicle up in NJ before or after the weekly price change.
5. Fill Up in an Area With Many Gas Stations
This is really just common sense since competition will typically keep prices lower.
6. Fill Up Near State Lines
Filling up near state lines will save you money. States are more competitive because of any difference in taxes. For example, the combined tax in Illinois is nearly $0.61 per gallon, where Missouri is $0.36 per gallon. This holds a lot of weight if you travel the roads in the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic since a typical road trip often involves crossing multiple state lines.
Be sure to take a moment of silence to remember the brave service men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Have fun cooking, attending parades, swimming in the ocean, camping in the mountains or just relaxing this Memorial Day and from everyone at Windsor Nissan, please drive safe…and save some money at the gas pumps!!!
It is pretty simple when it comes down to it; find ways to maximize your MPG. Driving a car can be analogous to a video game. For example, you can drive from point A to point B exactly as stated by your Navigation or Google Maps just like you can play Zelda on Nintendo from beginning to end, but Google Maps and your vehicle do not tell that there are tons of ways to manipulate your car that will save you real money and time by earning an extra 50 miles on the road compared to your previous full tank of gas in your 2013 Nissan Rogue.
Whether you are visiting family, heading to the beach or camping in the mountains, you are probably driving, as it is far more convenient then having to strip down at airport security and that is after paying United Airlines $25.00 for your bag. Considering 31.2 million people hit the roads on Memorial Day Weekend, US drivers will spend approximately $1.44 billion filling up at the pump.
So, in an attempt to save you some of your hard earned wages and to make a small impact on our environments (come on….every bit helps), here are the Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips that will enhance the amount of miles you will achieve while driving per gallon of gasoline this Memorial Day Weekend (and obviously anytime that you are driving your vehicle).
1. Plan Ahead & Pick Your Route Wisely
Most people are fairly lazy when it comes to this specific topic since vehicle navigation is becoming as standard as a CD player in new vehicles. Combine that with the prevalent use of smart phones and map applications and you fill find that most people simply get into their vehicle and then figure out how to get to their end point from the driver’s seat. Yet, since everyone relies on this method, the end result is having everyone on the same road at the same time in a gigantic traffic jam…..wasting fuel.
If you plan ahead, you can avoid this nightmare and waste of expensive fuel. It might mean taking the road less-traveled, but it could result in a more pleasant, scenic route, free of traffic and even if it’s longer, in terms of actual miles driven, it might prove quicker. A moving car that spends less time on the road is more efficient than one stuck in traffic for hours.
2. Check Your Tires
To start, make sure you tire is wearing evenly across the tread because if it is not, you may find yourself an unfortunate situation and/or with a much larger service bill the next time you visit your local Car Dealership. For example, if your tire tread is uneven, this might be a direct result of your vehicles alignment being off.
Or, your tire could just be under-inflated (I know that sounds awkward), which is a quick fix you can accomplish by yourself at any gas station in a matter of minutes. This is an easy fix and it will pay huge dividends. Lower tire pressures can adversely affect wear and increase drag, reducing gas mileage. From a safety standpoint, low pressure tries are my susceptible to overheat at high speeds, and will increase the potential for blowouts.
Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive, and a weekly check will ensure you are always at a safe, economical pressure.
Tires don’t have to cause you much stress, and confirming that yours are always in tip-top shape will both improve safety, and save you money on gas.
3. Check Your Car
Do a few quick checks over your automobile. By checking that the engine has sufficient oil, confirming all the lights work, and cleaning your vehicle before your departure are easy and inexpensive to do and increase the fuel efficiency of your ride.
Although you’ll likely be loading the car up with people and luggage, do a check around to make sure your car isn’t full of junk or unnecessary paraphernalia, like mine is, because it all adds weight, and weight is the enemy of efficient driving.
4. Timing Is Everything
Set off earlier and travel during off hours. No, really. New Yorkers know not to head to the Jersey Shore, Southampton, or the Catskills Friday night. If you have any control over your schedule, take an extra day off or travel at night. After dark, it will be cooler in the car, less taxing on your engine and you will burn less fuel.
Big rigs also take a break in the evening, so fewer trucks on the highway will give you peace of mind over your precious cargo…your loved ones and/or friends. Otherwise, avoid city centers and major interstate exchanges during rush hour or the hours right after lunch.
Finally, you will be able to drive slower (saving fuel) without the anxiety of sitting in traffic.
5. Drive Smoothly
Now we’re onto specific driving techniques. First, treat all the car’s controls with some respect so use smooth, measured inputs. Not only will it make things more pleasant for your passengers, but accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will mean less engine, brake and tire wear, which increases your vehicles fuel efficiency.
That is not to say you need to travel everywhere at a snail’s pace either. It’s better to accelerate briskly, but be sure to change gears earlier. In addition, reach your economical cruising speed sooner. Hence do not draw out your acceleration. The more time you spend in the process of accelerating, the less time you will spend at low revs in top gear, where the best economy can be had.
I hope these tips help you save a few bucks this weekend and whenever you decide to go on your next road trip.
Happy Driving This Memorial Day from everyone at Windsor Nissan!!!!
General Motors is entering the next-generation small van competition with a new version of a commercial vehicle made by Nissan, both companies announced Tuesday.
The Chevrolet City Express, as it will be called, will be a revised Nissan NV200 and will come to market in fall, 2014. Nissan has been trying to aggressively find new uses for its small NV200 van, including adapting it as the “taxi of tomorrow,” the mainstay of New York’s cab fleet.
In creating a Chevrolet version, Nissan solves a problem for GM. With the success of Ford’s small Transit Connect, the pressure has been on GM to find a match. By partnering with Nissan, GM cuts years of development time and expense.
GM officials know exactly what they want the van to accomplish.
“It’s designed to go head-to-head against Transit Connect — and win,” Ed Peper, GM’s fleet sales chief tells USA TODAY. “Speed (to market) was a very important asset we had to have here.”
The van will be for sale to individual customers as well as fleet buyers, the businesses that buy their vans in bunches for flower deliverers, plumbers and myriad other enterprises.
The small van segment is new to GM. Ford basically created the segment in the U.S. with its Transit Connect, which sort of a combination car and truck. Now, Peper says GM’s vehicle will stand out from the Nissan with an entirely new front-end design that looks distinctively like a Chevrolet and a five-year, 100,000-miles powertrain warranty.
The van, to be built at a Nissan plant in Mexico, is yet another example of how Nissan partners with other automakers to try to get enough production volume at its plants to make vehicles successful.
“Working with partners to expand markets for our innovative products enhances Nissan’s growth and manufacturing efficiency by leveraging our capacity to meet growing demand in this space,” says Joe Castelli, a Nissan vice president, in a statement.
Now it yet to be seen whether GM will try to enter the large, new-generation van market. It is dominated by Mercedes-Benz’ large Sprinter, and both Ford and Chrysler have their own large vans planned based on European designs.
Nissan Cutting Prices on 7 Models; 2013 Nissan Altima, 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Nissan Rogue, 2013 Nissan Murano, 2013 Nissan Maxima, 2013 Nissan Armada & the 2013 Nissan Juke
Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers.
The price cuts vary with the amount of equipment on each model and run from 2.7%, or $600, on the top-selling Altima midsize car to 10.7%, or $4,400, on the Armada big SUV. Other models getting price cuts include the Sentra compact car, Juke small crossover SUV, Murano midsize crossover, Rogue small crossover and the Maxima full-size car.
Jose Munoz, Nissan’s head of sales and marketing for the Americas, said the vehicles getting the price cuts account for 65% of Nissan’s U.S. sales. The sticker prices, he said, were higher than some rivals’ similar models, and that kept Nissan vehicles out of some Internet searches.
“In some of the customer searches we may not appear,” Munoz said. “This is an indication that we certainly want to be on the shopping list and we want to be considered by as many customers as possible.”
The company plans to reduce rebates and other discounts to offset some of the price cuts. The cuts come at a time when Nissan faces intense competition from U.S.-based automakers and its prime Japanese competitors, Toyota and Honda.
The price cuts are effective Friday for cars and trucks that aren’t yet on dealer lots. However Nissan will also make allowances to trim prices of cars now in dealer inventories. The cuts will remain in effect indefinitely.
Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has set a goal of taking 10% of U.S. sales by 2016 or sooner, and executives are under pressure to sell more vehicles to hit the goal. In the first quarter, Nissan’s sales (including the Nissan and Infiniti brands) through April are up 3.2% this year with an 8.2% share of the market, down from 8.5% in the period last year, according to Autodata.
Although Nissan denies it, industry analysts say the company can afford to cut prices because of efforts in Japan to weaken the yen against the dollar. That makes cars and parts made in Japan cheaper than goods made in the U.S. One analyst said it could be the start of a price war if other automakers follow.
Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit forecasting firm, said the weaker yen should help Nissan cut prices, as the company makes a bid to increase sales and market share amid intense competition.
“We could be looking at a price war,” he said. “If the yen stays where it is at and competitive pressure does as well, we could be looking at a more widespread battle for buyers.”
Nissan’s Munoz denied that the yen has anything to do with the price cuts, saying that four of the seven affected models are made in North America. Only the Juke, Rogue and Murano are made in Japan, and their sales are small compared with the other models.
Nissan makes about 75% of its cars sold in the U.S. in North America, and that should rise to 89% by the end of next year when the company shifts production of the Rogue and Murano.
Nissan isn’t the first automaker to cut prices this year. In January General Motors trimmed $300 to $770 off the sticker price of its slow-selling midsize Chevrolet Malibu.
Whats new for this Summer? Rated to get 27 mpg in combined driving and provide 526 miles of driving range, while retaining 7-passenger seating and 3,500-pound towing capacity, the new 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid is just like a standard Nissan Pathfinder, except under its hood.
To create the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid, Nissan eliminated the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and installed a supercharged, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a 15-kW electric motor, compact Lithium-ion battery, regenerative braking system, and a Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch System that manages the powertrain and serves as a generator to capture kinetic energy from deceleration and recharge the battery.
Combined, the Pathfinder Hybrid’s powertrain generates 250 horsepower and 243 lb.-ft. of torque, comparing favorably to the standard V-6 engine’s 260 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. Pathfinder Hybrid fuel-economy estimates, according to Nissan, are 25 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg in combined driving. City drivers are likely to derive the greatest benefit from Pathfinder Hybrid ownership; the standard V-6 is EPA-rated to get 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway for a combined rating of 22 mpg.
The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid looks like other Pathfinder models, except for its standard LED taillights and PureDrive Hybrid badges. Inside, the Pathfinder Hybrid has unique information screens for the Advanced Drive-Assist Display. The Lithium-ion battery is installed underneath the third-row seat to ensure that this 3-row crossover SUV retains all of the passenger- and cargo-carrying flexibility of the standard Pathfinder.
At this exact moment, thousands of parents are thinking about hitting the highway for a family road trip this summer. Destination? Anywhere but here. It’s an exciting prospect for kids, but it’s also fraught with difficulties, including sudden back-seat fights and frequent retreats to the iPod Zone.
Kids think road trips are cool, at least in theory. The mere suggestion that the family might be heading out on a week long odyssey usually ignites serious excitement. As soon as the wheels roll, of course, the anticipation instantly morphs into “Are we there yet?” The challenge parents face is to keep the excitement and sense of wonder alive, even on the long, potentially boring stretches.
Here are 12 tips gleaned from my own childhood memories and from conversations with parents, children and grown-up kids with road-tripping pasts.
Dredge up some family lore. Think of your road trip as a time to share some “family lore.” Every family has its own oral history, and road trips offer lots of together time, making them ideal occasions for storytelling. Dredge up those old favorite songs and games, too. As a child, I was an impatient traveler, and I am sure my folks find it amusing that I now make my living writing about the “magic” of taking road trips, but much of my enthusiasm for the road comes from those early family jaunts. Not only do I love the driving and the scenery, I can also sing dozens of vintage songs, play every car game known to man, and tell all the old stories passed down through generations of my family. I’m sure I whined, “Are we there yet?” often enough to drive my parents nuts, but those aren’t the memories that linger.
Brush up on your history and geology. Another gift you can give your children is a basic appreciation for the history and geology of the areas you travel through. Even if they grumble, squirm and roll their eyes, they’ll listen. I’m not the only one who can attest to the lifelong value of such discussions, including the sense of personal patriotic pride that arises from actually seeing purple mountains majesty, fruited plains and spacious skies. As an adult, I’ve became aware of just how precious this brand of knowledge is, and I now consider those family road trips some of the best education I received during my first 16 years on the planet.
Get low-tech. Which leads me to my next topic: DVD players, iPods and other electronic gadgets Call me a curmudgeon, but if these devices are used too often on a road trip, you might as well stay home. Nothing insulates people from their surroundings better than ear buds and a video screen. Take electronic gear along if you must, but limit its use if you want to create lasting road trip memories.
Hold a family planning session. Get a big map and plenty of highlighter markers, and then talk about the cool places that would appeal to all members of the trip. Gather information about your route from guidebooks and the Web. Discuss the scope of each traveling day, including how much time in the saddle and how much spent sightseeing and hanging out by the pool. Consider making each child responsible for a one day’s stopping places and restaurants. Including everyone in the planning process invests everyone in the trip and helps ensure a fun adventure for all. One of the most important topics to cover in the planning session is how often the kids will be able to rotate into the front seat. Make the right front seat, the “official navigator’s seat” and whoever is sitting there is designated as being “in charge” (at least for a few moments). The real treat is that it is much easier to see from the front seat and gets everyone involved. Of course, very young children should not be in the front seats because of the inherent air-bag dangers.
Make a trip clipboard. I recommend creating a trip clipboard to hold printed directions to the motels where you plan to stay; these are especially handy if you should reach a city after dark. (I use this technique myself on every road trip.) You can also include directions and information about specific sites and restaurants that you’re planning to see.
Check out your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is reliable and ready to go. Of special importance is a check of the tires, coolant and engine oil.
Pack a “Go Kit.” Include bottles of water, a fire extinguisher, beach towels, personal pillows, maps and atlases. And here are some more suggestions.
Pack a “Car Kit” for each child. Choose age-appropriate items including crayons or markers, pads of paper, bandanas, personal travel pillows, games, small toys, a few treats and the first day’s “travel allowance.” Travel allowances allow kids to shop in gift stores and tourist traps without begging for money at every stop. Maps of your route are also good for children old enough to read them. They can trace their progress, learn to navigate and even stop asking “Are we there yet?” quite as often. Put everything in a bag or other container that the child can also use to hold souvenirs, interesting “finds,” and so on; nylon lunch bags or small daypacks work well. Let the children know that they’ll be getting their Car Kits the day you leave home. That will give them one more thing to look forward to, and you won’t have any trouble at all getting them out of bed. You can add to the Car Kits as the trip progresses, giving the kids a little something to look forward to each morning.
Pack electronic devices. Consider a CB radio, portable DVD player, GPS receiver, audio books and inverters. Electronic entertainment devices can be helpful if you’re stuck in a traffic jam or you’ve exhausted all other options. Audio books are a great way to be entertained and yet remain alert and focused on the tasks of driving. Many companies now offer rental GPS units, which are both useful navigational tools and a source of information about road conditions. Portable CB radios with magnetic mounts allow you to be in touch with other drivers on the road and to get accurate weather reports.
Pack good eats. Though the kids may argue this point, it is not necessary to stop at every fast-food joint along the way. In fact, it is possible to get good nutrition on the road. Make sure everyone drinks twice as much water as they might at home. Take a good cooler along and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prepare road trip snacks and consider packing a road trip picnic.
Eat and greet. Eat in unusual local restaurants at least sometimes, and make a point of speaking with locals or other travelers.
Keep it fun! Avoid vacationing at the same hectic pace as you live at home. A relaxing pace will be remembered more fondly than an overly ambitious one. Take the advice of a local or get off the highway at an unplanned exit and see what is to be found “around the next bend.” Drive fewer hours and spend more time lounging around the motel pool. By allowing time for serendipity, you will re-capture the wonder of the road trip adventure.
Got toddlers? Roadtrippers who are younger than five years old can sometimes present additional challenges. Consider organizing the traveling day so that you reach the motel after 8:00 pm, when the children are likely to fall asleep more easily. Pool time can be done in the morning. Spend the extra $$ to get as comfortable a car seat as possible. Plan to stop every two hours and let the little guys run, play, and blow off as much energy as possible. For more ideas, MomsMinivan.com has several good tips and suggestions.
As parents, you can design a family road trip that will give both you and your children memories to last a lifetime. Grab those markers and a map and start planning your escape!
It was once a huge red flag: When a car’s odometer would hit 100,000 miles, but thanks to improvements in car design and maintenance, the milestone of 100,000 miles now means something very different.
Although some cars are ready for trade-in at that threshold, many others can travel twice as far without major repairs.
What allows one car to pass the 100,000-mile barrier with few repair bills, while another is ready for the junkyard? It’s all about preventive medicine.
“It’s just like when you get to be 70 and everyone tells you the same thing: exercise, eat right, take care of yourself,” says Lauren Fix, author of “Lauren Fix’s Guide to Loving Your Car” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008).
Feeding your car the right things and taking it for regular checkups will make all the difference.
Open the book
The key to keeping your car running smoothly is probably tucked at the bottom of your glove compartment, under the spare napkins and ketchup packets. It’s the owner’s manual, which most people ignore at their peril.
“There is a schedule in the manual that runs well over 100,000 miles,” says Fix, and it lists when to replace parts likely to be wearing out. The list will vary for different cars, so check yours and follow it.
Newer cars may have the maintenance schedule built into an internal computer. A blinking light or a beep will announce that it’s time to replace certain parts, says autoeducation.com founder Kevin Schappell.
“Things like the water pump and timing belt should be changed before you notice a problem,” Schappell says. Replacing them won’t be hugely expensive, but “if that belt breaks, it can cause internal damage to the engine, or if the water pump fails, you can overheat the engine and warp the cylinder head.”
That’s when things get expensive.
“Typically, around 100,000 or 120,000 miles there are some major preventative maintenance things that need to be done,” Schappell says, so it’s a great time to catch up if you’ve been lax until now.
Get fluent about fluids
The liquids that go into your car (gas, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc.) are crucial to its survival. To extend the life of your car beyond 100,000 miles, these experts suggest frequent oil changes and fluid checks done at dealerships or full-service auto centers.
Find the right shop
Ask friends and neighbors, and search online for reviews of repair shops. Once you’ve chosen one, get to know the staff and ask questions. Sticking with your car’s dealer can be a safe choice, because the staff will be trained to work on your car.
The type of miles matter
It may seem surprising, but highway driving puts less stress on a car that tooling around locally. It requires less quick braking and acceleration, and moisture under the hood has a chance to evaporate. Local driving in colder climates can also cause buildup of ice and snow under the car, which may contain corrosive chemicals.
These small investments will add years to the life of your car.
Have questions about the maintenance on your vehicle, give our service department a call at 609-448-1411.
How fuel efficient is your vehicle? Check out these vehicles that get over 26 MPG! The good news for motorists is that gasoline prices are expected to be more affordable in the coming months than they were during the two preceding summers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) just released Short Term Energy Outlook, retail gas prices are expected to average $3.63 a gallon during this summer’s driving season. This figure is slightly below the $3.69 figure recorded last year and $3.71 in summer of 2011, and is only slightly higher than the national average of $3.61 a gallon as of April 8.
This sunny forecast is largely based on an expected decline in crude oil prices combined with higher gasoline inventory levels and a continuing drop in demand due to increased small-car sales and other factors. The EIA predicts the price of Brent crude oil (a benchmark that’s tied to wholesale gasoline costs in the U.S.), will average $107.50 per barrel this summer, which would be around $1.50 less than it was during the same period in 2012.
Of course, gasoline prices continue to vary by region, and at that they’ll still tend to cost the most in larger cities where costlier summer-blend fuel is mandated for environmental reasons. Chicago is suffering the highest prices in the nation at an average $4.05 a gallon, and that’s still for winter-blend fuel. Those living on the West Coast will likely see the highest gas prices during the upcoming vacation season with the EIA predicting an average of $3.89 a gallon, while residents of the Gulf Coast will enjoy the lowest fuel costs at an average of $3.47 a gallon.
But will less-volatile gas prices give consumers the itch to jump back into big cars and trucks with the same vigor as they did back in the early 2000s? Not likely. Consumers, perhaps numbed by the rollercoaster behavior of fuel prices over the past five or six years, don’t seem to be particularly reactive to even relatively major swings these days. According to a study conducted by the research company Experian Automotive, a one-dollar variation in gasoline prices can be expected to account for just a 0.7 difference in small car sales at the one end of the new-vehicle spectrum and a 0.5 percent difference in full-size pickup truck sales at the other.
SIBERIA, Russia – Russian race driver Roman Rusinov and auto journalist Andrey Leontjev pushed the Nissan GT-R across a frozen Lake Baikal, setting a new national speed ice driving record of 294.8 kph (183 mph).
The speed record on ice was a joint project of Nissan in Russia and LAV Productions company, taking place at Small Sea Strait – part of the Baikal water area between western coast and Ol’khon isle. The Nissan GT-R 2012 model year used winter non-studded Bridgestone tires.
The length of the track was divided into an acceleration part – 3.5 km, timekeeping part – 1 km, and breaking area – 3.5 km. The driving attempts were fixed and evaluated by a specially-created committee of the Russian Automotive Federation, and also a group of four judges from Yaroslavl, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Moscow. The car starts from standing position and develops maximum speed on the distance of 1000 meters (1 km). RAF fixes average speed on this route.
The 540-horsepower GT-R production car had no modifications, running the 3.8-liter, V6 engine on the frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake in southern Siberia, with a result for the history books. Enjoy this video of their record ice escapade.
For more photos of the Nissan GT-R on Lake Baikal, check out our photo gallery.
Take a look at some of the behind-the-scene production shots here.