Category Archives: Advanced Technologies

2014 Nissan Versa Note Offers Class-Exclusive Technology & Class-Leading Fuel Economy

The all-new 2014 Versa Note is the fourth of five all-new vehicles Nissan launched in the last year and a half. The Versa family has been the top selling car in this segment for 38 of the last 42 months. Nissan executives say this new model is designed to keep it there.

“This car has the features and the value to continue that momentum, absolutely,” said Nissan Senior Manager of Product Planning, John Curl.

The car has class-leading fuel economy at 40 miles per gallon highway. The 2014 Versa Note also offers best-in-class 31 city MPG & 35 MPG combined city/highway fuel efficiency. Part of how the car accomplished an improved fuel economy is the new Versa Note weighs about 300 pounds less than the earlier model.

“Total cost of ownership is very important for these buyers. When you buy a car in the entry class you don’t want to spend a lot of fuel,” said Curl.

Nissan’s 2014 Versa Note is the only car in its class with an option called Around View Monitor. It gives a virtual 360 degree “bird’s eye” view of the surroundings. Around View Monitor allows drivers to see the lines on either side of a parking space and the wall behind them, so they can park more quickly and more accurately.

“There’s no car anywhere close to this price point that has the Around View Monitor. It’s class exclusive for a couple classes above actually,” said Marcy Maguire, Dealer Principal of Windsor Nissan in NJ.

Four cameras, one on each side of the vehicle, are processed to create this 360-degree view. The feature is available with the SL tech package.

Another new feature available on the Versa Note is something called Divide-N-Hide Adjustable Floor. The system’s large split-folding floor can be used to create a flat cargo area or to provide a hidden cargo storage area.

“With the fold-down seats we have a class-leading over 20 feet of cargo space, so yes, the Divide-N-Hide helps you utilize that to its full advantage,” said a Nissan Sales Executive.

Nissan executives say this new Versa Note will help keep Nissan’s overall Versa lineup number one in the entry-level segment in terms of sales. The 2014 Versa Note has a manufacturer’s suggested retail starting price of $13,990.

“It will continue to be Americas best selling entry car,” said Michael Castiello from Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, New Jersey.Image

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Nissan Revving up Investment in R&D in Fight for Car of the Future

nissan future cars 5

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 +

GM Geely competes for limelight @ Beijing auto show

The most awaited and important event on China ‘s automotive calendar is just nearing. The Auto China 2010 will begin Friday, April 12, in Beijing . And almost all the automakers, both domestic and global, have said what they will put on display. And Of course each and everyone of the automakers is vying for its share of the limelight. This may be the toughest contest of the year for the Geely Holdings and General Motors Company. Both of these two companies will display more on their products in the show more than other automakers.

And in detail, Geely Holdings will display almost 39 models of their products and General Motors will display 28 products. They will also show more new models than most other automakers. Geely says it will put 11 all new models on stage at the event. Meanwhile General Motors has announced it will show 6 new models for the first time in front of a Chinese audience.

The General Motors vehicles are Chevy Volt MPV5 concept, the Cadillac Concept, the Cadillac XTS concept, the Chevy Aveo RS concept, the two-box Chevy New Sail and the new Chevy Spark. Last week Geely held an event in Beijing with several company executives taking turns to explain to reporters the long list of new models and power train technologies their company will display at the show. General Motors China convened reporters from across the country in Shanghai for a briefing on its middle and long term growth plans for China .

For sure, Geely Holdings didn’t start making cars until the late of 1990s. So it goes without saying that it still can’t mount serious competition for General Motors. With most of its products selling less than 70,000 yuan ($10,248), the company still confines itself to the low end of the domestic market. This will change very soon. In addition to rolling out more expensive models under its own brand, the private Chinese company wants to launch more Volvo models in China after it completes the purchase of the Swedish brand from Ford Motor Co in the third quarter.

With a brand that is now a byword for excellence in safety in its stable, Geely holdings should become a rival to reckon with for global players including General Motors.

2011 Chevy Cruze Eco

General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Cruze ECO at New York Auto Show. The Chevrolet Cruze ECO is a high-efficiency model which is powered by a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine equipped with variable valve timing that’s coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic will also be offered as an option. The company estimates the Chevrolet Cruze ECO will give a 40 mpg fuel consumption on the highway.

The Chevrolet Cruze ECO comes with a lower front grille air shutter that closes at high speeds to improve aerodynamics and a lower front air dam extension. The Chevrolet Cruze ECO also features a lowered ride height, 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels and ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires.

The Eco achieves greater fuel economy using a number of features that enhance its aerodynamics, minimize weight and reduce rolling resistance. The Chevrolet says the Cruze ECO will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 10 seconds with the manual gearbox and in 0 to 60mph in just 9 seconds with the automatic gearbox.

Also debuting in New York will be a sporty variant of the Cruze, the RS model, which is essentially a styling package. It will be available on the upscale Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels. It features special bumpers, side skirt,  a rear spoiler and an instrument cluster with chrome accent rings.

The Chevrolet Cruze ECO price and availability will be announced at a later date and the Cruze Eco will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Nissan’s leaf Electric Vehicle to be launched soon

Nissan Motor Co. will sell the Leaf electric car for a base price of $32,780 in the United States and begin taking orders on April 20. When combined with a $7,500 federal tax credit, the Leaf will be priced at $25,280, the automaker said in a statement today. State and local credits can further reduce the cost to consumers, Nissan said. Early on today, the automaker also said it would sell the battery-powered Leaf hatchback starting off at 3.76 million yen ($40,640) in Japan, where it is also counting on government subsidies to slash the cost to consumers. Nissan said it aims to sell 6,000 Leaf cars, its first mass-volume all-electric model, in Japan for the year ending in March 2011. The company will start taking orders for the model April 1 in Japan, with the first delivery expected in December. After accounting for Japanese government subsidies, Nissan said the net cost to consumers to buy a new Leaf would be near 2.99 million yen ($32,373). The Leaf pricing also represents a premium over established, combustion-engine powered small sedans, such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Analysts have said the premium reflects the cost of developing and producing the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery pack. The cost of batteries and the reluctance of consumers to pay more upfront for fuel-saving technology are seen as the major hurdles to mass-market adoption of electric vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp.’s gasoline-electric Prius hybrid, now in its third generation, has a base model starting price at just over 2 million yen ($22,195) in Japan. After trailing rivals Toyota Motor and Honda Motor in the hybrid field, Japan’s No.3 automaker has bet heavily on pure electric vehicles along with partner Renault SA of France. Nissan has said it expects that 10 percent of the world’s auto market will be electric vehicles by 2020, a ratio at the top of industry projections. The automaker has also announced a series of partnerships with utilities and government agencies in the United States and Europe where it believes it has a chance of seizing market leadership. The five-passenger Leaf is designed to provide a range of about 100 miles. Nissan has developed the battery pack for the Leaf with NEC Corp., so that it can be recharged overnight on a 220-volt connection. While skeptics abound, almost all major automakers are working on developing battery-run cars for use mainly in urban areas, to meet stricter emissions and mileage regulations being introduced around the world.

Electric Cars Are Almost Here!

We all know how important it is to lower our carbon footprint; what we do today ultimately affects those in the future. Nissan and Chevrolet have decided to help future generations by introducing electric cars. Nissan is placing its ‘Leaf’ on the market later on this year, and the same goes for Chevrolet with its ‘Volt’.

The Nissan Leaf will be able to travel up to 100 miles on one charge! Now, 100 miles may not seem like that long of a distance, but most Americans actually travel less than that to get to work and back every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to virtually never have to pay for gas again?

The new electric cars are being modeled to look and act as normal, gas vehicles. There are many technological attractions about green cars – including, blind spot sensors, collision avoidance systems and touch sensitive controls. Even the prices of the vehicles are aimed to be priced around those of its gas competitors (roughly $30,000 to $40,000).

Be on the look out for Nissan and Chevy’s electric cars later on this year!

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

2010 Chevrolet Equinoxhe 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is redesigned, A new look with freshened styling, new engines, and some new features. This 4-door SUV seats five and comes in 4 levels which are LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ trim levels. Chevrolet Equinox  offers a choice of two engines. A 182-hp with 2.4liter 4 cylinder is standard. And a 264-hp with 3.0liter V6 is optional on the 1LT, 2LT and LTZ.

Both the engines team with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The front-wheel drive and all wheel drive are offered on all models. The important safety features includes ABS, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags and curtain side airbags.

Chevrolet calls the Equinox a compact crossover, but when you look at its dimensions, this CUV is in many respects more mid-size than compact. At 187.8 inches long. Chevy’s rationale for calling this a compact is the 72.5 inch width, which is 0.5 inches less than the RAV4 and two inches less than the Edge. So it’s really a “tweener” of sorts. However you define it, though, the Equinox is especially roomy relative to competitors.

The features available are remote engine start, a navigation system, wireless cell-phone link, DVD entertainment, a hard drive for storing digital audio files, a rearview camera and a power liftgate. Chevy Equinox uses Chevy’s MultiFlex rear seat that can be moved 8 inches fore and aft to better accommodate different storage and passenger needs.

The Chevrolet Equinox 2010 had the road test which includes a full evaluation from the inside out. The test is not only for engine and handling performance for 2010 Chevy Equinox, but also the interior cabin and cargo space. The test results ends in positive way which helps the customers to decide if the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is right for you.

The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox includes detailed information on everything from fuel mileage to seating capacity. NHTSA crash test scores for the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox are provided as well as manufacturer warranty information. The results based on a 35MPH frontal crash and 38.5MPH side crash. Results are reported in a range of one to five stars, with five starts indicating the best crash protection for vehicles within the same weight class. This test used driver and passenger belts and airbags.

Chevy Malibu – The best family sedan car

The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu ranks 5 out of 21 affordable midsize cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of the 71 published reviews and test drives of the chevrolet Malibu , and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The Chevrolet Malibu has enjoyed a ranking near the top of the midsize car class since a 2008 redesign. With a distinctive, two tone cabin more stylish than the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, a balanced ride and excellent fuel economy, the Chevy Malibu is one of the best family cars available.

When the Chevy Malibu was redesigned for 2008, the automotive press heaped awards on the car. It was one of the car and Driver’s 10Best, North American Car of the year at 2008 North American International Auto Show, and one of the Automobile Magazine’s 2008 Automobile All-Stars.

The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu model has changed little from that wildly successful car. The 2.4L four cylinder engine offered on base models can now use E85 as well as regular gasoline. A hybrid edition has been discontinued. With its crisp, tailored lines, the Chevrolet MalibuChevrolet Malibu - Family sedan car looks more like a luxury sedan than a fleet car. And along with the upscale styling is a similarly handsome cabin in terms of materials and build quality. Two-tone interior schemes, even on base models, further the effect.

The 2010 Chevy Malibu is available in four trims: base LS, midlevel 1LT and 2LT and luxury LTZ. Even the LS comes with full power features, air-conditioning, satellite radio, side curtain airbags, traction control and OnStar. The LT versions upgrade with stability control, alloy wheels and (on the 2LT) heated seats and more power features. Highlights of the LTZ include foglamps, 18-inch alloys, leather seating and an upgraded audio system.

Once an afterthought for import shoppers, the Malibu should now be a consideration for Accord and Camry shoppers.  It’s not the only domestic midsize car buyers should consider, either an improved Ford Fusion is now competition for the top of the class as well.

GM completes Sale of Saab to Spyker: Saab-Spyker

General Motors today completed the sale of its Swedish Saab brand to Dutch luxury sports car maker Spyker Cars NV, marking the first successful sale of one of its four unwanted U.S. brands.

The transaction combines Saab Automobile and its 3,400 employees with Spyker Cars and its 110-plus workers under parent company Spyker Cars NV.

“The focus as of today will be on getting back to business,” Jan Ake Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile, told reporters today. Executives want to refocus the identity of the Saab brand “to create an innovative, free-thinking company based on our Swedishness,” he said.

The sale saves Saab from what appeared to be doom after Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg Group AB backed out of a planned

purchase in November. But Spyker, whose logo bears a Latin phrase that translates, “For the tenacious, no road is impossible”  – made an offer during Saab’s wind down.

“Saab’s future is now secure,” Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in a statement. “We will be concentrating all of our efforts into reviving Saab and transforming it into a sustainable and profitable company with the confidence to be bold.”

Finally after some negotiations with GM CEO Ed Whitacre, Spyker agreed to buy Saab. Completion of the Saab deal leaves GM facing a Feb. 28 deadline to complete a planned sale of Hummer to China ‘s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. Saturn and Pontiac are being shut down.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller had already secured the $50 million needed to close the deal with GM, with the remaining $24 million due in July. Spyker is paying GM $74 million in cash and $326 million in redeemable preference shares.

Saab’s revival centers on a new 9-5 that launches this year, the arrival of the 9-4X crossover in 2011 and the debut of a new 9-3 in 2012.  Saab’s production- and intelligence-sharing agreement with GM lasts through the introduction of the new 9-3, Jonsson said.

We Could All Use Some Peace and Quiet

Have you been trying to drown out the noise of the road by turning up your music or convincing yourself that it isn’t “that” loud? Well, there are ways to reduce the amount of road noise in your car.

The first thing to do is… to determine the source of the noise. Some common causes are tires that create a lot of excess noise on certain types of pavement and engine and exhaust systems that have not been repaired or have been improperly modified. We would be happy to service your vehicle and find the cause of the extra noise. If they are the true cause of the problem, then no amount of simple do-it-yourself fixes can truly and completely “cover up” the noise.

If you want to take it one step further, you can purchase insulation products that can be installed underneath the carpeting and seats of the vehicle. These products are often called, Heat, Noise and Sound Insulation and are fairly inexpensive – one roll often costs less than $30. This project can be a bit time consuming, so you may want to reserve a Saturday afternoon to handle the task.

So whether you want to purchase quieter tires, or try an option like cloth floor mats, there are plenty of possibilities for every budget. Just be sure your expectations are in check, some vehicles are naturally louder than others, either from age or design – while others might be easier to fix.

However, if you have identified that your noise is just a symptom of the general operation of the vehicle, then there are things you can do yourself. First, purchase cloth or carpeted floor mats. These will help insulate some of the noise the driver experiences. Extra layers of fabric or insulation absorb noise, so cloth seat covers can also help to absorb a bit of noise.

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