With all apologies to the ferociously fast Nissan GT-R, it’s the Altima sedan that will battle to uphold “supercar” honors for the company this weekend. When Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship series holds its first-ever U.S. race, it will feature four Nissan Altima race cars on the starting grid. With the retail Altima currently built in Tennessee for American customers, the event represents a homecoming of sorts for the Nissan teams.
It seems there was just one problem with the “Bolt Gold” GT-R that was auctioned for charity late in 2012: Just a single high-performance, 545-horsepower super coupe was produced. This meant gold-medal-winning sprinter Usain Bolt—a Nissan brand ambassador who inspired the creation of the limited-edition vehicle—wasn’t able to bring one home for himself. Nissan solved the problem by presenting the world’s fastest man with the world’s secondBolt Gold GT-R.
As if its significantly improved efficiency and radically reduced pricing weren’t enough to satisfy drivers of the 2013 Nissan Leaf, the increasingly popular EV also boasts award-winning safety. In fact, after once again being honored with top scores in all phases of testing, the 2013 Leaf was recently named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. This recognition only goes to vehicles that receive the highest possible scores in IIHS evaluations for side, front, and rear crash protection, and also ace the institute’s roof-strength test.
Nissan introduced the Versa sedan as an all-new 2012 model. Updates in 2013 included the addition of a new trim and a more fuel-efficient powertrain. It’s not surprising, then, that the compact sedan carries over virtually unchanged into the 2014 model year. This includes pricing, which is identical to last year’s figures.
When it comes to increasing fuel economy and reducing emissions, it’s hard to beat the advantages of an all-electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf. In fact, it’s impossible, at least according to the efficiency experts at Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com website. They just selected the 2013 Leaf for the No. 1 spot on their honor roll of 10 Best Green Cars of 2013.
“Nissan really did its homework in developing the all-new interior for the Pathfinder CUV, which is far more comfortable and generously equipped than the truck-based SUV version it replaces,” according to the Ward’sAuto experts. “Capable of seating seven people comfortably, the Pathfinder is warm, inviting, spacious and ready for anything, thanks to the ‘Latch and Glide’ second-row seats that offer easy back-row access.”
Nissan is tapping both social media and Hollywood with its latest marketing campaign, “Impress with Sentra.”
Here’s how it works: Participants upload their videos to the ImpressWithSentra.com website, which is located on Facebook. Omar Epps, actor of such hit shows as “House, M.D.,” and star of the movie, “Love & Basketball,” will provide the videos’ intro. He will talk them up, portraying the participating “actors” as adrenaline junkies, business dynamos, or incurable romantics. Says Jon Brancheau, vice president of marketing over at Nissan, “Who doesn’t want to turn heads and get noticed when making a first impression? We’re giving everyone a chance to look their best, with a little help from Nissan and the power of social media.”
When developing ideas for new vehicles, automobile designers take advantage of the latest computer graphics technology. But when it comes to visualizing their creations in the real world, they turn to a decidedly low-tech solution: clay. At Japan’s Nissan Technical Center, clay modelers start with auto design sketches and transform them into three-dimensional objects.
Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, has long been known as the deepest and biggest freshwater lake (by volume) in the world. Now, thanks to the Nissan GT-R, you can also call it the fastest. That’s because racecar driver Roman Rusinov recently drove an unmodified Nissan GT-R to a speed of 183 mph on the lake’s frozen surface, setting a Russian national record in the process. Perhaps the most amazing part of the achievement, which was supported by Nissan of Russia and that country’s LAV Productions: Even though the GT-R did wear winter rubber from Bridgestone, all four tires were unstudded, with the car relying on its near-perfect weight distribution and balance for record-setting control even on the ice.
Of course, also helping more than slightly was the GT-R’s hand-built 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. In addition to making short work out of Lake Baikal, the 2014 model’s powerplant also makes 545 horsepower and 453 lb.-ft. of torque. ‘That’s a few more horses than offered up in the Russian record setter—actually a 2012 GT-R—and enables a top speed of 196 mph (on dry land). The power is then distributed to all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and ATTESA’s E-TS all-wheel-drive system.
The 2014 GT-R offers even better high-speed handling, too, thanks to a retuned suspension and lowered center of gravity. At the same time, those same changes provide improved ride comfort. Also enhancing the cabin environment for the new model year is the available Premium Interior Package that caters to the driver and front-seat passenger with hand-stitched Amber Red semi-aniline leather appointments.
The 2014 Nissan GT-R is on sale now with a starting price of $99,590.