Just Car Blog
|2010 Nissan Patrol unveiled in Abu Dhabi||
Nissan launched it’s new 2010 Nissan Patrol off road “hero” in the first-ever Middle East automobile premiere in Abu Dhabi last week. Carlos Ghosn’s presence made it clear just how significant the Middle East market is in the ongoing success of the Patrol brand. “The new Patrol is built with the high level of safety, performance and quality that characterises the Nissan brand, and we paid special attention to the needs of GCC drivers and passengers,” sais Ghosn.
The flagship SUV will feature a newly developed 5.6litre V8 engine with variable valve event and lift (VVEL) and direct injection gasoline technologies. It delivers 400hp and 560Nm of torque on the top specification version and with its new seven-speed automatic transmission has a wider range of gear ratios than its predecessor in an effort to deliver more power, faster. The New Patrol also comes equipped with a hydrauclic body motion control system to keep the car stabilized during lane changes and off-road treks.
NISSAN PRESS RELEASE
Abu Dhabi, UAE (Feb. 13, 2010) – Reliable, unbreakable, affordable. The Nissan Patrol is a name synonymous with ruggedness, a legendary off-roader capable of going anywhere, anytime. Meticulously honed for over five decades, the Patrol is Nissan’s flagship large SUV model and enjoys a rich heritage particularly in the Middle East that dates back to the 1950′s. This off-road trendsetter was one of the first dedicated four-wheel-drive vehicles in the climatically demanding Middle East region, and boasts the notable distinction of also being the first vehicle to successfully cross the grueling Simpson Desert in Australia back in 1962.
Under the banner of “The Hero Comes Home” the Patrol is back as an all-new seventh generation model, building on its impressive history, but at the same time, incorporating a new platform, a radical new design direction, significantly enhanced interior comfort and luxury, powerful new V8 engines, a 7-speed automatic transmission and a new 4WD system.
“We paid special attention to the needs of current Patrol owners, and their passengers, and so focused on creating first-class levels of comfort for the whole family. Heightened luxury, a roomier cabin and a quieter ride combine to achieve this goal, while maintaining Patrol’s superior off-road heritage” stresses Hiroyuki Fushiki, project head and Segment Chief Product Specialist.
Tested to the limit
Wanting to build the best possible Patrol, engineers first tuned and tested 200 prototypes for dynamic evaluation at the company’s Motegi, Oppama and Tochigi proving grounds before sending them to the Middle East where they were exposed to every imaginable challenge; desert, rocky surfaces, highways and inner-city traffic. “By the time we came around to adding the new body and interior, we had virtually completed our reliability and durability testing and perfected all of the new technologies,” says chief vehicle engineer, Takashi Fukui.
New exterior more sophisticated but still rugged
After extensive market research, especially in the Middle East, the design team concluded that for the Patrol to beat its main competitors, it needed not only a brand new design direction but class-leading engine performance, greater luxury and comfort and a smart mix of new technologies that enhanced the total driving experience. Product design director, Taiji Toyota, tells us that the all-new exterior design is like a breath of fresh air. “Not as edgy and hardcore as its predecessor, the softer new surfaces are beautiful and add a sense of modernity to the design equation, while still maintaining a ruggedness and commanding road presence” he said.
According to the design director, one design element that expresses ‘Patrol’ and had to feature strongly was the angled-strut motif front grille. It was meticulously proportioned to deliver a sense of continuity with past models but give a touch of newness while enhancing the car’s status level.
Focus on roomier, more luxurious cabin
Featuring generous amounts of leather, polished aluminium and wood grain paneling, the Patrol’s interior too has been significantly upgraded. Given that most customers only go off-road no more than 15% of the time, designers wanted to create a better, higher quality interior for the whole family.
In keeping with the Patrol’s mission to deliver more comfort and more room, the new Patrol delivers seat dimensions that outclass all competition. Boasting wider, higher and deeper front seats, the Patrol offers over 100mm more legroom for second row passengers, and a roomier third row of seats as well. Employing double the lateral rigidity over the outgoing model, the new Patrol sits on a revised platform that now offers a more robust construction with a low vibration body.
All-new V8 engine leads array of segment-beating hardware
The new Patrol is now the most powerful vehicle in its class. And the key technology achieving this jump in performance over the predecessor’s 4.8 litre power plant is the newly developed ‘VK56VD’ 5.6-litre V8 engine with VVEL (variable valve event and lift) and DIG (direct injection gasoline) technologies that generate 400hp and 550Nm of torque on the top specification version of this new engine.
Every component has been redesigned for maximum performance and smooth response, while a new 7-speed automatic transmission with a wider range of gear ratios than its predecessor, gives the off-roader the ability to deliver power faster.
Comprehensively upgraded 4WD system sets new standard
In a world-first for Nissan, the new Patrol employs a Hydraulic Body Motion Control System (HBMC), which keeps the car flatter with less body roll during lane-changing and cornering, while delivering a comfortable ride in city driving and superb stability on rugged and sandy tracks. Another crucial part of handling equation comes from the new suspension system, which now employs 4-wheel independent suspension, upgraded from the previous rigid axle setup. Nissan has completely redesigned the vehicle’s suspension from the bushes to the links. The combination of HBMC and the new suspension system with its longer suspension stroke delivers significantly improved handling and stability on both on- and off-road terrain.
The Patrol also employs a newly developed ALL MODE 4×4 system incorporating a variable 4×4 mode package. It allows the driver to quickly switch between four drive modes: sand, on-road, snow and rock, with the flick of a switch. In sand mode, owners are able to drive safely, quickly and skillfully in sand and dirt, just like professional rally drivers.
In addition, the Patrol also offers a new Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control which can also be selected easily with the touch of a button. With Hill Start Assist, if a driver stops on a slope and steps off the brake pedal, the system keeps the vehicle stationary – with no roll back. Hill Descent Control uses the brakes to maintain a constant downhill speed of 7km/h in 4H mode and 4km/h in 4L mode.
The new model employs a revised Tyre Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with tyre inflation indicator which beeps the horn softly to inform drivers that a suitable tyre pressure has been reached.
A revised, more effective brake system also provides the best braking performance in its class thanks to its new hydraulic brake booster and a 4-piston opposed front caliper setup with larger 358mm front discs.
Nissan designers paid special attention to the second row seat passengers by not only significantly expanding legroom, but by also fitting a new multi-screen DVD entertainment system, a first form Nissan. It boasts two rear-facing TVs; one 7-inch monitor embedded into each front seat headrest.
Fitted with six airbags for top grade, the Patrol also comes with a totally revised climate control system boasting another world-first – the curtain vent. Curtain vent has several small but highly effective vents mounted in the ceiling above each side window to blow a strong current of cool air down forming a curtain of air that acts as a barrier to heat penetrating the cabin.
Yet another impressive Patrol feature is the cool box mounted in the centre console between the front seats. Incorporating a unique double hinge design, the lid of the cool box can be opened easily from either the front or second row of seats to access the six 600ml drink bottles inside.
With its fresh new styling, superior packaging, powerful but economical V8 engine, clever off-road technologies and higher levels of luxury and comfort, the all-new Patrol is now a true segment leader.
|Toyota suspending sale of eight models immediately||
In an unprecedented move, Toyota has suspended sales of eight models until it fixes the stuck accelerator pedal problem that has led to a huge recall.
“Helping ensure the safety of our customers and restoring confidence in Toyota are very important to our company,” said Group Vice President and Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter in a press release. “This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized. We’re making every effort to address this situation for our customers as quickly as possible.”
The models include the 2009-2010 RAV4; 2009-2010 Corolla; 2009-2010 Matrix; 2005-2010 Avalon; certain 2007-2010 Camrys; 2010 Highlander; 2007-2010 Tundra; and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.
Toyota is in danger of losing its top quality ranking to Hyundai, according to a test engineer at Consumer Reports, which releases it annual rankings in April.
|Infiniti releases U.S. pricing on 2010 G Sedan & Coupe||
Infiniti’s blessed its G37 Coupe and Sedan with a few mild tweaks for 2010 — and as a result, pricing for the range is slightly tweaked as well.
Today Infiniti announced pricing on the 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan and G37 Coupe, which are on sale now at Infiniti retailers nationwide. For 2010, the G Sedan, Infiniti’s top-selling model, features revised exterior styling, an enhanced interior treatment and upgraded technology features. The 2010 G Coupe also enters 2010 with a number of significant enhancements, including a revised interior and upgraded navigation and entertainment systems.
The 2010 Infiniti G Sedan and Coupe come equipped with an advanced 3.7-liter VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) V6 and choice of 7-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission – as well as with available Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system (G37x Sedan AWD, G37x Coupe AWD).
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* for the four available 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan models are:
G37 Sedan $33,250 USD
G37 Sedan Journey $34,450 USD
G37x Sedan AWD $36,050 USD
G37 Sedan Sport 6MT $37,000 USD
The MSRPs for the four available 2010 Infiniti G37 Coupe models are:
G37 Coupe $36,050 USD
G37 Coupe Journey $37,500 USD
G37x Coupe AWD $39,150 USD
G37 Coupe Sport 6MT $40,400 USD
The 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible, which shares many of the G Sedan and Coupe interior enhancements, will be available in early February 2010.
About the 2010 Infiniti G Sedan
The 2010 G37 Sedan offers a standard 328-horsepower 3.7-liter VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) V6 and 7-speed automatic transmission. And, as is appropriate for a cutting-edge performance sports sedan, the G is also available with a 6-speed manual transmission (G37 Sedan Sport 6MT), as well as with an advanced Infiniti Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system (G37x Sedan AWD).
The G37 Sedan’s strikingly seductive exterior is defined by its sleek wave form hood, signature G-style taillights, raked A-pillars and athletic stance. For 2010, the front fascia has been revised with new grille, headlights and bumper. The standard fog lights have been moved from their previous location in the headlight cluster to the lower fascia – where they help provide a sportier, more upscale appearance.
G37 Sport models also receive a new, distinctive front fascia with separated headlights and fog lights. 2010 G37 and G37 Journey models feature a new 17-inch 5-spoke “triple forks” wheel design. In the rear, all models receive a revised rear fascia with an improved exhaust finisher treatment. Two new exterior colors are offered for 2010: Smoky Quartz and Graphite Shadow.
Inside, the G37 Sedan offers a crafted interior environment and luxury features such as standard leather-appointed seating and an available audiophile-quality Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose premium audio system, which combines Bose’s 3-way front door speaker array with 10-inch subwoofers and a parcel shelf-mounted subwoofer. A 2GB Music Box is available with the Premium Package.
Enhancements for 2010 include a new, predominately white color scheme for the gauges and LCD instrument display, improving both legibility and cohesiveness of design. There is also a new center console design (7AT models) and new “Shodo” aluminum trim. In addition, a next-generation version of the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System now includes features such as XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather(TM) with Real-Time Weather and 3-day forecast (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and Zagat® Restaurant Guide. Other navigation system features include a 7.0-inch touch screen monitor and 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive.
Again in 2010, advanced G Sedan technologies include standard Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition and RearView Monitor (newly standard in most models) and available Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking.
The 2010 G37 Sedan is available in four models – G37 Sedan, G37 Sedan Journey, G37x Sedan AWD and G37S Sedan Sport 6MT. In addition, various enhancements and revisions have been made to the 2010 G37 Sedan’s available option packages.
The Infiniti G Coupe is designed to stir the soul through an unmatched combination of dynamic design, exhilarating performance and a modern, luxuriously crafted interior. For 2010, the G Coupe receives a number of significant enhancements, including a revised interior and upgraded navigation and entertainment systems.
The G Coupe is again offered in a range of four models: G37 Coupe, G37 Coupe Journey, G37S Coupe Sport 6MT and G37x Coupe AWD – each equipped with a standard 3.7-liter VQ-series V6 with VVEL (for Variable Valve Event and Lift) rated at 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Three models are offered with a standard performance-oriented 7-speed automatic transmission with Drive Sport (DS) Mode, Downshift Rev Matching and available solid magnesium paddle shifters. The G37 Coupe Sport 6MT comes with a responsive, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.
For buyers who want an even higher level of sporty performance, the Sport 6MT model and Journey model with Sport Package offer a sport-tuned suspension, 14.7:1 sport-tuned steering gear, Viscous Limited-Slip Differential, large Sport Brakes with 4-piston opposed front calipers and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with summer performance tires.
Interior enhancements for 2010 include a new, predominately white color scheme for the gauges and LCD instrument display, improving both legibility and cohesiveness of design. There is also a new center console design (7AT models) and the previous “Washi” aluminum trim has been replaced by “Shodo” aluminum trim inspired by the traditional art of Japanese calligraphy. A new interior trim is now available with high-gloss Maple Accents, along with the next-generation Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System.
|Official: Suzuki ties knot with Volkswagen||
Osamu Suzuki, chairman and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corp. and Martin Winterkorn, from Volkswagen AG, have agreed “to establish a close longterm strategic partnership” with each other. The partnership means VW will buy 19.9% of Suzuki, then Suzuki will spend half the money they just received from Volkswagen reciprocating by buying VW shares.
Volkswagen and Suzuki agreed to establish a comprehensive partnership
Important step towards the future for both companies
Tokyo/Wolfsburg, December 9, 2009 – Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and Suzuki Motor Corporation have reached a common understanding to establish a close longterm strategic partnership. A framework agreement has been signed by
representatives of both companies today.
In terms of global presence and product diversity, the partnership marks an important step towards the future for both Volkswagen and Suzuki. In terms of product portfolio, global distribution and manufacturing capacities, Volkswagen and Suzuki ideally complement each other. The companies plan a joint approach to the growing worldwide demand for more environmentally friendly vehicles. The management of Volkswagen and Suzuki have concluded that the complementary strengths of each company make for a perfect fit in exploiting their respective advantages as well as rising to the challenge of the global market. In the automotive industry, where globalization and diversification proceed in parallel, both companies will establish a cooperative relationship while respecting each other’s independence as a stand-alone entity. Both parties are focused on achieving synergies in the areas of rapidly growing emerging markets as well as in the development and manufacturing of innovative and environmentally friendly compact cars.
To support a smooth development of this relationship, Volkswagen will purchase 19.9% of Suzuki’s issued shares. The Closing of the transaction is subject to approval of the relevant authorities and is expected in January 2010. Suzuki intends to invest up to one half of the amount received from Volkswagen into shares of Volkswagen. Both companies will form a long-term strategic partnership based on this which will support their successful strategies in these challenging times.
As demand continues to rise for smaller cars and for powertrains with higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 output, Volkswagen and Suzuki will offer a compelling solution for customers in emerging markets buying a car for the first time and also for customers in advanced economies seeking to lower their CO2 footprint while still enjoying the freedom of transport offered by an exciting range of cars.
A press conference will be held on 5 pm in Tokyo together with a webcast which will be available on http://www.primestage.net/hosting/VW-Tokyo/
Suzuki is the world leader in the mini-car segment: with a workforce of approximately 51,000, the company sold 2.3 million vehicles and 3.1 million motorcycles in the 2008/2009 financial year (to March 31), generating sales revenue of €20.9 billion and an operating profit of €534 million. Suzuki operates 35 production facilities in Japan and other countries such as
Indonesia, India, China, Thailand and Spain.
In fiscal year 2008 Volkswagen, which has a workforce of 370,000, sold 6.3 million vehicles, generating sales revenue of €113.8 billion and achieved an operating profit of €6.3 billion. Volkswagen operates 61 production plants worldwide.