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.
|Nissan Juke crossover mixes small-car and small-SUV||
Designed as an in-between to a small car and small SUV the Nissan Juke, which is set to launch at the ucoming Geneva Motor Show, will be one of the few ultra-compact crossover SUVs on the market. The somewhat ridiculous design is meant primarily for European consumption with sales expectations hopeful to surpass the Qashqai’s half-a-million in 3 year sales benchmark.
“In the last five years we have enjoyed significant growth in a crowded European market. This has been achieved by challenging traditional patterns and moving away from the C and D segments. Instead, we have pioneered the introduction of crossovers. We started with Murano and then, in higher volumes, with Qashqai – a car which has far exceeded our expectations. Sales have exceeded half-a-million in Europe in less than 3 years,” said Colin Dodge, Executive Vice President.
Juke will be manufactured in Europe at Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, England, and in Oppama, Japan. In Europe, its production alongside the Note compact family car and Qashqai crossover is the result of an investment in excess of 60m Euros, which safeguards over 1000 Nissan jobs, and more than 2000 in the supply chain.
Sales of Juke will begin in Japan in the summer, with the European and North American launch beginning in the autumn.
From a design standpoint, the lower portion of Juke is pure SUV. It combines chunky wheels, wide tyres, extended ground clearance and a robust stance with a top portion that is unadulterated sports car, with a high waistline, slim visor-like side glass graphics and a coupé-style falling roofline. The coupé effect is further underlined by the rear doors which have their handles hidden in the frame of the door.
Inside, the sports car theme continues with a driver-focused cabin dominated by a centre console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank. Finished in a distinctive high gloss colour, the ‘bike’ console adds a sense of fun to the car. Practicality is assured by the rear-opening hatch and versatile luggage area with hidden storage opportunities.
Speaking at the launch, Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Design and Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, said: “It was our intention to challenge the conventions. I really think Juke will bring something different for customers – something more emotional, energetic, more masculine”.
Juke is based on the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform and has a 2530mm wheelbase, is 4135mm long, 1765mm wide and 1570mm tall. On front-wheel drive versions, suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front with a torsion beam at the rear while four-wheel drive models have a multi-link rear suspension modelled on the system found on Qashqai.
The ALL-MODE 4×4-i, is a new development of Nissan’s respected electronic all-wheel drive system and now features torque-vectoring technology to enhance agility and reduce understeer when cornering. As well splitting torque front to rear – up to a maximum of 50:50 – it can now be split from side-to-side across the rear axle, too.
Cornering ability is enhanced by sending increased torque to the outside rear wheel, reducing understeer. In total, up to 50% of the total available engine torque can be sent to either rear wheel. The inclusion of this innovation is a first in the small car segment – a technology that has, until now, only been found on top-of-the-range, premium vehicles.
Engines & transmissions
In Europe, three different engines will be available when sales start later in the year: one diesel and two 1.6-litre petrol units, all fully Euro 5 compliant. At the top of the range is a new turbocharged petrol engine (MR16DDT) with direct injection. The engine is one of the most powerful in its class, developing 140kW (190PS) and 240 Nm. The combination of direct injection with a turbocharger provides the power and responses expected from a 2.5-litre engine with the economy of a smaller engine.
The second petrol engine is a newly developed version from Nissan’s trusted HR-family. Designated HR16DE, the lightweight, low-friction 16-valve unit now has a unique dual-injection system allowing finer metering of the fuel sprays for better combustion and develops 86kW (117 PS).
Finally, the K9K 81kW (110PS) 1.5-litre dCI common rail diesel offers excellent driveability – thanks to its heady 240 Nm of torque – with good economy and emissions.
In terms of transmissions, the two-wheel drive turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine is available with a six-speed manual transmission.
Nissan’s XTRONIC CVT transmission, with a six-speed manual mode, will be available on the range-topping all-wheel-drive version of the turbocharged petrol engine.
The naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol is available either with a 5-speed manual or the updated XTRONIC CVT, while the 1.5-litre diesel engine is available with a 6-speed manual.
Lists of standard and optional equipment will be released nearer the on sale date, but expected items such as climate control, leather upholstery, rear view camera and Intelligent Key will all be available to Juke customers along with some more unusual features.
One such is the Nissan Dynamic Control System, a central command and display module which allows the driver to alter dynamic drive settings as well as make changes to more obvious functions such as climate control. The display, meanwhile, shows engine and drive related dials and information.
“At Nissan, we are working hard to bring more value to the brand through great design, quality, and driving pleasure. For me, Juke represents so much of what Nissan is and will reinforce Nissan’s position as a global leader of design innovation, but also as the global pioneer in crossovers,” said Shiro Nakamura.