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Nissan Gets a Gripz on the Next Juke

A hint of a sportier Juke to come.

by on Sep.15, 2015

The Nissan Gripz Concept aims to blend the functionality of a Juke with the sportiness of a 370Z.

Even before it rolled onto the stage at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday, the Nissan Gripz was already generating some wild rumors suggesting it might be anything from the next Juke crossover to a replacement for the Nissan 370Z sports car.

In a sense, both of those ideas are accurate. No, the Z-car isn’t going away, but today’s buyers want something more than the minimal soft-roaders of years past, and the Gripz suggests the next-generation Juke will bring not only the flexibility and utility of a crossover vehicle, but also the fun-to-drive characteristics of a sports cars.

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Exactly how much of the Gripz concept will carry over into production remains to be seen, but expect to see some key elements, including the so-called V-Motion grille, which Nissan global creative director Shiro Nakamura confirmed will be the new face of Nissan products.

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Nissan Teases Mystery Car Before Frankfurt Show

But crossover likely to be next-generation Juke.

by on Sep.08, 2015

Nissan's show car teaser has kicked off plenty of speculation prior to the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Who is that masked man? Or so went the line from the old Lone Ranger TV show. Lately, the question might be, what is that masked car? There’s been plenty of speculation about the teaser image Nissan has released in advance of its news conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Unlike some manufacturers who have given us a clear sense of what to expect next week, Nissan has issued only a most cryptic comment, its news release asking, “”So can Nissan continue to innovate and move the bar higher? What if Nissan created a new way to feel driving excitement? The answer will come at the Frankfurt Motor Show.”

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Among the wilder theories, some are speculating this mystery vehicle might be an all-new replacement for the Nissan Z-Car. Considering the huge migration from passenger cars to utility vehicles, perhaps that might actually make a bit of sense. But the reality is likely a lot simpler.

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“Father of the Z” Car, Nissan’s Mr. K Dies at 105

“I want to drive a thoroughbred.”

by on Feb.23, 2015

Yutaka Katayama helped build Nissan's U.S. presence "from scratch," the company noted.

Known as “the father of the Z,” the original Nissan 240Z sports car, Yutaka Katayama was both a passionate brand ambassador and a serious business executive who continued to play a role at the Japanese automaker long after his official retirement in 1977.

Katayama, who first joined Nissan in 1935, handling publicity and advertising, died last Thursday, his family announced, at the age of 105.

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Known more widely as Mr. K, Katayama was one of the first American executives for what was then known as Datsun — at a time when Japanese brands had little appeal to U.S. motorists. He helped inspire some desperately needed passion by pushing for a small, stylish and affordable sports car that came to be known as the 240Z.

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Nissan Goes Subtle With ’13 Z-Car Update

2013 370Z will be offered in three body styles.

by on Feb.08, 2012

Can you spot the changes in the new Z-Car?

If Nissan’s newly-updated 370Z were a game it would be the type that requires you to spot the subtle differences between two largely identical images.  To borrow various clichés, the changes for 2013 are “subtle” and “evolutionary,” rather than the type likely to grab your immediate attention.

Not that this necessarily matters, as the outgoing model was a pretty striking design that doesn’t need many changes to stay fresh.

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So, for the 2013 update making its debut today at the Chicago Auto Show, the most significant changes include:

  • A refreshed front fascia with vertical LED daytime running lights;
  • Revised 19-inch aluminum allow wheels on the Sport Package and new 18-inch wheels for the 370Z Coupe;
  • Euro-tuned shocks on the Sport Package models; and
  • Two new exterior colors: Magma Red and Midnight Blue.

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First Drive: 2010 Nissan 370Z

More muscle, less fat.

by on Apr.22, 2009

Great scenery, but not the best place to test the 2010 Nissan 370Z.

Great scenery, but not the best place to test the 2010 Nissan 370Z.

It was great to see the new Nissan 370Z unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show, last November, but I was left with one nagging question: would it live up to its predecessor, a truly exciting and affordable sports car?

To be honest, I was not instantly enchanted by the looks of the new 370Z, with the frivolous boomerang head lights and similar taillight design — and a side profile that unabashedly borrows from the 800-pound gorilla of the Nissan line-up, the GT-R.  But as an owner of a 2008 Nissan 350Z, I was still quite eager to experience the new Z’s performance and handling.

If the press kit is to be believed, it should be better than ever. The 2010 model has all the right specs: it’s lighter, shorter, wider and lower, the right ingredients for improved handling. Then there’s the new 3.7 V-6 petrol engine (borrowed from Nissan’s luxury market sibling, Infiniti).  Add more horsepower and torque and, well, you can understand that I had some high expectations.

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