Nissan has taken the GT-R AKA Godzilla racing all over the world via customer car programs and OEM-backed programs. However, the GT-R hasn’t seen much racing action stateside despite its decades of racing pedigree. It looks like that is finally going to change. Today Nissan announced that they will partner with the “Always Evolving” racing team to campaign a two car effort in the Pirelli Challenge series this year. The weapon of choice will be the new Nissan GT-R GT3 built by the mad men from Nissan’s NISMO motorsport arm.
If the name “Always Evolving” sounds familiar that is because this is the same racing team that was co-founded by Roger Rodas who unfortunately passed away in a car accident along with friend and team supporter Paul Walker. The team prides themselves on enjoying motorsport life while also giving back by contributing to several charitable organizations.
The team has tapped Bryan Heitkotter and James Davison as their drivers. Bryan was the first winner of the North American GT Academy program which was a nationwide competition among the best Gran Turismo players to graduate to a real life racing career. Since winning GT Academy Bryan raced for two years in a 370Z NISMO for Doran Racing in the Continental Tire series and raced in the Altima Program in 2014 in the Pirelli Challenge. James has a strong background in open wheel racing running Formula BMW, Star Mazda, and the Indy Lights championship. James also drove for the TRG-Aston Martin team in the IMSA series.
Sponsored by Replay XD and backed by NISMO Motorsport the team will begin their run for the Pirelli Challenge championship next month in a trail by fire at the Circuit Of The Americas. Personally, I can’t wait to see these cars in action. I especially can’t wait to see them up close at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April! For a better picture of the GT-R GT3 just click the thumbnail below. For more info the official press release is below as well.
2011 Nissan GT Academy Champion Bryan Heitkotter to pilot #05 GT-R GT3
IndyCar, Prototype and GT racer James Davison to Campaign #33 GT-R GT3
First U.S. Appearance of Nissan GT-R Built to FIA GT3 Specifications
Debuts in Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas March 6-8
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Motorsports announced today a partnership with Always Evolving (AE) to campaign two GT Academy-NISMO Nissan GT-R GT3 racing cars for the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season.
Nissan GT Academy North America 2011 winner Bryan Heitkotter will drive one of the team cars, while Australian open wheel and GT star James Davison will pilot the second car. Featuring logos from the GT Academy program, the two cars will be co-sponsored by Replay XD and NISMO.
AE will utilize AIM Autosport for much of the car preparation and on-track support during the season. ased in Los Angeles, the team was founded in March 2013 by friends Roger Rodas and Erik Davis as a platform combine their passion for cars and their desire to support their favorite charitable organizations. Following Rodas’ tragic passing in November 2013, the team has established “Racing in Honor” as their internal mission for the 2014 season in his memory. ased in Los Angeles, the team was founded in March 2013 by friends Roger Rodas and Erik Davis as a platform combine their passion for cars and their desire to support their favorite charitable organizations. Following Rodas’ tragic passing in November 2013, the team has established “Racing in Honor” as their internal mission for the 2014 season in his memory. AIM won the 2012 IMSA GTD team, driver and manufacturer championships, as well as the 2013 manufacturer title while campaigning a Ferrari.
“Nissan couldn’t be happier to have Always Evolving and AIM as Nissan’s partners to campaign the first GT3 spec GT-Rs in the U.S. in Pirelli World Challenge,” said Rick Kulach, Nissan North America Motorsports Manager. “This partnership is a great opportunity to showcase Bryan’s talents alongside James, who is a rising star in motorsports. It’s exciting to have a GT Academy champion in a great car racing at this level.”
Based in Los Angeles, Always Evolving Racing was founded in 2013 by Erik Davis and Roger Rodas to combine the friends’ passion for cars with their desire to support their favorite charities. Following a tragic automobile accident late in 2013 that took Rodas’ life, Davis elected to continue with Always Evolving in his friend’s honor.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Nissan in Pirelli World Challenge,” said Erik Davis, Chairman of AE. “Our two brands have had a distant relationship for many years, and to be able to now officially launch an effort together bringing the Nissan NISMO GT3 GT-R to North America is humbling to say the least. We look forward to showcasing the team, our drivers, the GT Academy and our sponsors in a very competitive platform.”
Heitkotter, 34, won North America’s first gamer-to-racer GT Academy competition in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 while driving a Nissan 370Z NISMO for Doran Racing, Heitkotter earned three pole positions, two second qualifying spots, four top 10 finishes and a podium. In 2014, Bryan switched to a Nissan Altima for the CA Sports team. There, he earned three podiums and four top five finishes in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car (TC) category in six events. Most recently, behind the wheel of the Doran #41 370Z NISMO, Heitkotter and GT Academy teammate Nick McMillen finished sixth overall in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Series (CTSCC) race at Daytona International Speedway in January 2015.
“I have been watching the Pirelli World Challenge gain momentum over the past couple years, and I’m absolutely thrilled to help represent Nissan in this highly competitive series,” said Heitkotter. “The GT-R has proven to be a spectacular racing car, and I can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish together.”
Davison, 28, was born in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the United States when he was 18 years of age to develop his skills in open wheel racing. His career highlights include a 2005 victory in Formula BMW at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a runner-up finish in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship, and second spot in the 2009 Indy Lights Championship. Davison ran up front during the 2014 Indianapolis 500 driving for Always Evolving KV Racing Technology, finishing the race in 16th position. In his limited time in sports cars he has always been at the front, driving for the TRG-Aston Martin team in IMSA competition. Davison has recorded five consecutive poles in IMSA including pole position at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We have great confidence in Erik (Davis)’s vision and ability to campaign a competitive car at a high level every race,” added Kulach. “James Davison is not only a talented young race driver, but he’s also a great sportsman and will be an outstanding representative for the Nissan brand.”
The first Pirelli World Challenge Race for 2015 will be at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas March 6-8. Television broadcast times have not yet been announced and the series will be webcast via www.world-challengetv.com.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
About Always Evolving
Always Evolving is an integrated media and technology company with a diversified portfolio of software and hardware assets. The company recently acquired the Replay XD action camera system and is hard at work making sure more consumers, athletes and video producers love its cameras and video-based experiences. Based in San Francisco, California, Always Evolving’s products and services are quickly becoming the only choice for action camera, drone and POV camera buyers and video producers everywhere.
About AIM Autosport
Established in 1995, AIM Autosport is a Canadian sports team operating multi-car teams in professional sportscar racing. AIM’s success has been achieved through the dedication of its employees and the continuous support of the team’s commercial and technical partners. Away from the track, AIM Autosport serves the needs of the racing community with a purpose-built preparation shop situated in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, Ontario.
About Nissan GT Academy
GT Academy is a competition created by Nissan and PlayStation® that unites the worlds of virtual and real-life racing to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers become a reality. The competition, which originally launched in Europe in 2008, finds the best Gran Turismo® players from across the participating countries by testing their skills in an online gaming qualification process. They will then compete against each other in live National Finals before the winners from each final switch to driving real Nissan cars at the now-famous Silverstone “Race Camp.”
The overall winner of GT Academy is then trained in the multiple areas required to become a professional racing driver, if the winner makes the grade they will compete in the Dubai 24 Hour race for Nissan and have the chance to be considered for a future career with Nissan as a “NISMO Athlete.”
Its that time of the year again! The big came has come and gone and the internet is buzzing with the usual post-superbowl stories: the game (what the flipping pancakes were you thinkin’ Pete Carroll!?!?!) , the half time show (how ’bout that gold lion and dancing sharks?), and of course the commercials. Now, there was obviously a ton of commercials but here we only care about ads of the automotive variety. With that filter in place it narrows things down to 11 ads this year which is about two more than last year. What does that mean? Not much really as some of the contenders had more than one spot. For example Toyota ran two different spots for the new Camry while Lexus ran a spot for their new NX SUV and for the new RC 350 coupe. As you may or may not remember it was the Chevrolet spot “Life” which won first place last year because of its powerful emotional message. All the other OEMs must’ve taken notes because many of this year’s spots were attempts to pull at the heart strings. Some worked some didn’t.
So, which spots made it to our fresh three this year? Let’s find out!
Third Place: “How Great I Am” – Toyota
Its hard to argue with a commercial with its main theme being the spirit of human perseverance. This spot gives the audience a glimpse at the life of world class snowboarder Amy Purdy, a double amputee who refuses to let something like losing her legs stop her from doing what she wants to do while being completely awesome at it. All of this is shown over the famous Muhammad Ali speech “How Great I Am”. Its hard to go wrong with butt kicking women and Muhammad Ali so with that Toyota makes it into the Fresh Three.
Second Place: “Wisdom” – Dodge
Some of the best car commercials actually don’t seem to be car-centric at first and then they find a way to tie their theme together with the brand message and it turns out awesome. That is exactly what happened in Dodge’s “Wisdom” spot. It starts with Centenarians (people who are 100 years old or older) imparting gentle words of well, wisdom. At first things are sweet and heart felt with suggestions like “live for now” and “always tell the truth”. Then things get edgy as Dorothy Titleman (Born 1914) recommends to “keep your eyes open and sometimes your mouth shut!” Que the guitar riffs, Dodge Challenger burn outs, and it only gets better from there!
First Place: “With Dad” – Nissan
Congratulations Nissan! Your “With Dad” spot is officially our pick for the best car commercial of Super Bowl XLIX and the winner of Hype Bowl 2015! “With Dad” tells the story of a father who works as a journeyman racer for Nissan. He works his way up the motorsports ladder and has success, but the constant time away from his young son takes its toll on him and his family but he pushes on to continue supporting his wife and son. It’s a bit cheesy and a bit unrealistic but it still manages to hit all the right emotional buttons while showcasing excellently filmed cinematic racing with cars like the 370Z and GT-R. Then it earned a ton of bonus points by debuting Nissan’s new GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 race car AND the next Nissan Maxima. All in all its an emotional commercial that is still manages to add action, and Easter eggs for enthusiasts. More than enough to be worthy of the title!
Honorable mentions (just click the titles in the red text to be taken to the commercials)
“My Bold Dad” – Toyota. Another father-themed commercial, this Camry spot by Toyota is more of a tear-jerker than Nissan’s spot but without being sappy. This one will get you, especially if you have a daughter!
“Lets Play” – Lexus. This is one of the first official commercials for the new Lexus RC 350 coupe. Its very simple but does a great job of getting its point across in a fun and creative way featuring some stunt driving in an RC car (as in Radio Control) and in a “RC” car as in Lexus RC thanks to Sam Hubinette. The odd thing is this commercial isn’t listed as a “Super Bowl” commercial even though it aired during the game while the other Lexus commercial (for the NX SUV) is. We think that was a big mistake on Lexus’ part. They definitely should have led with this!
“The Perfect Getaway” – Kia. This spot for the Kia Sorrento starts off a bit slow but builds up to some decent laughs as ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan gets pitched to star in a Kia commercial that seems mundane at first but ends in “fireworks.” Watch it and you’ll see what we mean.
Well, that does it! Those are our favorite commercials of the Super Bowl. You may notice that none of the European brands made it to the list. Unfortunately, didn’t really bring it as well as they have in the past. Some were no-shows all together like crowd favorites Audi and VW. Mercedes and BMW showed up to the party, but unfortunately they ended up being the weird guy at the party that you wish you didn’t start a conversation with. You will see what we mean when you see our post for the worst ads! Stay tuned!
What happens when you take one of the best Japanese tuners, a top tier turbocharger manufacturer, and a legendary all wheel drive sports car and connect them all with the help of a forward thinking marketing agency? This crazy red beast you see in all of these pretty pictures. About six months ago my good friend and CEO of the Kolab Agency Ernie Manansala Jr. sold his NSX and got a Nissan GT-R. I figured he might do a few things to it but nothing major. Then, one day he told me his new red Godzilla was going to be a SEMA project. I thought “ok, he will go a little farther with it than I anticipated.” That turned out to be a major understatement!
One Rocket Bunny widebody kit, four Advan wheels, two Garrett turbos, every Greddy GT-R part available, and 1,000HP later you have a car that is so crazily awesome that it catches the attention of Kazunori Yamauchi. Who is Kazunori Yamauchi? The godfather of the Gran Turismo video game series. Kazunori-san liked Ernie’s GT-R so much that it actually won for “best import” at the GT Awards ceremony during the SEMA show. Not bad for a car built in about 3 months! You may have also guessed that those 1,000 horses aren’t just for show either. Ernie plans to campaign his GT-R in a few time attack competitions in the near future. Who knows, this GT-R might be the first car to win a GT Award and break a track record!
Going into the final round at Irwindale things were tense. Fredric Aasbo was less than 20 points away from the incredibly consistent Chris Forsberg. Both drivers needed to be as close to flawless as possible if they wanted to achieve their respective desired results. However, “flawless” is highly illusive in a sport in which results are completely subjective. Here’s how it was all laid out for each contender: Chris Forsberg needed to make sure he finished as far ahead of Aasbo at all cost to preserve his lead. He needed to out qualify him and finish ahead of him by at least two spots. For Aasbo, as just mentioned he needed to finish ahead of Forsberg by two or more spots. However, the two drivers happened to fall on the same side of the top 32 bracket so that meant considering that each driver kept winning their battles they would eventually have to face each other.
This was not great for Forsberg as his past battles with Aasbo mostly ended with his defeat. But, if Forsberg could beat him this time it would secure a championship. In the final four the two drivers finally faced off. Forsberg fought valiantly but ultimately the judges gave the win to Fredric Aasbo which sent him into to the final against Daigo Saito who defeated Forrest Wang to make it to the final. At this point Fredric had to defeat Saito in order to win the championship but Daigo’s monster car was too much and Aasbo was unable to close the gap on his follow run which resulted in the event win for Daigo and the championship win for Chris Forsberg.
Officially a two-time champion (Chris’ first title was earned in 2009), Chris Forsberg’s 2014 season was a constant uphill battle. With no title sponsor on board (NOS energy drink stepped down to an associate sponsor status) Chris soldiered on through the year on a incredibly thin budget yet still managed to get a win and podium 5 times out of 7 rounds. Fredric Aasbo had a great season getting his first two wins this season at rounds 4 & 6 but it was ultimately Forsberg’s consistency which won out.
It was a crazy season with ups, downs, controversy, and glory. There has been/will be a lot of shake ups in the drifting community in the coming weeks which could drastically shape how the 2015 Formula Drift season will play out. I will do my best to keep up with the news!
For now I want to say congrats to Chris Forsberg for his championship, Fredric Aasbo for his best season to date, and
If there is one thing that HKS loves to do is set lap times. For more than a decade HKS has been chasing lap records all over the world and the only thing that has changed from then until now is their chosen weapon. This year HKS is aiming to take top honors at the WTAC (World Time Attack Challenge) in Sydney, Australia next month in their new 1300HP Nissan GT-R. HKS’ current GT-R is not only up 100HP over last year’s car but it also features a few trick one-off parts in the engine to help them efficiently use all of those extra horses.
HKS decided to document their journey in developing this car all the way up until its final battle at WATC Australia via video chapters. Check out chapter one below and keep an eye out for a very familiar face!
For those who follow world famous musician “Deadmau5″ on twitter you’d know that enjoys things with a bit of flair. This is probably why he wrapped a brand new Ferrari 458 with a full Nyan Cat livery and custom “Purrari” badges for the 2014 Gumball 3000 rally. He originally did it just for the rally but the “Purrari” got such a positive response from his fans and followers that he kept the wrap on for a while. However, Ferrari was none-to-pleased with the DJ’s take on their newest sports car and actually sent him a cease and desist letter to return the Ferrari back to stock. Don’t believe us? Here is the tweet from the man himself:
I wonder if the jackass lawyer at @FerrariUSA who sent us a “cease and desist” letter over the purrari is un-butthurt now that I unwrapped.
The Purrari is officially no more and is back to a regular ol’ boring six figure Italian sports car. It sucked for Mr. Mau5 and definitely put him in a bad mood. Today Nissan decided to cheer him up by “presenting” him with an Nyan Cat liveried GT-R complete with a “Deadmau5 edition” badge! See Nissan’s tweet below:
Score one for Nissan! Maybe this will teach Ferrari’s legal department to lighten up a bit? …Nahhh. UPDATE: It looks like this is actually just a playful photoshop done by Nissan which is kind of a bummer. I think they should totally print up a wrap and make it official!
Anyone close to me knows I have been a Marvel nerd ever since I saw the first Iron Man movie. I have seen every Marvel Studios movie since then (most of them several times in the theater before buying the blu rays…yeah..I’m legit) and one of my favorite things about Marvel movies is their intro with the Marvel logo. Its a short animation of comic pages moving flip book style and then slowly the Marvel logo fades into view. However, despite the amount of times I have watched this intro, apparently there was something I have missed all this time. If you look closely (and I mean VERY closely) as the pages flip you will see a very prominent image of what appears to be a Nissan 350Z. The Z also appears to be saving a guy from what is probably a pretty hairy situation!
So, what does it all mean? Nothing really, I just thought it was cool that despite my dive into fanboy-dom I was still able to find another connection between my passion for cars and my growing fondness for comic book heros! Although if there is any meaning here it would probably be in the mysterious nature of this particular comic panel and its placement. What specific comic is this from? Who is driving the car in the panel? Was this panel purposely placed into the Marvel Studios intro secretly by some Marvel employee who happens to be a gear head or is it really all just a random coincidence? It might also be of note that the Marvel Studios logo animation was changed to show a 3D logo rather than a 2D logo and this image can only be seen in the newer intro which I believe they began using when “Thor: The Dark World” was released.
If anyone out there in the interwebs can shed some light on this and trace the origin of this comic panel, we may just have a little reward for you! Let us know in the comments if you have answers! You can see a larger version of the image by clicking the thumbnail below as well as a video of the Marvel Studios intro. If you pause the video at exactly 2 seconds in, you’ll see the image in question.
Today is a glorious day for “Z” fans! Just a short while ago, to kick off the annual “Z DayZ” event, Nissan debuted the new re-freshed NISMO 370Z! The fact that Nissan would do something like this at an enthusiast gathering rather than having a big production at a major car show is bound to gain them some serious brownie points among the most dedicated of their audience. Good job Nissan! Now, on to the new Z; The most obvious change is the new aerodynamics package which, combined with the color scheme is very similar to what was done with the GT-R NISMO and NISMO Sentra concept that made its debut at the LA Auto Show last year. Nissan claims that the aero package is completely functional (which I wouldn’t doubt) and as mentioned before was heavily inspired by the GT-R NISMO. The engine remains the same as the previous NISMO 370Z but a new 7 speed automatic transmission option will be available and yes, it will have the automatic rev-matching during downshifts.
The NISMO engineers also retuned the 4 wheel independent suspension, as well as throwing in a few other NISMO buts to help add more rigidity to the chassis. Cosmetically, the 2015 NISMO Z gets some new wheels, a refreshed interior which includes brand new Recaro seats and a bunch of entertainment tech all controlled via fingertip on a 7 inch touch screen.
If you want this, and I am sure you do then you need to visit your dealer now and put in an order because this new NISMO car will be available as soon as July of this year and Nissan hasn’t said how many examples are being produced for the first run so hurry up! Otherwise if you’re content with just looking at the car then click the thumbnails below for HD resolution pics. You can also check out the official press release below as well.
Refined 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO makes global debut today at annual gathering of Nissan, Datsun and NISMO sports car owners and performance enthusiasts
Refreshed 370Z NISMO features distinctive new exterior appearance, redesigned wheels and enhanced interior; 7-speed automatic transmission is also available
Performance enhancements include retuned suspension and Recaro® co-developed seats exclusively designed for 370Z Nismo
2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO goes on sale at U.S. Nissan dealers in July 2014
FONTANA DAM, North Carolina – There was a surprise “guest” today at ZDAYZ, the annual gathering of hundreds of Nissan, Datsun and NISMO owners and enthusiasts – the world debut of the new 2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO. A solid progress for 2015, the new 370Z NISMO model features exterior, interior and performance refinements, along with an expanded model selection that includes both 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic transmissions and a new 370Z NISMO Tech grade.
“NISMO is the heart and soul of Nissan performance, both for the track and on the street, so it’s fitting that we are showing the dramatic new 2015 370Z NISMO for the first time at a gathering of our most loyal and enthusiast owners,” said Nissan Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President Andy Palmer. “The new 370Z NISMO joins the recently introduced Nissan GT-R NISMO and Nissan JUKE NISMO RS, giving performance fans a range of fresh, factory tuned NISMO models to enjoy.”
2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO
The most striking change for the 2015 370Z NISMO is its revised exterior design. Its GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces have been redesigned to provide an aggressive and more aerodynamic new appearance – as well as optimizing front and rear downforce. Key changes include a new, deep front fascia with LED Hyper Daytime Running Lights, black headlight bezels, NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accent on the integrated front chin spoiler. The red accent continues down the redesigned side sills, on the black-color sideview mirrors and across the lower portion of the redesigned rear fascia. The unique NISMO rear spoiler has been reshaped and downsized.
The standard 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS also have been restyled for 2015 with a twin-five spoke design and a charcoal gray machine-finish (formerly silver).
Inside, the unique NISMO-styled interior is enhanced with redesigned black-and-red Recaro® leather-appointed seats with Alcantara® accents. The new seats, co-developed with Recaro®, are exclusively designed for the 370Z NISMO to provide more uniform body pressure and better all-direction holding during spirited acceleration, braking and cornering. They also play a key role in providing driving excitement by maximizing the harmony between driver and machine. The interior also features red seat trim and stitching with NISMO logo, an Alcantara®-appointed leather-wrapped steering wheel and NISMO red tachometer.
Also new for 2015 is the 370Z NISMO Tech model, which adds a hard drive-based Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, RearView Monitor, Bose® Audio System, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver.
As in previous years, the 2015 370Z NISMO is powered by a potent 350-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The engine is matched with an exclusive, tuned H-configured exhaust system design, muffler tuning and an optimized calibration is installed to help create 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z Coupe. Torque is rated at 276 lb-ft.
Two transmission choices are offered for the first time on the Z NISMO model. The close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission features standard SynchroRev Match®, the world’s first synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission, which allows rev-matched heel-toe-like downshifting. Newly available is a refined 7-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters.
The 370Z NISMO also features a refined 4-wheel independent suspension, NISMO-branded strut tower brace for enhanced body rigidity and a pair of performance dampers to help minimize road-input vibrations and help contribute to the NISMO 370Z’s high levels of handling and performance feel. The NISMO tuned suspension includes special springs and stabilizer bars. Large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration feel – are also standard on the 2015 370Z NISMO.
The 2015 370Z NISMO is offered in just four exterior colors – Solid Red, Magnetic Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White. It is set to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in July 2014.
“There’s much more to love about the 370Z NISMO than ever before – the new appearance inside and out, enhanced handling, new wheels, more technology and a choice of transmissions,” added Palmer. “Our fans here at ZDAYZ want only the best and that’s what this new 370Z NISMO delivers.”
Happy Friday everyone! Why not kick off the end of the week with another sweet flick from the guys at ClashProduction? Actually, this is kind of a sequel really. Remember a while back when they produced that awesome film of a snow camo’d GT-R racing snowmobiles up a ski slope? Well as usual with most film productions there was a lot of unused footage from that feature so the guys at Clash decided to take the unused footage and cut together a whole new flick. In fact, this new one is even longer than the first one! Scroll down to enjoy 7 glorious minutes of a GT-R playing in the snow
For the last few years Nissan has been relatively quiet at the LA Auto Show. Not to be harsh but since the American debut of the GT-R they haven’t brought to many exciting things to LA (with the exception of the awesome “food truck” NV200s!), so this year they were definitely due for something spectacular and they totally delivered.
This year Nissan pretty much let NISMO almost entirely take over their exhibit. Sure the obligatory model line upgrades made their appearances. The 2014 Nissan GT-R showed up as well as the leaf and others. However, front and center were not one but three NISMO badged bad-ass vehicles.
First up was the North American debut of the Nissan GT-R NISMO which had the curtain pulled off it by none other than track (as in running) superstar and Nissan’s “Global Director of Excitement”, Usain Bolt! After Bolt pulled the curtain off the car and the media scrum cleared I got in close to appreciate the GT-R NISMO for myself and let me tell you: its damned awesome. Now, I understand that its aggressive looks may not be for everyone. There are a heck of a lot of extra fins, overhangs, and ducts than one might find on a “normal” GT-R but they are all there for a purpose: to make this thing flarking fast!
The GT-R NISMO is definitely one of those cars that looks quick even while sitting still. While the basic body shape remains the same if you look closely you can see small details made in the cars major body panels. For example upon closer inspection of the rear on lookers will notice that the lines from the quarter panels and trunk “extend” past the taillights. There is also a full treatment of carbon fiber on all sides (front splitter, side skrits, rear diffuser) including a carbon fiber rear wing that does the job but isn’t too gaudy.
While Los Angeles was lucky enough to be the site of the North American debut of the GT-R NISMO no further information beyond what was stated at the Tokyo Auto Salon was given. That means we still don’t have a solid North American release date, MSRP, or production numbers for the newest Godzilla. That’s a shame but Nissan made up for it by showing off an additional two NISMO cars!
The first of which totally came out of left field and surprised everyone: a Sentra NISMO concept! NISMO took the new Sentra, which already looks pretty good and then made it awesome with a reworked front bumper that has an integrated carbon fiber splitter, a carbon fiber roof, and rear diffuser.
They (NISMO) then really took things a step further by turbo charging the Sentra’s 1.8 liter engine to the tune of 240hp, bolted on a NISMO suspension package, and added a limited slip differential! The interior also got the full NISMO treatment with Recaro seats and alcantara everywhere.
Nissan insists that the Sentra NISMO is just a concept and “design” study but it would be one hell of a cruel joke if they showed this off to the world without the intention to build at least some version of this in the future. It may be a bit of a stretch to hope for all the exterior mods to translate to production but I am sure all the Nissan fans have their fingers crossed that the turbocharged engine will make its way into production Sentra’s sometime soon.
Nissan then decided just for fun that they would update the Juke NISMO R by debuting the new Juke NISMO RS. The Juke NISMO RS gets a power and torque bump from the R bringing the total to 215hp and 210lb-ft of torque. The RS also gets bigger brakes, a stiffer chassis, a new manual transmission, and a NISMO interior including Recaro seats up front. According to Nissan the Juke NISMO RS will hit American dealerships in “early 2014″
There you have it. Nissan really killed it this year at LA. I would have to say of all the booths I visited I had the most excitement from Nissan since they are doing so many new things that are aimed at enthusiasts. If they weren’t before, Nissan’s competition are definitely taking a hard look now! For pictures just click on any of the thumbnails in this post. If you want to watch Nissan’s LA press conference for yourself just scroll down for the video!