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We had to check our calendar to make sure it didn't read April 1, but since it's not April Fool's Day, we have to assume that Nissan of Europe really has created a special air freshener scent to give away this Christmas. To create this original fragrance, Nissan looked to Dr. George Dodd, a master perfumer and aroma academy scientist who looks a tiny bit like Santa Claus (we seriously aren't making this stuff up).
Like a mad scientist, Dr. Dodd went to work blending chemicals and fragrances to design a smell that matches the Leaf's Earth-friendly, zero-emission attitude. Once the "scent of the future" is transformed into the lovely Santa-driving, Leaf-shaped air freshener you see above, Nissan of Europe will be giving one to its employees, Leaf customers and "select electric car fans." Sadly, EV - and scent - enthusiasts here in the US will be stuck with the tried-and-true pine tree air freshener.
We don't want to ruin exactly what Dodd finally came up with for the "scent of the future," but you can find out for yourselves in the video and press release posted below.
Remember last April, when Nissan told us it would be launching five new models over the course of 15 months? Well, we've seen the Altima, Pathfinder, Sentra and Versa Note, so that magical fifth model has to be the new Rogue, which our spy photographers recently caught testing. Despite looking like a hodge-podge of black duct tape and garbage bags, we can clearly see that the new Rogue takes a lot of its styling cues from the Hi-Cross concept that Nissan showed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. And that's fine - we found that CUV concept to be a decidedly handsome thing, and certainly more attractive than the weird little Rogue that currently roams the streets.
Details surrounding the next Rogue are still very unclear, though our spies suggest that it could be powered by a new 1.2-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine, good for something like 113 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. We'll see about that, since those numbers represent a drastic drop in power versus the current Rogue - to the tune of 57 hp and 35 lb-ft. A diesel engine for other markets is expected to be on offer, and a plug-in hybrid version is also rumored to be in the works, though that won't show up at the vehicle's initial launch.
If Nissan sticks to its plan of showing these five new models in the course of 15 months, that means we should see the Rogue in July. Of course, since things don't always go as planned, it could be many more months before all that camouflage is taken away.
The Porsche 911 GT3 has always been a favorite among auto journalists and car enthusiasts alike, but with the introduction of the new 991-generation GT3, which is the first GT3 with electric power steering and no manual gearbox option, how does it stack up to the competition from McLaren and Nissan?
Evo's Jethro Bovingdon attempts to answer that question by pitting the rear-engine Porsche against the mid-engine McLaren MP4-12C on a racetrack and the front-engine, all-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R on some amazing, twisty European back roads. We won't give away the victor of either comparison, but we will say that, in Evo's test, the McLaren's 141-horsepower advantage doesn't give it as much of an edge over the Porsche on a racetrack as one might think, and the lack of a manual gearbox and the inclusion of electric power steering on the GT3 isn't detrimental to enjoying the car on a back road.
Watch the video below to find out which car Bovingdon prefers on road and track - we think you'll be happy to see him drift around turns every chance he gets.