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Nissan's Le Mans-bound ZEOD RC electric racecar nearing completion [w/video]

Sun, 01 Sep 2013 15:05:00 EST

Nissan is working away on its ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) which is still on pace for a Le Mans arrival in 2014. As of right now, the DeltaWing-shaped car's carbon-fiber tub and chassis have been completed. The next step will be installing the twin electric motors and fitting the seat of driver and GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez. If the current schedule sticks, the zero-emissions racer will hit a UK track for test laps in September.
But while those initial shakedown laps will be under full electric power, it's unclear whether the setup fielded in the UK will survive until Le Mans. Nissan itself says that it will be testing a number of "electrified" drivetrains ahead of the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is a significant departure from race car design - usually, the teams know what's powering their car before they start building it.
"Just developing a single powertrain option in only 12 months would be a mammoth task but we're looking to carefully examine a number of options to ascertain which will be best suited for Le Mans," said Darren Cox, Nissan's global motorsport director. Take a look below for a video and press release from Nissan documenting the ZEOD RC's build process.

2014 Nissan Versa Note

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 12:03:00 EST

The original Austin Mini was not designed as a fun-to-drive, sporty small car. Its go-kart-like handling and general chuckability were an unintended byproduct of essential aspects of its design. Its four wheels were pushed to the absolute corners of the car to maximize interior space, and its front-wheel-drive layout and transversely mounted engine were in contrast to the rear-wheel-drive, longitudinal layouts of the day.
The result was a highly economical car with space for four and some luggage that just happened to be an absolute hoot to drive. Nissan has followed a similar path in the design of its Versa Note, which strives to provide the maximum amount of space and efficiency in a minimal footprint. On this front, it's successful.
First, we must salute Nissan for departing from the styling of the malformed kidney bean it calls the Versa Sedan. The Versa Note is a fashionably conservative design that neither offends nor excites. The front fascia is arguably its most conservative point, with high-mounted headlights and a sharper, cleaner version of Nissan's familial grille. The tail, with its funky I-don't-know-what-shape-I-am taillights contributes most of the car's flair. The large, spacious greenhouse, particularly up front, keeps passengers from feeling hemmed-in while letting in plenty of light.

Pebble Beach Concept Car Lawn adds class to the grass

Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:30:00 EST

While Pebble Beach is traditionally thought of as the refuge of the pristine and pricey vintage vehicles of the world, there's no shortage of newer vehicles on display. And when we say "new," we mean really new. As in, not even in production new. This is the concept car lawn, and it's home to an eclectic group of vehicles from past and present.
Of course, calling it the "concept car lawn" is a bit of a misnomer this year (as it has been in previous years, too). Production models like the Alfa Romeo 4C were on display, alongside known quantities like the Hennessy Venom GT and modified versions of already-on-sale models, like the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Waterspeed Collection.
There were a few concepts on display, though. Toyota debuted the critically acclaimed FT-1 Concept in a new shade, while BMW's Beijing Motor Show stunner, the Vision Future Luxury, was also parked on the expensive grass. Also appearing were the Nissan GT-R in sheep's clothing, the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, and the recently debuted McLaren P1 GTR.