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2013 Nissan e-NV200 taxi will carry Catalunians quietly beginning next year

Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:30:00 EST

The Nissan e-NV200, currently in the final phases of testing with FedEx fleets in various countries, will be getting more demanding cargo next year in Barcelona when it goes into service as a taxi. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show by Carlos Ghosn and with the mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, in attendance, the e-NV200 is the van slightly reworked into a unique design and resting on a Leaf electric powertrain.
The NV200 van is built in Barcelona, and when the electric version goes into production there next year it will begin its public beta will as part of a set of initiatives the Spanish city has for zero-emissions transportation. Nissan will be helping with the build-out of infrastructure such as charging stations, while the city elders get to work on allocating privileges and special spaces for the e-NV200 taxi drivers.
After the Catalonian debut Nissan says the electric hauler will make its way to other parts of the world. Nothing's been said yet about whether it will join our combustion-engined NV200 taxis in New York. You can take a look at the fare-driven future in the high-res gallery above, and read more about it in the press release below.

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge gets the heart of a GT-R [w/video]

Tue, 04 Mar 2014 05:20:00 EST

There has been ongoing talk of an Infiniti using the Nissan GT-R powertrain practically since the moment the Nissan's flagship sports coupe hit the road. While the rumors have gone back and forth over the years, they have never completely gone away. It seems Infiniti is finally turning an ear to the screams of its most vocal enthusiasts with an updated version of the Q50 Eau Rouge concept boasting a modified version of Godzilla's engine and all-wheel drive system debuting at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It's even taking things a step further and granting it a new, seven-speed transmission to replace the Nissan's six-speed.
The latest evolution of the Eau Rouge packs the same 3.8-liter, twin turbocharged V6 found in the GT-R but with a unique tune of 560 horsepower and 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque. That makes it 15 hp more powerful than the standard 2015 GT-R but gives up 20 lb-ft of torque. Power gets to the ground through the GT-R's all-wheel-drive system. Infiniti predicts that the Eau Rouge would sprint to 60 miles per hour in less than 4 seconds and on to a top speed of 180 mph.
According to Infiniti Communications Senior Manager Kyle Bazemore in an email to Autoblog, the modded GT-R powertrain was not the only choice for the Eau Rouge. It also considered "developing a high-power sports diesel" and hybrid versions with an electric supercharger. However, "this was the clear solution for this concept car," Bazemore said. Other than the drivetrain, the Eau Rouge in Switzerland is identical to the one shown in Detroit. Sadly, it is not confirmed for production; so we might not be getting the fabled Infiniti GT-R sedan any time soon. Still, we can hope.

Mercedes was set to sell version of Nissan Titan, now Infiniti might instead

Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:58:00 EST

Mercedes-Benz Titan. Mercedes-Benz Frontier. Mercedes-Benz pickup truck. None of these things roll off the tongue particularly well. We'd like to think that's the reason Daimler opted to kill the idea of rebadged Titan and Frontier pickups from corporate ally Nissan. In reality, the execution before the Frankfurt Motor Show was due to more complicated issues.
Yes, Mercedes, byword for German luxury, style and quality, would have slapped a three-pointed star on a pair of Japanese pickup trucks that have failed to resonate with consumers in the world's largest truck market. That slapping of badges isn't much of an exaggeration, at least on the outside. According to the report from Road & Track, the truck's front clip would have been tweaked, but beyond that, the sheetmetal would have been unchanged. The interior would have received a more thorough going-over by the team at Mercedes, while the suspension and noise, vibration and harshness tuning would have also received significant attention.
The trucks would have ended up being sold through the light-commercial branch of Mercedes-Benz - the same folks that will happily sell you a Sprinter van - had the deal gone through. Issues arose, though, first with the engines. Mercedes wanted a wider range of powertrains to allow it to tune models for specific markets, while Nissan said it couldn't engineer the wide variety of engines that MB wanted to drop under the hood. For the smaller truck, meanwhile, MB was interested in a hybrid or plug-in variant, according to R&T, although this was also shot down by Nissan.