For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 8
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: 4x2
Sub Model: Platinum (A5)
Exterior Color: Gray
Number of Doors: 4 Doors
Interior Color: Black
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Auto blogSat, 21 Sep 2013 11:01:00 EST
The Nissan Xterra might not be long for this world, according to a report from Edmunds. The rugged SUV, which has always been a bit more of a hardcore, purpose-built vehicle than the rest of the Nissan SUV range. But it has also suffered from slowing sales, low fuel economy relative to the competition and general neglect, as Nissan has focused on other offerings in its range.
"There are plans to replace it, there are always plans, (but) I am not sure it will happen. I would say in the next six months to a year," Pierre Loing, vice president of product planning for Nissan Americas told Edmunds. Part of the problem, he added, was that the Xterra is a US-only vehicle, which makes it a hard sell in a world where automakers are increasingly depending on global cars.
Besides the economic forces working against the Xterra, it's just a vehicle that hasn't been a huge sales success of late. Customers are more conscious of fuel economy and a body-on-frame SUV that only nets 16 miles per gallon just isn't good enough; arguably why Nissan barely sold 17,000 units last year. We can hold out hope, as the Xterra remains a fun off-roader that we'd hate to see go, but unless Nissan finds a business case or some global partners, this is a vehicle that is on its last leg.
Patent and trademark filings are sort of like tasseography for those of us in the auto industry. If you know where and how to look at something, there's a lot to be figured out. Take this trademark filing from Nissan - it's similar to the Pure Drive badge found on a Versa or Sentra, but the bottom half sports the phrase "R-Hybrid." This wouldn't be remarkable if the "R" in R-Hybrid weren't the same style as the "R" in the Nissan GT-R's badge, right down to the serifs.
While it's easy to see this as grasping at straws, it makes a fair degree of sense. The R35 GT-R may be a dominant performance machine, but it's been around since 2008, which is donkey years in the automotive industry. And based on the recent crop of hybridized hypercars and racecars, a hybrid GT-R doesn't seem like such a stretch.
As Car And Driver points out, figuring out that the GT-R will go hybrid isn't hard - figuring out when it will arrive, is. The buff book rightly points out that a new GT-R isn't expected until 2017, but that designing and trademarking a badge four years ahead of time is a bit odd. Car and Driver speculates that we could see a mildly hybridized R35, although the chances do seem remarkably low. Head over to C/D for a more thorough rundown on why this just might be a GT-R badge, including comparisons with other R-badged Nissans.
Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but in racing, where something as simple as a car's shape can lead to a competitive advantage, imitation can be a big no-no. That reality is being played out right now, with the DeltaWing prototype and the Nissan ZEOD RC. The two cars, as you can see from the images above, bear a striking resemblance to each other. They're so similar, in fact, that Dr. Don Panoz, one of the big names behind the DeltaWing program, is assigning some legal eagles to investigate any patent infringement.
The similarity shouldn't be a shock, though. Both cars are penned by Ben Bowlby, and the DeltaWing - which will be arriving as a coupe in the very near future - had Nissan branding and power for a not-insignificant amount of time. But for Panoz, the ZEOD RC's resemblance is just a bit too much, as he told Autoweek, "It's been interesting to watch people from Nissan trying to dodge the question, but the fact is that in their own press release they admit that the configuration of the ZEOD is the same as the DeltaWing. And we do have patents, in fact another one was just issued last week. We are in discussions with our legal advisors and we'll see what happens."
Frankly, it's not difficult to see what Panoz means. The general shape of the ZEOD RC, with its wide rear track and narrow front track arrangement - not to mention the headlights mounted over the rear wheel arches and any arrangements not visible under the body - are so reminiscent of the DeltaWing that differences like the shape of its closed cockpit and more upright front end might not prove different enough to avert Panoz's legal action. We'll stay with this one and let you know as more becomes available.