For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle has an existing warranty
Options: Sunroof, Leather, Compact Disc
Safety Features: Anti-Lock Brakes
Sub Model: 4dr Sdn 3.5 SV w/Sport Pkg
Power Options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Windows
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Charcoal
Number of Cylinders: 6
Engine Description: 3.5L DOHC 24-VALVE SMPI V
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Auto blogThu, 02 Oct 2014 15:23:00 EST
Nissan is showing two very different sides of its new Pulsar five-door hatchback (on the right) at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. On one hand you get to see the standard version hoping to take the fight to popular European models like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but also on the stage is our first glimpse at the Pulsar Nismo Concept (above) that demonstrates the vehicle's more devilish side.
The standard Pulsar is hoping to make a dent in the Euro C-segment ranks. It rides on the same platform as the Nissan Qashqai crossover and is actually about 2.4-inches longer than the Golf. Power comes from a trio of choices. There are 1.2-liter and 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engines with 113 horsepower and 187 hp, respectively, and a 1.5-liter diesel with 108 hp. CVTs are offered with them all. The Pulsar is also available with a variety of safety tech, including forward emergency braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.
However, the real excitement comes from the new Nismo Concept. Nissan is clear that it's "only a design study at this stage," but the sporty hatch imagines a flagship for the Pulsar range. It gets the full suite of Nismo goodies with a suspension dropped to the floor and sharper steering. The exterior also benefits from big air intakes in the front bumper, a rear diffuser with central exhausts, flared fenders and carbon fiber trim pieces. The whole thing is finished in satin gray with the division's traditional red trim. The interior has the same motif with race seats and a three-spoke steering wheel.
Among automotive enthusiasts, no one seems to hold a neutral opinion when it comes to continuously variable transmissions. CVTs are either praised for their ability to boost fuel economy or chided for their occasionally poor driving dynamics. Nissan is among the masters of these un-shifting gearboxes in the US, and it uses them in many vehicles in its lineup. However, for the 2015 model year, several models are getting a software update to make their CVTs a bit more like a conventional automatic.
To give drivers the option of feeling gearshifts while on the road, Nissan is adding its D-Step Shift Logic feature to the CVTs in multiple vehicles. Steve Powers, Nissan's senior manager of powertrain performance, told Autoblog the system forces the transmission to "hold a ratio and then shift" to simulate the way that a traditional automatic would. It's simply a change in software, but the company "can't do it to older CVTs," he said, because it would require changes to transmission logic, as well. According to Automotive News, the upgrade is coming to the 2015 Versa, Versa Note (pictured above), Sentra, V6-equipped Altima, Pathfinder and Quest. "We're rolling it out to all programs," said Powers.
Interestingly, buyer perception appears to be pushing the upgrade. John Curl, a Nissan North America regional product manager, told Automotive News that the decision to add the tech partially comes because some owners are bothered that the CVTs aren't changing gears. According to Powers, D-Step "avoids the rubber band feel," that many drivers didn't like. The different sensation of these transmissions seems like something consumers would notice during the test drive, or that the salesperson would inform them about. The same issue cropped up last year when the company was facing customer satisfaction problems among new buyers customers' unfamiliarity with the gearboxes.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has just one teensy-weensy request for its United States arm: Double your sales by 2017.
"China was not our biggest, I would say, disappointment. It was mainly the United States. We were expecting a strong year in the United States. It didn't happen," Ghosn said, speaking at a conference after announcing Nissan's 2012 fiscal results, Automotive News reports. Because of this, Ghosn has ordered his US executives to iron out the problems that affected new vehicle launches and to strengthen the company's dealer network.
In 2012, Nissan's US sales rose to 1.1 million units - a five-percent increase, and a record, at that. But the company's overall market share fell from 8.2 percent to 7.7 percent, putting the company further away from its goal of having a 10-percent stake overall.