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 blogWed, 28 Aug 2013 13:01:00 EST
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.
The electric vehicle has gone gold at Renault-Nissan, clocking 100,000 sales in a three-year period that began with the first Nissan Leaf being sold in Silicon Valley, California in 2010. Since then, the Leaf has become the EV champion of the world, selling more than 71,000 units so far, the majority of those in the US. The 100,000th EV sold by the Alliance was also a Leaf and also sold in the US, but on the other side of the country, in Georgia.
By comparison, Renault has sold 30,000 electric vehicles since late 2011, looking after other segments of the EV market with the Kangoo Z.E., Zoe, Twizy and Fluence Z.E. The alliance estimates that its efforts have been driven 5.2 million ion-powered miles and saved 14 million gallons of oil since they appeared. For a bit of sobering context, the US averaged 18.83 million barrels of oil per day in 2011, which is almost 791 million gallons. Per day.
So we're getting there, albeit slowly. Quietly. There's a press release and a video below with more details on the achievement.
Four years ago, Renault confirmed that it would partner with India's Bajaj Auto to develop a rival to the Tata Nano. At the time, as everyone waited for the Tata Nano to arrive, you could have used a Richter scale to measure the tremors the executive suites of any automaker with an interest in the low end of emerging markets. Then the Nano, still the cheapest car in the world, didn't sell so well - at the end of last year its sales were just six percent of its most conservative projections - and everyone seemed content to let Tata spend the money to figure out if there really was a market for the cheapest car in the world.
Renault believes there is, kind of. Automotive News Europe reports that it will partner with Nissan to build two low-priced cars for emerging markets, one for €3,000 ($3,888 U.S.) and another for €5,000 ($6,400 U.S.). The price of the least expensive offering is nearly $1,400 more than a Nano, which costs $2,500, and that can't be considered a small sum in comparison. But one of the hindsight knocks on the Nano has been that even in emerging markets buyers don't want a car whose biggest lure is that it is cheap; they'd rather give their aspirations a bit more of a workout.
Renault's offerings are scheduled to hit the non-Western market in late 2014, which is coincidentally the same year that will see the return of the budget-minded and emerging-market-specific Datsun nameplate. They'll be built in Renault facilities in Chennai, India, with no mention made of Bajaj this time around.