Archive for June 2013

Nissan: Where Sculpture Meets Car Design

The team from The Dashboard, Nissan’s weekly program on the relationship between cars, people and technology, made a visit to Nissan Technical Center in Japan to explore a fascinating step in the process of car design: clay modeling.

Working in conjunction with 3-D computer-aided design models, a team of sculptors painstakingly applies a layer of specially formulated clay over a full-scale model. This hands-on approach means that clay modelers can spend hundreds of hours refining and improving preliminary designs, turning cars into true works of art. In fact, they consider themselves “sculptors,” and rightly so.

Japan takes pride in its culture of meticulous craftsmanship and precision work, so you would think the finalized models are treasured and displayed for people to admire the results. No such luck! Sadly for the sculptors who brought them to life, all models are destroyed once the car goes into production.

Watch the video above that details this process, and next time you visit our Massachusetts Nissan dealership, you’ll know that the reason our vehicles are so stylish is because a real artist crafted every beautiful line and element that catches your eye.

Customized Nissan GT-R Breaks the Quarter-Mile Record

The apocalypse may pass without a zombie outbreak, but if it ever happens, one Nissan model would be the perfect escape car.

This version of the Nissan GT-R, featured in the video above, recently set a world record with an 8.61-second quarter mile, reaching a speed of 170.47 mph in the process.

The car was modified by Tym Switzer, head of Switzer Performance, and ShepTrans founder John Shepherd, who was also at the wheel. The two car specialists customized their Nissan GT-R through a number of alterations that resulted in approximately 1,300 horsepower.

The engine operated using E85 (ethanol fuel blend), and a lithium-ion battery, which is significantly lighter than the stock battery, was used to cut weight. Switzer and Shepherd then took the GT-R to a local race track, where it unexpectedly set the quarter-mile record. Amazingly, it is still technically street legal.

While you might not be able to buy a car quite like the one Switzer and Shepherd put together, you can find a sports car by visiting our New Hampshire Nissan dealership today. We have a number of models in our inventory, like the Nissan 370Z, that would manage the zombie apocalypse just fine.

Ford Hybrids Have Reportedly Reduced Gas Emissions by 100 Million Gallons

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

When hybrid cars first hit the market, they were especially attractive to people who were conscious about the environment. Many skeptics, on the other hand, held off on buying these so-called fuel-efficient cars, wondering whether they’d ever pay off, or even whether they actually worked as car manufacturers said they did.

If recent statistics released by Ford are any indication, hybrid owners have benefited just as much from their cars as the environment has, WardsAuto reported. In the past 15 years, Ford’s regenerative-brake system – a method that converts kinetic energy into electric energy – has saved drivers an estimated 100 million gallons of gas, which equates to about 100,000 trips around the world.

“We’re recapturing up to 95 percent of kinetic energy that would otherwise go to waste,” said Dale Crombez, a Ford technical expert on regenerative braking systems. That figure, he said, trumps the “30 percent to 50 percent for some other automakers.”

Ford developed its first full-series regenerative brakes in 2004, and the company has continued to improve the system ever since. Ford hybrid vehicles now use a lithium-ion battery, which has the ability to store energy more efficiently, to power an electric motor to complement the gas engine.

According to Ford’s research, cars that run on the most advanced hybrid technology have the potential to be up to 30 percent more fuel-efficient than less advanced vehicles. Crombez believes these solutions are getting closer to reaching mainstream status.

“We keep seeing significant gains, especially when compared to mature technologies where you try and only get a few percentage points in improvements year-over-year,” Crombez said. “New technologies tend to drop [in cost] significantly generation to generation, and that’s still true.”

If you’re interested in taking advantage of your own cost-efficient, environmentally friendly hybrid, you should check some out the next time you take a trip to our New Hampshire Ford dealership.

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