Author Archive: Simon Burger

Author Archives for Simon Burger

Eight Japanese automobile manufacturers suffered historic falls in their output, exports and sales in the first half of this year, following the global economic crisis.

In June, however, the performance of the car makers varied widely depending on whether they had best-selling eco-friendly vehicles on offer.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have overcome their slump to an extent as their hybrid cars sold well due to government’s tax breaks and subsidies for the purchase of eco-friendly cars. In sharp contrast, Suzuki Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. continued to suffer declines in June.

Automakers’ strategy for eco-friendly vehicles is likely to emerge as a decisive factor for their business performances in the entire business year ending in March 2010.

Eight major auto manufacturers made a combined 3,223,085 cars for the domestic market from January to June, down 44.2 percent from a year earlier. This is the first time since 1990 that the [...]

ROLLE, Switzerland (July 20, 2009) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, today announced together with the governments of the United Kingdom and Portugal their plans to build two plants for the production of its advanced lithium-ion batteries in Europe. In doing so, the Renault-Nissan Alliance marks the first significant step towards producing batteries for its Zero Emission Mobility Program in Europe.

The two governments have offered to extend financial assistance and other support to ensure that Nissan locates the proposed plants within their respective countries. This recognizes the significant contribution that the plants are likely to make to the long term health of both the national and regional economies by being central to the growth of the automotive and associated industries, boosting jobs and the skills sector and pioneering the manufacture and sale of zero emission vehicles in Europe.

After finalizing details and concluding discussions with Her Majesty’s Government, the UK site [...]

OKYO (July 22)–Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., a long-time leader in the development and application of CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) technology, and its affiliate transmission supplier JATCO Ltd. today announced the joint development of a new generation of compact and lightweight CVTs.

Next-generation CVT

The next-generation CVT design features an innovative structure combining conventional CVT belt operation with an auxiliary gearbox and a significantly increased gear ratio range. The new CVT is scheduled to appear in compact Nissan vehicles worldwide in the near future.

Major features of the new CVT are:
World’s highest transmission ratio for quicker starts and acceleration The new structure raises the available transmission ratio from current 6.0:1 to 7.3:1, more than 20 percent higher than other CVTs, for enhanced responsiveness on starting and acceleration. The 7.3:1 ratio is higher than the average conventional 7-speed automatic transmissions used on high-displacement engine-equipped vehicles, making it among the world’s highest ratios for production vehicle [...]

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the release of the all-new Skyline Crossover, which goes on sale today at Nissan dealers nationwide.

The new Nissan Skyline Crossover represents a fusion of luxury coupe and luxury SUV, a union beautifully expressed in its dynamic design, sophisticated performance and unmatched driving pleasure. Along with its flowing silhouette and modern interior, the Skyline Crossover offers an optimal balance of smooth handling, supple ride comfort and responsive acceleration provided by its powerful 3.7-liter VQ37VHR engine and 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. It also features a number of advanced technologies and safety systems, highlighted by an Around View Monitor with Parking Guide and Lane Departure Prevention system.

Innovative Design – The Fusion of Coupe and SUV
The exterior of the Skyline Crossover evokes the image of solidity and lightness. Its long front nose, with hood bulge extending from the grille to the front door mirrors, combines with the coupe-like [...]

I’ll be honest I hadn’t but then I don’t spend a lot of time surfing the net for news about electric cars. And it seems of course that the main media outlets can’t be bothered either. So a little known Canadian electric car maker, Zenn, is about to become a global player thanks to the technology of EEStor, a Texas based tech firm that have developed a revolutionary super capacitor.

Look out Toyota, Honda and all other hybrid jokers, this Electrical Energy Storage Unit, EESU for short, so outperforms any chemical battery on the market today it takes your breath away. It is the Holy Grail of energy storage without the use of any toxic materials. Unaffected by temperature extremes, almost 0 storage trickle loss this EESU not only has applications for automobiles but any industry where energy storage is required.

EEStor’s patents reveal objectives that are nothing short of ‘replacing the electro-chemical battery’ in [...]

Mazda Motor Corporation has commenced sales of the freshened Mazda Biante range for the Japanese market. Mazda’s updated, mid-sized tall ‘high-roof’ minivan goes on sale today at all Mazda, Mazda Autozam and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including sales tax) start from 2,131,500 yen for the 2.0-liter versions and 2,699,000 yen for the 2.3-liter versions.

The top-selling front-wheel drive (FWD) 20S model grade now offers fuel economy of 13.6 kilometers per liter*1,
a seven percent improvement over the previous model, thanks to the addition of i-stop, Mazda’s proprietary engine stop/start system. With a quick engine restart of just 0.35 seconds, i-stop also suppresses noise and vibration, making the stopping and restarting of the engine barely noticeable and ensuring that drivers experience a natural
driving feel.

In addition to i-stop, the FWD 20S model grade also comes with features to support eco-driving: a trip computer with a fuel economy meter [...]

New technology is great, I’m all for it – when it works, and we aren’t just being sold something because it’s new and trendy. Toyota would have us believe that their range of hybrid cars makes them incredibly green, clean and wonderful, saving us from a doomed CO2 furnace. Hmmm.. is that really the case.

I was reading a Japanese car mag last week that took the new Lexus GS350 and the new GS hybrid model for a back to back/side by side spin. They travelled 900kms in these two vehicles, a combination of city traffic and highway cruising. At the end they did the numbers and surprise surprise there was nothing between them in the fuel consumption. Both returned 9.1km/l. The extra 200kgs for the motor and battery of the hybrid undid any gain it might have had.

When you add in the extra CO2 footprint these hybrid cars have at the factory stage [...]

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the sales launch of the all-new Mazda Axela (known overseas as the new Mazda3) in the Japanese market. Mazda’s mainstay model has been fully redesigned and updated with a host of new features, including the ‘i-stop’ engine stop/start system. Sales commence today at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Autozam dealers nationwide. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including sales tax) for the all-new Mazda Axela range from 1,660,000 to 2,678,000 yen. The target sales volume in the Japanese market is 2,000 units per month.

Since the Mazda Axela first debuted in October 2003 it has become a core model in Mazda’s lineup, selling over two million units worldwide and currently comprising over a third of its annual global sales. For the second generation Axela, the development team was determined to once again exceed customer expectations. As a result, the new model inherits and evolves Mazda’s highly acclaimed sporty performance and exterior styling. [...]

The NISSAN GT-R, winner of the 2009 World Performance Car of the Year, has improved its lap time at the renowned Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany to 7min 26 seconds 70 on April 23.

This new time underlines Nissan engineering team’s commitment to constantly challenge the GT-R’s performance.
Previous recorded lap times at the ‘Ring’ were:
7 minutes 27 seconds 56 on April 15, 2009
7 minutes 29 in April 2008
7 minutes 38 in September 2007

“This record demonstrates our commitment to the continuous evolution of the Nissan GT-R,” says Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer and Chief Vehicle Specialist. “We would like to continue delivering the passion and pride of ownership to our customers by improving its performance every year.”

The Nissan GT-R has won more than a dozen awards globally including Car of the Year from CAR Magazine in the UK, and Car of the Year by both Motor [...]

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