A modified Nissan LEAF is set to enter the 2017 Mongol Rally. Piloted by Electric Vehicle enthusiasts ‘Plug In Adventures’ the LEAF will be the first all-electric car to drive the 10,000 miles from Goodwood to Mongolia. Slimmer wheels with narrow tyres have been fitted and the rear seats taken out, while extra plates have been welded underneath to protect against rough terrain. Charging will be a challenge as the team heads further east, however the LEAF will accept a 240v ‘Commando connection’ even in the most remote areas. The Mongol Rally gets underway on the 16 July.
Nissan has confirmed its all-new Micra will start from £11,995 OTR. From launch, the 5th generation hatchback will be available with a 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel, both delivering 90bhp. There will be five trim levels, and plenty of customisation options including personalisation packs, contrasting colours, 17” alloys and body decals. The range will top out at £17,295 for the Tekna model when sales kick off in 2017.
Nissan has unveiled a working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider. The zero-emissions electric car combines high-performance with a unique design, which includes a three seat configuration and rear-hinged dihedral doors. Powered by two electric motors, one in each wheel, peak Torque comes in at 707Nm for a 0-62mph of under 5 seconds. Each electric motor also features a torque vectoring systems with three settings: off, agile and drift mode.
Nissan engineers have created a new prototype of the all-electric LEAF - with a whopping 75 percent increase in driving range. Removing the rear seats, they were able to shoehorn a 48 kWh battery in the back, double the size of the production car’s standard unit. The prototype was built to compete in a new ECOseries motorsport event, which rewards efficiency and fuel economy rather than outright speed.. and it seems the extra hours put in by the team duly paid off as they took first place.
Nissan has confirmed its updated GT-R will cost from £80,000 when it goes on sale in the Autumn. And to test the performance enhancements made to the 2016 model, Nissan took it for a spin around the Spa F1 track, in Belgium. The changes include a revised chassis and more power from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre engine. A Track Edition NISMO GT-R will also be available for just under £92,000.
Nissan has revealed a new, uber powerful Juke-R 2.0 concept. Borrowing the engine and running gear from the Nissan GT-R, the uprated Juke-R is capable of pumping out 600 bhp. Styling tweaks include a heavily redesigned front bumper with the cooling apertures now double in size to stop the monster power-plant from overheating. Sporting the Nissan ‘R’ matt black finish, the concept is an even more muscular, bolder and powerful version of its predecessor. No word yet as to if the Nissan Juke-R 2.0 will make it into production.
Nissan has applied special glow-in-the-dark paint to an all-electric LEAF. The spray-applied coating – which absorbs UV energy during the day so that it glows for up 10 hours when the sun goes down – was invented by Hamish Scott, creator of the STARPATH glow-in-the-dark pathway. Using a secret formula made up of entirely organic materials, Nissan says the LEAF's unique paint-job would last for 25 years if made commercially available.
With the 2014 New York Auto Show just around the corner, we take a look at some key cars that will be making their debuts. Kia is set to unveil an all-new Sedona midsize MPV - with room for up to eight passengers while Nissan is teasing us ahead of the global premiere of the next generation Murano SUV. Mercedes will debut the V8 biturbo-powered S 63 AMG Coupe. With 585bhp on tap, it promises true supercar performance -- and while we're on the subject, McLaren's new 650S Coupe and Spider will make their North American debuts in the Big Apple. The New York Auto Show runs from 18-27 April.