December 30, 2006

Rogue Unveiled – Nissan's Newest Crossover Vehicle!

Filed under: Nissan News / Infiniti News — greg @ 6:31 pm

The new 2008 Nissan Rogue, which made its world debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is designed to add a new dimension to the small crossover utility segment – satisfying both the functional needs of the buyer and their emotional needs.The Rogue, a new compact crossover SUV, was expected to be smaller than the Murano and offer a 2.5L I4 powerplant. Speculation was that any production vehicle based off the concept would be a less edgy design and similar to the current Qashqai design. Transmission options were thought to include AWD and CVT technology, and the Rogue was suspected to be a direct competitor to the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4.

Rogue’s aggressive, performance-oriented styling, powerful engine, responsive handling and driver-focused cockpit combine with its thoughtful everyday utility to create a vehicle that shifts the way buyers, especially younger buyers, think about small crossovers. The 2008 Nissan Rogue is scheduled to go on sale in September 2007.

“With Rogue, we’ve targeted drivers in their early 30s, whose responsibilities and functional needs have changed but who don’t want to leave behind the person they’ve always been – someone who enjoys driving, who values style and design, and who wants to retain his or her individuality,” said Bill Bosley, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. ”The Rogue name was chosen to reflect its independence-oriented positioning, though we certainly believe that all buyers, regardless of age or life stage, will positively respond to Rogue’s fun-to-drive, all-climate performance and aggressive styling.”

The 2008 Nissan Rogue will be available in two models, Rogue S and Rogue SL, each with a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

An all-new all-wheel drive system with yaw moment control is available on both S and SL models. Rogue also offers a long list of standard safety features – including front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags.

“As Nissan’s first entry into the crowded small crossover SUV field, Rogue needs to stand out, to be an over-achiever,” said Bosley. “This philosophy not only applies to Rogue’s styling and performance, but also to its utility features, attention to quality and detail, and, of course, value. Rogue is the complete package.”

Aggressive Design and Attitude
The Rogue’s exterior is designed to present an image of modern sophistication – both aggressive and sporty. Its sleek, masculine styling includes dynamically arched forms and powerful rear shoulder lines.

“Though people buy small crossover SUVs for their utility, the designers of Rogue sought to create a vehicle that makes you first consider its power, style and sophistication, with its functionality a little more stealthy – like a high-end designer brief case or bag,” said Bosley. “All the necessary compartments and storage spaces are there, they just don’t scream ‘utility’ at you.”

Rogue features available Xenon headlights, available power sliding glass sunroof with dark gray glass, and an available roof rail system with detachable cross bars (accessory).

Rogue is built on Nissan’s new “C” platform, which provides high body stiffness with extensive use of high-strength steel utilized to reduce body weight. Rogue features a 105.9-inch wheelbase and 182.9-inch overall length – among the longest in class, compared with leading small crossover competitors – providing ample rear seat proportions and one of the longest interior lengths. The body also features large front door openings for easy ingress and egress.

A Driver-Oriented, Ultra-Functional Interior
Rogue’s interior, like its exterior, is designed to stand out in class with its sophisticated integration of a cockpit-like driver’s space and exceptional utility. The driver’s seat position offers excellent visibility, enhanced by an available seat lifter with up to two inches of seat height adjustability. Rogue’s instrument panel layout and steering wheel are designed for easy readability and operation while also providing a sporty look and feel, with reddish-orange illumination and silver gauge surround rings.

An available trip computer includes displays for distance-to-empty, average fuel consumption, average speed, elapsed time and outside temperature. Available steering wheel-mounted controls include audio, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System and cruise control.

Leather-appointed seating surfaces and heated front seats and mirrors are also available, along with a fold-flat front passenger seat – which allows over 8.5 feet of front-to-rear cargo space for carrying long items such as wood or ladders. A rear 60/40 split-fold bench seat and oversize glove box with partition that measures over half a cubic foot in volume are standard. Also available is a highly versatile, dual-level center console storage with hidden functionality features.

Rogue’s roomy cargo area has a number of available utility features, including a unique cargo organizer. When needed, the organizer pops up – with a one touch open switch – from its hidden space below the flat cargo floor. A portion of the cargo floor snaps into a vertical position, revealing a flat recessed space with removable, vertical cargo nets. The system helps prevent items such as sports equipment and grocery bags from rolling loose around the cargo area while driving.

Also available is a washable, removable tray that fits below the cargo area floor to hold wet or dirty gear and tools and a rear tonneau cover to keep luggage and other items out of sight.

Rogue’s everyday utility features also include a variety of cupholders, memo/pen holder, coin holder and cell phone/sunglass holders.
“Rogue’s innovative storage solutions are designed to accommodate the active daily lives of its owners,” said Bosley. “Just because a vehicle is smaller on the outside doesn’t mean you have to compromise storage or utility space – all it takes is innovation and creative thinking.”

Among the advanced technology features available on Rogue are an Intelligent Key and a powerful Bose®-developed audio system with 7 speakers and subwoofer with MP3 capability and satellite radio. Also available is a Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver garage door opener and Xenon headlights.

Engaging Performance
While maintaining its functionality as a family vehicle, Rogue’s creators also recognized the target buyers’ desires for a higher level of acceleration, handling and fun-to-drive attributes than offered by traditional small crossover SUVs. Rogue delivers on this promise with an advanced drivetrain anchored by its powerful 2.5-liter engine, 4-wheel independent suspension and refined all-wheel drive system.

“We picture the typical Rogue driver, after he drops the kids off at school, lowering the windows, turning up the Bose audio and heading up the coast or mountains – his briefcase and gear tucked securely in the back – before turning back towards the office,” said Bosley. “Rogue not only makes such a scenario possible, but encourages such adventures.”

Rogue’s standard QR25DE 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder is rated at 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft torque, tuned to provide ample torque in the low-to-mid rpm range for smooth, powerful acceleration and quick initial response from a standing start.

The engine features an aluminum block, reduced piston and piston ring friction and increased thermal efficiency (over the previous generation 2.5-liter engine design), 9.6:1 compression ratio, and large diameter intake port and exhaust manifold.

Every Rogue comes with a standard Nissan Xtronic CVT™, combining smooth, linear and responsive acceleration feel with high-efficiency operation. Rogue’s CVT utilizes adaptive logic control and a high-speed central processing unit. Its advanced shift control offers the optimal shift pattern according to the driving situation and driver’s demands, using input from driver operation, vehicle speed, road gradient, turning condition and acceleration force to adjust shifting patterns accordingly. Available paddle shifters provide an added level of sporty performance and driver control.

Rogue is available with front-wheel drive or an advanced all-wheel drive system with yaw moment control. The system provides stable starts on dry or slippery roads and excellent all-weather performance and traction. Every Rogue also features standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).

Rogue’s standard 4-wheel independent suspension provides a balance of ride comfort and driving stability. The front suspension includes subframe-mounted independent struts with coil springs, high-performance shock absorbers with rebound springs, and a stabilizer bar.

The rear independent multi-link suspension includes aluminum-alloy upper links and high-performance shock absorbers with rebound springs. The rear suspension design provides maximum luggage space (versus a rear strut design), as well as driving stability.

Responsive steering is provided by an electric power-assisted steering (EPS) system. Every Rogue also comes equipped with standard power-assisted front and rear vented disc brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Base Rogue models come with 16-inch steel wheels and 215/70R16 tires, while 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/60R17 tires are available.

Standard safety features for the new Rogue include Zone Body Construction, Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage front air bags and occupant classification system for the front passenger seat, and front seat Active Head Restraints. Front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags (for front and rear outboard occupant head protection) with rollover detection are also standard.

An Affordable Sporty Crossover
The 2008 Rogue is expected to be priced starting around $20,000 when it goes on sale in fall 2007.

“We believe people will be attracted to Rogue because of its distinctive style, roominess and ultra-functionality, then be greatly surprised by its unexpected performance and outstanding value,” said Bosley. “Like all of our Nissan SUVs, including Armada, Pathfinder, Xterra and Murano, the new Rogue is ready for anything life offers.”

Read more about the Rogue at

December 3, 2006

Altima Coupe – What in the World is Nissan Thinking?

Filed under: Nissan News / Infiniti News — greg @ 8:14 pm

“What in the world is Nissan thinking?”

That seemed to be the standard reaction to the news that Nissan is launching the Altima Coupe early this summer.

When we acquired spy shots of Nissan’s two-door version of the Altima, we here at weren’t really sure it made much sense.

However, perhaps it’s not as crazy an idea as it seems:

First officially revealed at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2008 Altima Coupe is Nissan’s first-ever two-door Altima.  The provocative offering boasts a shorter wheelbase, shorter overall length and lower height than its big brother, the Altima Sedan. 

The 2008 Altima Coupe will be available with your choice of two engines:  The  VQ35HR, a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 or the VQ25HR, a  175-horsepower 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder.

Both engine choices can be paired with Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) or, for the true enthusiast, the 6-speed manual transmission.

After seeing it at the L.A. Auto Show, we’re pretty impressed with the looks.  It’s more handsome in person than in the pictures, carrying styling cues from the Z, the G, and even the Maxima, while doing away with the whole “cheap commuter” appearance that plagued prior versions of the Altima.

And the reality is, this car could throw a serious monkey-wrench into the entire sport-coupe market.  We’re all aware that the current Altima SE-R is a capable contender, performing on par with the 350Z and the G35 Coupe.  Now, we’re presented with an Altima that’s blessed with lighter weight, shorter length, and lower height.

We’re already envisioning an SE-R version of this bad boy, with 18″ forged Ray’s wheels, a lowered stance, stiffer suspension, Brembo brakes, upgraded sway bars and dampeners, and perhaps some exterior go-fast cues.  Or how about a NISMO-badged version of this beast?  With the same powerplant as the new 350Z and G35, there’s simply no limit to the possibilities of this coupe, and we could be looking at the next great “sleeper” from Nissan…

Now, who’s going to be the first to drop a twin-turbo or supercharger in one?

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