Posts Tagged ‘nissan’

Nissan Figaro: The Retro Open Top Classic Japanese Car

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 6th, 2016

There’s a reason that retro cars are catch the eye of many car collectors – not only do they get more rare as time goes on, but they represent a bygone era while having underpinnings from a more modern age. This could explain why the Nissan Figaro, a retro car first introduced in Japan in 1989, was so popular during its limited production – and why it remains a collector’s item today.

The Nissan Figaro was originally only sold in Japan, but it eventually became very popular in the UK and Ireland after it was released officially in 1991. It was designed by Shoji Takahashi, who won a design competition for it, and has some resemblance to the 1960s Datsun Fairlady models. Unlike contemporary Mitsuokas, with their bolt-on retro-look parts, the Figaro represents a complete vision of what a modern car styled on 1960s principles would look like.

Nissan Figaro catalog

Only a limited number were produced, with the original 8,000 being supplemented by 12,000 more in order to meet demand. The car came in only four colors, which together represented the four seasons of the year: Topaz Mist, Emerald Green, Pale Aqua and Lapis Grey. Topaz Mist was the rarest, with only 2,000 models produced in this color.

Part of the inspiration for the car came from the theme of the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, which was “Back to the Future”. Its name, “Figaro”, referred to the main character in Pierre Beaumarchais’ famous play, The Marriage of Figaro, based on the Mozart opera of the same name. A Nissan special projects group called Pike Factory, which specialized in producing niche automobiles such as the Be-1, Pao and S-Cargo, also worked on the Nissan Figaro.

Some features of the Figaro were leather seats, air conditioning, a CD player (which also had a retro radio look) and an open roof; furthermore, special limited edition cars included passenger side baskets and cup holders. The car was so rare that people who wanted to buy it had to enter a lottery, which increased its value even more and led to the modern-day perception of the Figaro as a rare car. Some parts can be hard to acquire, but many are available as they are also used in more common Nissan models of the time.

Nissan Figaro catalog

The fuel economy is an impressive 39 miles per gallon, but the a top speed of 106 miles per hour is somewhat lacking. Not surprising given the 60-horsepower engine. The Figaro’s genuine leather seats are a big draw for fans of this car. Not only do they look classy, but they add to a cabin environment that blends a distinctive complementary style. Adding to this is the low-mount headrest and synthetic leather piping that is used to prevent leather fatigue.

One of the Figaro’s most unique trademarks is its retractable top, which has an external design that is completely hidden in the trunk. The top is equipped with a double lock and warning buzzer as safety features, as well as a secondary hood latch that is designed to prevent the hood from opening while the car is being driven, or if it its activation switch is turned on by accident.

Features of the body include a flush mount apron and flush mount fender, as well as glassfibre resin material used with an outer gel coat for the car’s front fenders and front grill. The materials that are used result in body components that are durable and low-maintenance, which is especially helpful as it is difficult to find places to service and maintain the car. Fluoroplastic paint, which comes in the car’s signature four colors, is used on this vehicle.

Today, the best place to find Figaros for sale is the Japanese car auctions. With 7 to 8 million vehicles passing through each year, even rare vehicles like this one can be sourced with relative ease. Contact us to find out more.


Japan Car Auction Finds: The Retro (Nissan) Pao

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 25th, 2016

The Nissan Pao was originally announced in October of 1987 at the 26th Tokyo Motor Show before production began in 1988. Its retro looks gave it instant appeal, such that when it first came out, you had to make a reservation to purchase it as it was intended as a limited edition.
The name itself was supposedly from a Mongolian word meaning a meeting house. To heighten the impact of this one-syllable name Nissan also just marketed it as the “Pao” without the Nissan name in front of it.

Between January and April of 1989 reservations were made and the car sold out in three months. It was very popular at the time and still is a coveted and collectible car. Nissan stopped production in 1990, so the car at auction (below) is one of the last ones off the line. Such is its status as a design icon that one is displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
As a 3-door hatchback, it does not really fit into modern car buying habits, but the cohesive retro looks have aged well, so that it is hard to believe that the design is getting on for 30 years old.

One great thing about the Pao is that it is one of the spinoffs of the K10 Nissan March / Micra. (The other two being the Figaro and Be-1.) As a result, many of the mechanical parts are still relatively easy to come by, which would not be true if it was a genuine low-volume vehicle.

Designer Naoki Sakaki is credited with the designs for both the Nissan Pao and Nissan Be-1.

Specifications:

  • It was available in three body colors: terracotta, ivory, olive gray and aqua gray and two interior colors: ivory and black.
  • It came with either a three-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission and had a 1.0 liter engine.
  • It was a great city car, only needing 14.4 feet to turn.
  • It’s fuel economy is still impressive by 2016 standard, getting up to 51 mpg in the city and 79 mpg at a constant 37 MPH.
  • It featured a distinctive clam shell hatch in back with the glass section swinging up and bottom opened into a tailgate.
  • Part of the retro look was external door hinges and flap-up windows.
  • Even the AM/FM radio tape deck was built to look as if it were from the 1950s.
  • Despite its small size, it can seat up to five passengers.
  • Popularity Today

    With its unique appearance, people either seem to love or hate it. Nissan was taking a risk at the time in designing something completely different. It almost looks like a modernized version of a car from the 1950’s. It is a testament to its design that there are groups of fanatical enthusiast owners both inside and outside Japan.

    Now, if you want one, you would think the limited edition status of this vehicle would make it hard to come by, but you can always find some good examples in the auctions in Japan. Let’s have a look at one of these below.

    Here is the translation of the auction inspector’s report:

    “Grade 4, interior B, exterior condition B, first registered February 1990, normal roof, 2WD, FAT, AC, original stereo, original side visor and mats, original steel wheels, power steering, 108,326KM, fornt and rear seats have been re-covered, some roadworthiness test history (2010, 2012, 2014), sticker shows the timing belt has been replaced, interior grime and scratches, oil leak, wheels scratched, door mirrors scratched, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map”

    Nissan Pao at Japanese car auction - inspection report

    The first thing to note is that this car has been graded 4, which is about the best you can expect from a 26-year-old car. This car also has a great-looking interior with the original retro stereo being retained, and all the seats having been re-done. For the avid collector, the downside would be that this is the fixed roof version, rather than the canvas top version. Of course, this means the option of open-top motoring is not available, but on the other hand the potential issues with the canvas top getting damaged or aging, resulting in rainwater leaks aren’t going to be a problem.

    Interested in buying cars like the Nissan Pao, or other Japanese collectibles? Get 14 days of guest access to Japan’s cars auctions and take a look for yourself.

    And don’t forget to check out these extra photos of this Pao at auction in Japan.

    Nissan Pao at Japanese car auction - front 2

    Nissan Pao at Japanese car auction -rear

    Nissan Pao at Japanese car auction -interior

    Nissan Pao at Japanese car auction - wheel

    Nissan Pao at Japanese car auction - retro stereo


    Top Secret Rocked the Tokyo Auto Salon 2016

    Posted by Stephen On Thursday, February 18th, 2016

    Just when you thought “Top Secret’” was a term only used by super agents and comic book heroes, let’s look back to the 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon had a booth that had a Top Secret Nissan Skyline GT-R on display in all its glory. This Bayside Blue and brilliant car was resting in the showroom of the International Convention Complex Makuhari Messe where everything comes alive! At first glance, the body of the car is what grabs a car lover’s attention, but when looking deeper into the details, you realize there is more to this beast than meets the eye.

    The owner, Kenneth Blanck, has had this work of art since March of 2011 when he purchased it from Global Auto who is a renowned dealer in these custom vehicles. Back then, the GT-R was only a dream to Blanck, who had coveted it he was a drag racing teenager. It was fast on its wheels, and Kenneth saw it as the perfect car to take on as a project. He was determined to make this his baby and as soon as he was financially able to, he invested in this Top Secret Nissan Skyline GT-R. “I loved the R34 shape as it was featured in the Fast and Furious movie series.”

    Top Secret R34 Tokyo Auto Salon 2016

    Kenneth did this model justice by transforming it into one of the freshest and most refined R34 Skylines ever seen before, while avoiding flashy car bling and drag racing stripes. Besides the aesthetics on this Top Secret GT-R, the most notable component is the impressive uprated turbo engine. Blanck’s R34 Skyline is the very first to run a Borg Warner EFR-9180 turbo engine in Japan. His model also had customized dual wastegate dump pipes added to the side skirt on the passenger side in addition to titanium 80mm exhaust on the same side. Just the sound is enough for a car fanatic!

    The car in its entirety is quite the showstopper, as was evident to all who passed by its booth at the Tokyo Auto Salon. But it’s not just a looker. Kenneth also mentioned that he has pushed the car on the Fuji Speedway and has seen 217mph on the race track.

    I wonder what will be enticing visitors to the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon? More power. More bling. More incredible machines.


    Ultra Rare Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo Z-Tune For Sale in HK

    Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

    One of the rarest R34’s in the world popped up for sale this morning in Hong Kong, according to Contempt Concept HK motors. The 2005 Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo Z-Tune is being sold at a bargain of a mere $510,000.

    Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo Z-Tune For Sale in HK

    What makes this rare?

    Let’s paint the picture. Not many R34 GT-Rs were ever manufactured. They stopped production in 2003. The, R34 V Specs represented only a handful of them – 1308 units to be exact. As far as the Nismo Z-Tune is concerned, there were only 17 production models. Two of them were never sold.

    That makes this vehicle one of 15 in the world in private hands.

    Although the R34 program ended in 2003, Nissan authorized an exclusive version of the R34 car dubbed the Nismo Z-Tune in 2005. Kinda like the Beatles getting back together for one, final concert in 1979. And only 15 people were lucky enough to get tickets. There have been more multi-million lottery winners in the world so far this year than that. That’s how rare these cars are.

    At an original price tag of $108,500, they sold out instantly. This particular car is No. 9 of the bunch.

    The entire car is handmade. Nismo purchased (20) secondhand Spec V’s and stripped them down. Each car was sprayed with a unique color called Z-Tune Silver and given an exclusive 2.8L twin-turbocharged engine. The car was given the ability of over 500 hp and could achieve 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. It maxed out at over 203 mph.

    The bodywork comes straight from their GT500 racing program. It has both a vented hood and fenders. Let’s not even get started on the suspension set up.

    This car has hardly been driven in the last 10 years. It has less than 2000 miles on the odometer. One might think that the asking price is a bit high at $510,000 – but not really. Think about it: This is one of the rarest Japanese supercars ever made.

    The steering wheel features the signature, iconic red and black leather that matches the front and back seats. The front seats feature the bucket seat race car design. You got racing paddle shifters and the red leather on the insides of the doors. Honestly, the car has a look of a Japanese supercar straight out of the Kill Bill film franchise.

    Everything’s been verified, right down to the nameplate and identification tag.

    Take a good, long look. This may be the last time you’ll ever see one for sale, and it won’t be for sale for long.


    2015 Nissan’s Bumper Year In Europe

    Posted by Stephen On Friday, January 29th, 2016

    Nissan enjoyed its best-selling year in Europe for the brand in 2015. They had three big reveals while they continue to pump out vehicles from the Barcelona and Sunderland plants. All the marketing they’ve done in 2015 paid off. Nissan sold 715,623 vehicles last year. This number was bolstered in December with sales for that month reaching 61,823.

    Nissan Leaf

    If we were to look at the market share for Nissan in Europe, they only command 4 percent. Combined with their low cost, sub-premium brand Datsun, they might hold a little over 4.2 percent. Even with the numbers as low as that, they are the best-selling Japanese brand on the continent – beating out Toyota, Suzuki and every other major Japanese automaking brand.

    Significant sales spikes happened in 2015. The Nissan Pulsar sold 50 percent more vehicles in 2015 that they did in 2014. The Nissan X-Trail, a vehicle similar to the Nissan Rogue, the Nissan Juke and the Nissan Qashqai also had significant increases in 2015 over reported numbers from the previous year.

    The Nissan LEAF

    Even the Nissan LEAF sold more than anything else. The vehicle continues to be the leading vehicle in the EV segment. They sold more than 15,000 vehicles. Nissan expects these numbers to continue to rise in 2016. The 2016 LEAF has a 30kWh capability, giving it an extended range that makes it a much more viable proposition for commuters.

    For all the vehicles that Nissan sold in 2015, over 400,000 vehicles came from their Sunderland UK plant alone. That makes this particular manufacturing plant the most productive plant in the whole of the United Kingdom.

    As Nissan is enjoying these numbers, they know that their work is far from complete.

    Every year, their market share increases. Nissan announced that they had their best year ever when they were reporting the 2014 numbers close to a year ago. Of course, in 2014, they had 12 launches in 12 months. Put in perspective, their market share is no surprise.

    What’s interesting to note is that Nissan sold 15,000 LEAFs in 2014 and that number didn’t actually rise in 2015. Either way, the Nissan LEAF is the most popular electric vehicle in the whole of Europe.

    Nissan has big plans for 2016. At this point, only time will tell if this year will be better than the last. At the very least, Nissan has high hopes.


    Nissan Aiming To Lead The Autonomous Car Race

    Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

    Elon Musk claims that Tesla is in the process of making an autonomous vehicle and that they will be out with one long before the competition. Carlos Ghosn, the big boss at Renault-Nissan, disagreed. In fact, his response to Tesla’s claims was said to be “scathing.”

    nissan-logo

    Nissan seems to think that the earliest form of a self-driving vehicle will be in the market is 2020. Furthermore, Nissan claims to be in the process of making that happen.

    Tesla says that self-driving vehicles will be on the market in as little as 24 to 36 months. In fact, Tesla claims that one of his company’s vehicles is set to drive across the United States within that timeframe. Ghosn wouldn’t budge on the matter – he says that true autonomy is still years away. Of course, it could be all down to semantics. Musk is known for his hyperbole, and Ghosn for his steely pragmatism.

    At the preshow reception of the Detroit Auto Show, Ghosn tells journalists to “judge what’s already on the market.” What’s interesting is how stubbornly Ghosn insists that autonomous cars are still four years away.

    What Is an Autonomous Car?

    He asks people about the definition of an autonomous car. Does it mean that it can merely switch lanes? If that’s the case, then those vehicles are already here. However, when it comes to inner-city driving with complicated situations such as crosswalks, true autonomy is not here yet. He finished his speech by saying that consumers want to do more than just buy a car – they also want to drive it.

    He says that even if we have the technology, road regulations still require drivers to have two hands on the wheel with their eyes on the road. The very idea of autonomy means that you can be preoccupied with something else – activities that do not include driving.

    Autonomy Is a Revolutionary and Novel Idea

    Ghosn does say this about self-driving cars. Autonomous cars are a revolutionary and novel idea because it will allow freedom of movement by the older generation. He says this technology will allow people to get around, despite any possible disability – including old age. Many people of the older generation stop driving because they lose the ability to drive. He says autonomous cars can provide a solution. On top of that, he says that the planet’s population is getting older, making autonomous cars not just a luxury, but a necessity. People who are 80 or 90 years old will be able to get around independently with an autonomous car.

    While many people echo Ghosn’s comments, they also believe that truly autonomous cars will not be on the market until at least 2025 due to the complexities of an urban environment.


    Nissan Sentra — Revolutionary To Revolting

    Posted by Stephen On Thursday, January 7th, 2016

    Late last year, Nissan posted its price tags for the 2016 Sentra lineup. It appears that they have modified these over the 2015 central lineup figures along with notable changes, according to industry observers.

    The base price for the majority of these models has been increased by a minimum of $250, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot. The slight increase was for its entire Sentra lineup, from the simple, base model to the more expensive Sentra SL. But why the change?

    The Reason for the Change

    The price change was noted by Car and Driver Magazine and noted that the vehicle received an entire visual makeover to match the rest of the trend for the 2016 lineup. So far, the exterior, the interior and everything under the hood have been redone – and Nissan is leaning more toward a unified look with the rest of the vehicles that carry the Nissan logo.

    The Price Is for the Units Themselves

    What’s interesting is that these price changes were noted as being the price for the units themselves – other charges, such as shipping and handling, are not part of this price. The Nissan Sentra S, Nissan base model, received a $250 price increase. The standard package includes chrome trim, four-speaker system and six-speed manual transmission. For an additional $850, the iteration of the vehicle can include the Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) system.

    Another publication, Torque News, it’s published the prices for the rest of Nissan’s coveted lineup. According to them, Nissan announced these prices on New Year’s Eve. The center starts at $16,780 – which is where we see the $250 increase over the 2015 Sentra model in the US. When you add the Xtronic CVT system, you’re looking at $17,630. The Sentra SV, which includes the Xtronic CVT standard (you can’t get it without the system), starts at $18,550. Another model which includes the Xtronic CVT system is the Sentra FE+ S model, which starts at $18,030. The top-of-the-line Nissan Sentra begins at $22,170.

    From Revolutionary to Revolting

    Under the hood specs aside, the biggest change the Nissan Sentra lineup underwent was visual. Instead of making the lineup unique, as it has been in years past, Nissan chose to make it mimic the rest of the brand. Unfortunately, Nissan has found a mixed reaction among its customer base, calling the move anything from “revolutionary” to “revolting.”

    So, will people be lining up to pay more for “revolting”? One wonders ….


    Nissan Makes Its Own Niche with The New Nissan Titan XD

    Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

    Nissan has never made it a priority of theirs to go head-to-head against some of the full-size trucks that lead the industry such as Ford, Chevy, Toyota or Dodge. They’ve always been a little more consumer-based.

    They decided to make their own niche with their US-market 2016 Nissan Titan. It is a heavier duty truck than the light-duty everyday pickups, the smaller and more fuel-efficient than the heavy-duty work trucks.

    The new truck is 20 feet long, powered by a 5 L V-8 Cummins Turbo diesel rated at 310 hp and 555-pound feet of torque. It will tow up to 12,000 pounds which is said to be more than the F150 from Ford, the Silverado from Chevy, the Ram 1500 from Dodge, or Toyotas Tundra. It’s a big truck – it feels like you need to use a ladder just to get to the drivers seat. Yet, oddly enough, this is a midsize pickup.

    The inside felt very different. It’s like this strange mix between a Toyota Camry and a GMC Cadillac. Either way, and felt luxurious and high-end with the seat warmers, seat coolers and plenty of cup holders. The around view Monitor projects a 360° panoramic of the truck surroundings. It makes parking a whole lot easier. The suspension system makes city driving feel as if you are driving a four-door coupe. The higher speeds on the freeway don’t jolt it either. It’s steady and holds its own.

    This is the third truck Nissan has made, joining the ranks of the Nissan Frontier and the other Nissan Titans that are not of the XD variety. The way Nissan describes it is that this truck is neither a “beefed-up half ton now a watered-down three-quarter ton.”

    Nissan is up against the Ford F150 whether they like it or not. The Ford F150 has been the country’s best-selling vehicle for a long time. Note that I said best-selling vehicle – not just a best-selling truck. To compete, the Titan XD is designed to be good for the daily driver, useful for the construction worker carrying a load, and suitable for the weekend warrior towing a boat or a horse trailer. It comes fully equipped with a trailer brake controller, trailer sway control, trailer light check system and downhill speed control.

    Right now, the truck hasn’t been officially released – what is notable is that it is a diesel version. Nissan intends on releasing a 5.6 L V-8 gas engine by mid-2016. This will pack 390 hp and 401-pound feet of torque. Further down the road, there looking into a V-6 option. The V-8 will come equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission. When it is released, it will be available in a single, crew cab, King cab and off-road Pro-4X versions.

    No official price has been determined yet, but it is expected that the Titan XD will begin just above $41,000 at a base price and the Platinum Reserve 4 X 4 crew cab with all the trimmings rising up to $61,000. The current entry level Titan starts at just under $30,000.


    Nissan Maxima Makes 10 Best Engines List for 2016

    Posted by Stephen On Thursday, December 17th, 2015

    Editors at vehicle authority WardsAuto has awarded the new Nissan Maxima engine – the one is supposed to go in the 2016 Nissan Maxima – a listing on the top 10 Best Engines list for the coming new year. It’s a prestigious honor that began in 1994. Nissan has made the list 17 times – their VQ-series V6 engine making the list 15 times.

    Nissan Maxima engine

    It’s a Big Deal

    WardsAuto spent two months evaluating 31 different engines with the base price of under $61,000 to create this list. This list is unique because of the way each of the vehicles is tested. They’re not tested using specialized instruments that could easily place an unfair bias toward one of the vehicles. Instead, the testers test the vehicle the way an owner would use the vehicle – they would take the vehicle to and from work, school and other everyday activities. The general feel the vehicle including torque noise attenuation, fuel economy, and application of new technology are all measured and scrutinized.

    2016 Maxima Hit Dealerships in May 2015

    The new vehicle is hit Nissan dealerships in May 2015. The 3.5 L, V-6 engine was completely redesigned for Nissan the flagship vehicle. The car manufacturer is proud to be a part of this award as it stands as a testament “to the outstanding design, performance and value” of the vehicle, says Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

    Guiding Principles of the Award

    Other than the general feel, there’s a couple guiding principle that can that tip the scales of the award. They ask themselves questions such as, “Does the engine or electric propulsion system truly sell the car or raise the bar for its competitive set?” The Nissan Maxima clearly raises the bar. 61 percent of its engine uses newly designed parts resulting in an engine that has reduced the weight and friction, a new intake manifold and more.

    Nissan Maxima Is in Its Eighth Generation

    The new 2016 Nissan Maxima is the vehicles eighth generation of the vehicle. Since its inception, Nissan has led the way and cutting edge design, innovation and performance. It features an Xtronic transmission to go along with this completely revised 300-horsepower engine.

    External Features

    The vehicle outputs a grand total of 85.7 horsepower per liter and a 15 percent increase in fuel economy which brings it up to 30 miles per gallon. Their new Xtronic is a performance-oriented transmission with a wider ratio range. This allows the new vehicle to have a stronger acceleration from a standstill and incorporates all-new D-step shifting logic.

    Nissan identifies the new look of the Nissan Maxima as an upscale look with a lower profile, wide stance and a bold front with its signature V-Motion grille.

    Internal Features

    The interior has been crafted after a command central, fighter jet-inspired cockpit. It features a standard NissanConnect navigation system and 11-speaker Bose sound system. NissanConnect is powered by SiriusXM satellite radio and Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD).

    The car comes with optional packages such as:

    Predictive Forward Collision Warning
    Forward Emergency Braking
    Intelligent Cruise Control
    Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    Driver Attention Alert System
    Blind Spot Warning

    The vehicle is assembled in Decherd, Tennessee and comes in five distinct models: Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum.

    Modestly Priced, Too

    The new Maxima starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $32,410 for Maxima S. The Maxima SV is $34,390, while the Maxima SL is $36,890. The sporty Maxima SR is priced at $37,670 and the top-of-the-line Maxima Platinum is $39,860.

    A Bit about WardsAuto

    WardsAuto has covered the auto industry for more than 80 years, serving those within automakers, dealerships, suppliers and others serving or observing the industry with a wide range of information products. WardsAuto’s flagship product is WardsAuto.com, a comprehensive online resource and community filled with unique news, data and analysis, with full access available as a premium subscription. Other services include online data products, magazines, print and digital newsletters, and more. Plus, WardsAuto operates the WardsAuto Interiors Conference, North America’s only event focused on the automotive interior.


    2016 Nissan LEAF To Get Triple-Digit EV Range

    Posted by Stephen On Saturday, June 6th, 2015

    2015 Nissan LEAF

    Nissan has a problem. The next generation of their all-star EV, the Nissan leaf, isn’t due out until the middle of 2017 at the earliest. But, many of the car’s competitors are starting to rise in popularity, due in large part to their new model offerings.

    For example, BMW’s new i3 (which can be had as a PHEV or EV) doubled its sales in May. The car’s biggest competitor, the Chevrolet Volt, just had its best month of sales ever in May with 1,618 deliveries, less than a thousand short of the Leaf’s May sales… And Chevy’s bringing their next-generation Volt out at the end of this year, not next.

    If something doesn’t change soon, there’s a very good chance that the Volt will outsell the Leaf for the first time ever before the end of 2015. Unacceptable!

    So, what’s Nissan going to do?

    According to a recent report from InsideEVs, Nissan plans to offer an upgraded battery on the two higher trims of the Leaf for the 2016 model year. The SV and SL trims will both come with a 30 kWh battery, while the baseline S trim will retain the 24 kWh unit that’s used in all Nissan’s EVs now.

    A 30 kWh battery would represent a 25% increase in the Leaf’s power storage capacity, which would allow the EV to finally hit triple-digit range numbers… According to the anonymous dealerships cited by InsideEVs, Nissan estimates the new Leaf will get a range between 105 and 110 miles per charge. Of course, Nissan’s official spokesman, Brian Brockman, is adamant that these are not to be taken as official specs. He told Autoblog, “We have made no public announcement about the 2016 Nissan LEAF. We do not comment on future product details.”

    Also, keep in mind that this new expanded battery is still only a shadow of the potential that Nissan has hinted at for the next-gen model due out in mid-2017. Current rumors state that the next-gen Leaf will have a range beyond 200 miles, which would put it unquestionably ahead of even the Tesla Model 3, much less the 50-mile range of the next-gen Chevy Volt.

    Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Nissan Leaf

    2014 Nissan LEAF

    Since it’s going to still be at least a couple more years until the next-generation Nissan Leaf hits the market, now is the perfect time to pick up an affordable first-gen Leaf from the auctions in Japan.

    2014 Nissan LEAF rear

    What we have here is a 2014 model year in a Deep Blue Pearl, which we expect to be added to the lineup as a standard color option for the 2016 model year.

    2014 Nissan LEAF interior

    Other than that, you probably already know if this car is for you. It’s a standard 2014 Nissan Leaf in spectacular shape with less than 7,000 kilometers on the odometer. A 5 auction rating, A-grade interior and exterior, barely a scratch or blemish across the entire car. Learn more via the auction sheet translation below:

    2014 Nissan LEAF auction sheet

    Interior A, exterior A, first registered April 2014, X 80th Special Color Limited model, FAT, AAC, power steering, power windows, ABS, airbag, original navigation system and TV, wheels scratched, door mirrors scratches, front windscreen scratched, interior grime and scratches, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map