Nissan’s Luxury Line


Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury line, continues its legendary design, performance and technology with the all new 2014 Infiniti Q50. According to Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen, “This exciting new Infiniti Q50 stretches the boundaries of what a sports sedan can be, propelling Infiniti in a bold new direction.”

One of the iconic features of the Infiniti line is the ‘double arch’ grille design along with the arch roofline and crescent cut C pillar. Like its predecessors, the Q50 provides sporty aggressive styling with the distinctive LED headlamps and marker lights further highlighting the sharp outlines of the car. Other improvements include the narrow, roll formed, A and B pillar doors that help provide better entry and exit from the car and more space within the cabin itself. The Q50 contours of the body line provide better airflow and decreased drag with zero front and rear lift effects. All these exterior improvements have been designed to provide greater strength and agility for better overall performance.

The Infiniti Q50 would have two options for powertrains. While there is a conventional powertrain, the main focus of the line would be its hybrid powertrain system. The Q50 would feature the latest Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid System with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. This system features a 3.5 24 valve DOHC aluminum alloy V6 engine and a one motor/two clutch motor control powered by laminated lithium battery array. The V6 engine provides an estimated 296 horsepower and can turn an estimated 255 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor on the other hand, is rated at 50 kW with an estimated output of 67 horsepower and turn 199 lb-ft of torque. Thus the net power output of the Q50 is at 354 horsepower, making it quick to accelerate with fuel economy in mind.

The Q50 powertrain is controlled by a seven speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, allowing for manual shifting or steering column mounted paddle shifters built from magnesium. Options include rear wheel drive or the intelligent All Wheel Drive system that Infiniti provides. The handling is governed by Infiniti’s four wheel independent multilink suspension where the front is a single pivot double wishbone design while the rear has a multi-link coil spring designed Dual Flow Path shock absorbing system providing greater camber stiffness and better riding comfort. The suspension is tuned for sport purposes, creating a more agile and stiff vehicle drive compared to its predecessors.

For safety, the Q50 has the very first Active Lane Control system that utilizes a camera based straight line stability system to improve vehicle stability and driving capability. This is a level up from the Lane Departure Prevention system to prevent lane drifting but also to adjust to driving conditions as well as road surfaces.

Let’s all wait for this new hybrid luxury car design from Nissan.

Honda Offers All-Electric Fit EV to Market


Honda has begun delivery of its all-electric Fit EV to its first clients, namely Google, Stanford University and Torrance Ca City Government. These are the first Fit EVs available to the public, which is well in advance of public sale for the units.

These first units would be part of a demonstration program aimed to provide feedback and research in the use of the Fit EV that can be used by the Japanese automaker for future developments in electric cars.

Torrance California was chosen as part of the demonstration program as it is the base of operations for Honda USA. The electric vehicles would be passed around city departments, such as parks and recreation, water and others to determine whether a city with an all-electric city fleet would be feasible. Another aspect of the program would be educating the general public and increase awareness about electric vehicles together with an evaluation as to the possibility of having a complete infrastructure for electric car charging within the city.

For Google, the Fit EV would form part of the G-fleet, the company’s car-sharing program that uses alternative fuel vehicles. The data and information gathered regarding multiple drivers on the Fit EV as to their feedback on the vehicle would then be forwarded to the carmaker.

Stanford on the other hand would use the car for behavioral research. The Center for Automotive Research in Stanford would outfit the Fit EVs with electrodes to measure human reactions as to the adoption of new technology with the car’s noises and alerts, such as low power warnings for the Fit EV while there would still be standard Fit cars to be part of the research.

The availability of the vehicle would expand to the East Cost by the spring of 2013. There are no sales but only leases available, with a term of three years costing nearly $400 per month. The lessees would need to go through a vetting process whether the applicant’s lifestyle would be fit for an electric vehicle. Factors under consideration would be the distance traveled commuting and if a charger would be installed at the owner’s home.

The Fit EV uses the design of the internal combustion engine Fit hatchback. The car debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November 2011. The car is powered with a 92 kilowatt electric motor using a 20 kilowatt per hour lithium ion battery. The car’s driving range, combined city and highway driving, is 76 miles on a single full charge.