Nissan Europe would like to see sales of its Nissan Leaf go up – how unusual – and has brought in an experienced marketing executive to make it happen. Jean-Pierre Diernaz moved from Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti, where he served as director of marketing and communications, to become Nissan Europe's first director of electric vehicles for the region.
It seems that Nissan Europe has all the fun, and just maybe, all the crazy. When they built the Juke-R, that was a head-turner but it was still Earthly, at least a little bit. The Juke Box is just plain nuts. Working with dance music icons Ministry of Sound and Martin Audio, the trio created a Juke with a specially fabricated sound system to provide the same aural intensity found within The Box at 2 a.m. – The Box being the Ministry of Sound's especially fabricated room-within-a-room at it
For 2012, the funky little Nissan Note is getting some upgrading for its top two trims, the oddly named Acenta and N-TEC+, while the Note lineup itself is getting some downsizing. Outside, the Acenta sits on 16-inch wheels now and gets "chrome-effect" caps on the side-view mirrors and around the front fog lights. Inside, items like climate control and automatic headlights are standard, as is a blue cross-stitching on the seats for "a more premium feel."
Nissan has been working on its self-healing clearcoat technology called Scratch Shield for more than seven years. While it's been applied to the company's cars for four years now, it's first non-automotive application is here: an iPhone case.
The Nissan Juke R is a gaggle of impressive numbers: 1,540 hours and 22 weeks of development time, 11 videos of its development, several upset bosses, 480 GT-R-derived horsepower and 428 pound-feet – and to that group we can add a 3.7-second 0-to-60 time and a top speed of 160 miles per hour. Yes, 3.7 seconds may be a second slower than the GT-R, but it's only two-tenths of a second slower than the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
There's a long press release and a video after the jump with scads of information, but it distills to this: controlling machines with your brain. José del R. Millán, a researcher at Switzerland's EPFL, has been developing the technology both for communication and mechanical-control purposes, and Nissan Europe has partnered with the lab with an eye on taking such technology to cars.