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The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is tackling two contentious issues facing new car dealers in the U.S. today: two-tier pricing programs and mandatory facility upgrades.
Despite the hype and sometimes controversy surrounding the Chevrolet Volt, one aspect that’s been decidedly overlooked, is the fact that from the outset it was designed to incorporate future upgrades.
During a three-day teardown by Munro & Associates at their Troy, Michigan based headquarters, representatives from the news agency Reuters were invited to witness the process and discovered some interesting facts about the Volt, specifically relating to its battery pack.
Examining the circuit boards, Munro’s CEO, Sandy Munro, remarked “this is, without doubt, the most advanced board I’ve seen General Motors put on and it’s got room to grow.”
John Scott-Thomas, an engineer with UMB TechInsights, also present during the teardown, said, in reference to a board containing 32-bit Freescale Semiconductor chips from the Volt’s battery inverter, ”there are places here where you can see that it looks as though you should be able to put an integrated circuit and there’s nothing there.”
Such commentary clearly indicates that down the road, GM plans to add additional circuits, with the goal of improving both range and performance, in fact, that was exactly what company engineer Doug Parks told Reuters during a recent interview.
However, Parks also said that despite the Volt employing double the number of Freescale chips found in a conventional internal combustion engined vehicle, GM deliberately played it safe when designing the car, with the view that future batteries would be considerably more efficient.
Although the Volt has come under recent criticism, following a NHTSA probe that showed coolant leaking from the battery pack could cause fires, GM is introducing a strengthened structure around the battery pack to prevent it from happening in the future.
It’s also likely, that given the amount of time and money invested in the Volt so far, it probably won’t be surprising if many of the features incorporated into the car’s battery pack show up in other GM electric and Hybrid vehicles, since not only will it make the technology more profitable, but having the ability to upgrade battery systems will also go a long way to addressing consumer concerns about EV/Hybrid longevity and practicality.
[Source: Auto News]
Nissan is no stranger to franken-cars, one of the most notable in recently memory was the Juke-R, a twisted combination of the GT-R hotrod and practically-minded Juke.
While Nismo isn’t going to such extreme lengths, their modifications will grant a little extra power and a sporty look more in tune with a club racer style. Performance modifications are scarce, but Nismo did upgrade the exhaust and slap on some bigger wheels to complement the new sporty body features.
Those features include a modified front grille and bumper, a rear spoiler and air diffuser, accented exterior mirrors and matching side skirts. The specialty Micra is painted pearl white with red accents and comes with sport-designed seats and steering wheel.
Discuss this story at MicraForums.com
Infiniti has released photos of its refreshed 2012 FX ahead of its debut at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The luxury crossover gets a revised front grille and front fascia design that clearly draws inspiration from the Essence concept. Other changes on the vehicle include newly-restyled 20-inch wheels (FX35 Deluxe Touring package), an updated instrument cluster and heated seats that come standard.
The 2012 FX will be available in several models: FX35 RWD, FX35 AWD, FX50 AWD and the previously mentioned FX Limited Edition. The FX35 models will feature the popular VQ35HR powerplant with 303-hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The FX50 models will feature the same 5.0L V8 VK50VE engine with 390-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a revised seven-speed transmission.
GALLERY: 2012 Infiniti FX
The 2012 Infiniti FX performance crossover is about to hit dealerships and will feature some extensive upgrades. For 2012, the FX model will receive a revised front grille and front fascia design, revised meter illumination, standard heated front seats on all models and the new Limited Edition FX35 AWD model.
The Limited Edition FX35 AWD will be easily distinguishable thanks to its exclusive Iridium Blue paint, as well as custom 21-inch 10-spoke dark alloy wheels and tinted headlights, as well as roof rail crossbars. Inside, the special edition model will get aluminum pedals, navigation, an Around View Monitor and a Graphite interior with blue piping on the floor mats.
Other trim changes include a new Graphite Shadow paint color which replaces the Platinum Graphite color, a new 20-inch wheel design on the FX35 Deluxe Touring Package, while the FX50 Sport Package gains an Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS). The quilted leather heated and cooled front seats will now come on the FX35 Deluxe Touring Package rather than on the Premium Package.
Two engine choices remain: the 390-hp 5.0-liter 32-valve V8 engine or the 303-hp 3.5-liter 24-valve V6. Both engines will be mated to a standard 7-speed automatic transmission featuring adaptive shift control and available solid magnesium paddle shifters.
The 5.0-liter FX will come standard with all-wheel drive while the 3.5-liter will come standard with RWD and come available with AWD. The 2012 FX will go on sale in October 2011.
* 2011 FX Model Shown