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Auto blogFri, 05 Apr 2013 08:46:00 EST
The Nissan NV200 is having a rough go of it as New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow. The Greater New York Taxi Association wants the van banned on the grounds that it isn't a hybrid, and has gone so far as to sue the city to keep the NV200 out of taxi fleets. According to The New York Times, the city has responded by proposing to allow taxi drivers to use certain hybrid vehicles. The Taxi and Limousine Commission's proposal would allow any vehicle with an interior volume of 138 cubic feet or more. Unfortunately, that excludes nearly every machine that isn't the size of the NV200.
Technically, Nissan is working on a hybrid version of the Taxi of Tomorrow, but it may be years before that model hits the streets, and the Greater New York Taxi Association isn't satisfied with the city's offer. In a statement, the Association said, "These rules look like they have been created to short-circuit the litigation. We do not consider this to be a serious proposal."
Well before quick Honda Si models of the '80s or the performance juggernaut that the Toyota Supra and Mazda RX-7 became in the 90s, the Datsun 240Z was an early stake in the ground for Japanese sports cars. It was affordable, but the original Z-car was also a capable coupe that could show its tail to European and American rivals. Today, Nissan celebrates the car each year with fellow enthusiasts at its ZDAYZ event, and this year in North Carolina, it's surprising fans by launching the 2015 370Z Nismo there with some significant upgrades.
The biggest change is that the 370Z Nismo is available with a seven-speed automatic transmission for the first time. The six-speed manual is still standard, of course. But for those who don't want to use a clutch, Nissan is offering the new automatic with Downshift Rev Matching and a manual mode via paddle shifters. Power is still provided by the same 3.7-liter V6 as last year, producing 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque with a limited-slip differential at the back for added traction.
This hottest 370Z model also receives a brand-new GT-R-inspired bodykit that features a deeper front fascia, LED running lights and blacked-out headlight bezels. It also sports a new chin spoiler bearing the Nismo emblem and red accents that flow from the front, down the side sills and all the way to the rear bumper. At the back, there is also a smaller ducktail spoiler for a more mature look. The 2015 also wears cool 19-inch forged aluminum wheels by Rays with a new twin-spoke design and charcoal finish. Compared to last year's model, it's a much more mature-looking coupe.
Since its introduction in 2008, the Nissan GT-R has seen a steady increase of power and price almost every year, but the big news for the next-gen supercar might be an increase in production. Automotive News recently spoke with newly appointed GT-R chief engineer Kinishi Tanuma who said Nissan needs "more of a volume car." Nissan has sold a little more than 2,000 GT-Rs in the US since 2012 - 1,188 last year and 952 so far this year.
Of course, a key limiting factor in the GT-R's production is its hand-built engine. Currently, only four people are qualified to build the GT-R's twin-turbo V6, but Tanuma says a fifth is in training. Even if production numbers are raised, Nissan also wants to add more quality and value into the GT-R. There is still no word as to what kind of timeframe Nissan is looking to start pumping out more GT-Rs, but with a new Nismo model rumored to be bringing a two-second 0-60 time, demand is sure to be on the rise.