To the Outer Limits and Beyond: The Glow-in-The-Dark Nissan Leaf

Nissan LEAF

If only Mulder and Scully could see this – a glowing leaf is out there!

In a revelation sure to impress the X-files detectives themselves, Nissan disclosed its newest exciting innovation; the glow-in-the-dark Nissan Leaf. While third party manufacturers have produced luminous paints and car wraps, Nissan is the first car company to fabricate an actual incandescent vehicle.

In an effort to symbolize the Leaf’s energy-converting EV capabilities, Nissan partnered with Hamish Scott, the inventor of glow-in-dark pavement, to create the glowing paint – fittingly – named Starpath. Comprised of a secret formula of organic materials and the biologically inert chemical Strontium Aluminate, the paint is able to absorb the ultraviolet energy from the sun during the day and convert it to light that shines 8-10 hours during the night. If commercially made, the glow-paint could last for up to 25 years.

While this illuminating paint is not –yet- available to the public, stay tuned to Bates Nissan for Starpath updates, and be sure to come visit us to see all of the newest –out there – innovations that Nissan has to offer!

Nissan-NASA Partnership to Build Driverless Car

Nissan-NASA Partnership

One small step for mankind has turned into one giant leap for automotive technology.  The leap is only broadened by the announcement of a Nissan-NASA partnership. Nissan and NASA share similar interests.

NASA wants an autonomous vehicle to roam across other planets without getting stuck or requiring human assistance. Nissan wants its first autonomous vehicles on the market by 2020. The five year research and development partnership will focus on developing self-driving technology both on Earth and other planets.

“We look forward to applying knowledge developed during this partnership toward future space and aeronautics endeavors,” Dr. Simon Worden, director of Ames Research Center, said. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the two organizations are “connected by similar challenges.”

This is not the first partnership between NASA and Nissan. In 2005 the two partnered up to develop comfortable and safe car seats. Like Nissan, NASA hopes to send its next rover to Mars in 2020. By the end of 2015, the first zero-emission autonomous vehicle should be available for testing.

New Diesel Engine Makes New Nissan Pickup a Winner

There’s a new Nissan pickup truck in town—well, technically only if that town is Detroit or Los Angeles, but no matter. The point is that this new version of the Titan, officially called the Nissan Titan XD, has what it takes to mark a big impact in the crowded full-size truck market. The credit for the truck’s improvement can be credited to one specific area—the car’s improved powertrain.

This new generation of the Titan is powered by a 5.0L Cummins diesel engine, a V8 beast that gives drivers the most in terms of both performance and efficiency on the new truck market. Nissan is hoping that this new Titan, complete with a diesel engine, will improve the sales efforts for the brand here in America. The Titan, which has been sporting a bright yellow exterior on display the North American International Auto Show, is fully redesigned, so it’s not just the engine that is improved.

The new truck also features LED headlights and taillights, heated and cooled front seats, and even a special new bird’s eye view camera. The camera makes it easier to park, see clearly behind you, and much more. Come see us here at Bates Nissan to learn more about the all-new Nissan Titan XD and its brand new diesel engine!

Nissan Kicks Concept Premieres at Sao Paulo Auto Show

Auto show season is upon us once more, and Nissan is stretching its influence all across the world—not just in North America. For example, Nissan recently debuted a new vehicle at the Sao Paulo International Auto Show. The Nissan Kicks Concept was actually designed to specifically reflect the lives and spirit of the people of Brazil, so Sao Paulo was the perfect spot for the car to be unveiled.

“This concept is a product of global collaboration, but it was inspired by the streets of Brazil and designed for its people,” said Mamoru Aoki, Executive Design Director of Nissan’s Global Design Strategy Department. The Concept vehicle sought inspiration from the contrasting color schemes in Brazil—cool, metallic urban tones in Sao Paulo and vibrant color in Rio.

The new Concept might have been designed in Brazil, but that doesn’t mean it’s only meant for Brazil, as Taro Ueda, Vice President of Nissan Design America, noted. “It’s not only just for the Brazilian market, but we capture the idea of Brazil and then we apply it to our global design improvement, making a stronger design lineup for future Nissan designs,” said Ueda. Here at Bates Nissan, we’re looking forward to seeing how the Concept and its design principles make their way into vehicles in our showrooms—and we’re sure you are too! So come see us today.

Nissan ZEOD RC Houses Revolutionary—and Revolutionarily Small—Engine

The Nissan ZEOD RC, the ultimate in streamlined, efficient, yet lethally dangerous race cars, will show up at Le Mans this year in June with some very special and innovative improvements. Not only will the ZEOD RC record the first-ever electric power-only lap at the Circuit de la Sarthe, it will also house an incredible new engine—Nissan’s unique and exclusive DIG-T R.

What makes the DIG-T R so amazing? It all starts with its size. The new engine is less than 20 inches tall and 8 inches wide—small enough to easily fit inside a duffel bag or be carried comfortably by a single person’s two hands. Well, maybe not comfortably—the DIG-T R still weighs 88 pounds, but that’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to the typical engine size.

However, miniaturization by itself doesn’t make this new engine all that great—it’s only when you realize just how powerful this tiny ball of energy is that you truly realize how great Nissan’s newest invention is. The compact engine wrenches over 400 horsepower out of that relatively small rectangle, giving the ZEOD RC a better power-to-weight ratio than most Formula 1 cars.

According to Darren Cox, the director of Global Motorsport for Nissan, hinted that the DIG-T R is only the beginning. “We’re aiming to maintain our position as industry leaders in focusing on downsizing. Lessons learned from the development of the engine will be seen in Nissan road cars of the future,” Cox said in a statement. This focus on efficiency continues to drive Nissan. Cox continued, “Our aim is to set new standards in efficiency in regards to every aspect of the car: powertrain, aerodynamics and handling.”

The DIG-T R may be exclusive to race cars now, but here at Bates Nissan we’re excited to see how the brand eventually includes this compact engine technology in future production vehicles.

Nissan’s Self-Driving Car Assisted by V2V Technology

We all might joke about our cars driving themselves when we get tired or really just don’t want to drive, but is this really a possibility? With Nissan, it is. They have pledged that by the year 2020, there will be an affordable self-driving car available to the public.

self driving car using v2v technology

Can you imagine not having to worry about controlling your car?

This push comes as an effort to help reduce the number of accidents caused by driver error. But how exactly? How is a car going to know when to stop or when to slow down to avoid the traffic jam in front of it? Nissan believes that’s simple by using vehicle-to-vehicle communication or V2V for short.

The V2V technology will allow vehicles to broadcast their speed and direction and can even send an alert to other vehicles when it is switching lanes or skidding on a certain part of the road to warn of a slippery surface.

We currently see the V2V technology in some models that have the ability to parallel park themselves or those that have lane departure alert. However, Nissan won’t be testing the fully autonomous-driving vehicles just anywhere. They plan to build a testing facility in Japan where they can test their computer cars.

V2V technology is predicted to minimize 80% of crashes involving sober drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What are your thoughts on Nissan‘s autonomous cars? We want to her what you think in the comments section below.

Nissan Announces Versa Note Instagram and Vine Video Contest

Nissan announced the “Your Door to More” contest, which includes the Nissan Versa, fans like you, Instagram and Vine.

2014 Nissan Versa Note

2014 Nissan Versa Note

This contest allows fans to help promote the new 2014 Nissan Versa Note by going to to download a cut-out kit and then using the 2D and 3D versions of the Versa Note to create an Instagram or Vine video using the cut-outs to do things you love.

To enter the contest, users make a six-to-15 second video about what you love and love doing and must include at least one Versa Note cutout, then you upload your video to Vine or Instagram, but be sure to use the #VersaVid hashtag so Nissan sees your video. Six winners will receive a $1,000 gift card and the top three will have their videos featured in a Nissan TV ad to promote the Versa Note later in the year. Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, August 5.

Also be sure to upload your video on Twitter and tag us using @BatesNissan1 or Facebook and tag us at @Bates Nissan.

We’re looking forward to seeing all the submissions and wish you the best of luck!

Nissan Motor Company Develops Drive-by-Wire Steering

Nissan Motor Company drive-by-wire steering system

Nissan Motor Company drive-by-wire steering system (photo from Nissan)

Nissan Motor Company has announced development of a new steering system that some have called drive-by-wire steering that is planned to enter production in the next year.

The new system replaces the mechanical links between the steering wheel and the wheels with electronic control units. Those units are designed to “read” the driver’s steering inputs and then transmit signals to the steering rack to control the tires. According to Nissan, the response time is quicker than with mechanical steering. It also says the drive-by-wire system enhances feedback from the road surface and conditions to the driver, while minimizing the affect of those conditions on the car’s handling.

The electronic system will be equipped with backup units to take over in the case of equipment failure. In the incidence of complete power outage in the vehicle, the steering wheel and tires can be mechanically connected by a backup clutch.

While the new Nissan system would be the first of its kind in production cars, it has been present since the 1970’s in military aircraft, starting with the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. However, aircraft with the drive-by-wire system in place have no mechanical backup. Electronic throttles and transmission controls in place of mechanical ones have also been used in cars for some time, making the idea of physical disconnection of the steering components less scary than some might initially find it.

Integrated into the drive-by-wire steering system is the addition of a stability system that uses camera to help the car maintain safe direction. The camera gathers data from the road and responds to abnormal changes in direction caused by driver actions, road surfaces, wind, and other forces.

Bates Nissan will bring you news about the new drive-by-wire steering system as it becomes available, so check back often or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates about it and other Nissan products. For any car questions, help in choosing a new car, or scheduling trusted service for your current vehicle, visit Bates Nissan in Killeen Texas. It is our pleasure to serve drivers in the Fort Hood and Austin areas!