Yutaka Katayama, the so-called “father of the Z,” passed away on Thursday, February 19th from heart failure, his son told USA Today. The legendary Yutaka Katayama was previously the president of Nissan’s U.S. operations, and built the Z brand into the impressive global brand it is today.
In the 1970s, Katayama introduced the Datsun Z, an affordable, well-built sports car at a time when Japanese-built products were associated with poor quality. The Z became an international success in no time, earning the respect of car enthusiasts worldwide. Katayama retired from his role as president of U.S. operations in 1977.
The Z was discontinued in 1996, and saw an incredibly successful comeback in 2002. The 2002 Z featured a refreshed design, an improved, powerful 3.5-liter VQ35DE DOHC V6 engine, and, in true Z fashion, an affordable price tag. Today, the Z brand continues to evolve and progress while maintaining the character of the car Katayama first introduced over 30 years ago.
“A car is a horse. I want to drive a thoroughbred that’s in tune with my heartbeat, but not something that’s too dressed up for someone like me,” Mr. Katayama told the Associated Press in a 2002 interview regarding the Z’s comeback.
Yutaka Katayama was a giant in the car industry. His spirit will undoubtedly live on through his legendary Z for generations to come.
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Remember Nissan’s self-cleaning paint? Now the automaker has come up with another type of paint that’s sure to turn heads: glow in the dark paint. Nissan is one of the first automakers to come up with a glow in the dark paint formula, and has put it to the test on a Nissan Leaf.
The glow in the dark Nissan Leaf was debuted in the United Kingdom, and unlike the smooth self-cleaning finish on the automaker’s last paint experiment, the glow in the dark paint offers a rough, sandpaper-like finish.
The paint was developed in collaboration with investor Hamish Scott, creator of Starpath. Starpath is a spray that can be applied to walking paths. It absorbs sunlight during the day, and glows in the dark, lighting up the path for hours. Other aftermarket companies have showed off similar glowing paint technology, but according to USA Today, Nissan’s glow in the dark paint boasts some unique attributes.
For one, the paint soaks up the sun’s rays all day, and then can glow for eight to ten hours once it gets dark. Additionally, Nissan says that the paint will last on a car for 25 years.
There are currently no plans for production, but here at Cronic Nissan, we have to admit, the glow in the dark paint is way-cool. Not only is the paint eye-catching, but it’s sure to keep your vehicle top-of-mind with other drivers. No way is anyone backing into a glow in the dark car.
Nissan U.S. sales are picking up in 2015 with a hot month in January. Double digit growth for the make resulted in taking Honda’s top five spot as largest automaker in the country. Even with winter weather, dealers welcomed the most customers since 2001.
The Japanese automaker is looking for more and they aren’t alone. Other Asian-based brands posted gains as well. “The encouraging January results on top of positive economic news, including a seven-year high in consumer confidence, bodes well for the months ahead,” Toyota group Vice President Bill Fay said.
Nissan alone sold a little over 104,000 vehicles, up 15.1% from January 2014 and a record for the month. Aid came in the form of the Murano SUV which sales posted a 70% gain compared to last year. All brands combined, dealers sold over 1,150,000 vehicles in January. The 13.7% increase over last year continues an 11 month streak of gains. January 2015 saw the strongest sales in 14 years. Expect the competition to continue; 2015 is just getting started.
Find out what all the fuss is about by paying us a visit at Cronic Nissan!
We’re slowly learning bits and pieces about the next-generation Nissan GT-R supercar. We’ve already heard that it will sport a hybrid powertrain, and that news was confirmed again by Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s Development Chief. He told Top Gear magazine that the new GT-R will indeed be a hybrid—and that it “will also be a front-engined 2+2 seater coupe.”
There have been many unofficial renders of the GT-R online recently, but Nakamura says that none of them is a good approximation of the real thing. However, he did admit that the new design will incorporate elements and influences from the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo concept.
The new Nissan GT-R will not hit the market until 2018, giving us plenty of time to fawn over it until then. However, we’re already excited about it—from its front engine to its hybrid powertrain to its incredible new design, it’s going to be the best GT-R yet. Come see us at Cronic Nissan to learn more.