Hybrids

Nissan Opens LEAF Reservations to Public

Nissan North America is opening reservations for the Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric vehicle on May 15 to the general public. The reservation process is a first step in securing a place on the list to purchase or lease a Nissan LEAF.

Nissan offered priority reservations beginning April 20 to select customers who had registered for ongoing communications on the Nissan LEAF via NissanUSA.com. More than 9,500 consumers placed a reservation during this priority window.

The Nissan LEAF begins rolling out to select markets in December, with increased availability beginning in spring 2011, and full market rollout in 2012. Consumers who have made reservations will be sequenced in order for their particular market.

“After the start of priority reservations, interest in the Nissan LEAF only has continued to grow,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales & marketing, NNA. “Consumers clearly are recognizing the benefits of zero emissions and the value proposition the Nissan LEAF offers.” read more »

Sports Cars

Subaru Announces Pricing for 2011MY Legacy and Outback

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced 2011MY pricing for its best-selling Legacy and Outback models. Launched in 2009, the Legacy® and Outback® have been key drivers in Subaru’s record sales success with Legacy showing an 87% increase in year-to-date sales and Outback sales more than doubling with a 128% increase year-to-date.  

For 2011MY, both models receive equipment enhancements including manual-folding exterior mirrors. Also, models equipped with harman/kardon audio (available on Premium models and standard on Limited models) now feature XM Satellite Radio and a three-month trial subscription.  

A new color, Caramel Bronze Pearl, replaces Harvest Gold Metallic on both models and is paired with an Ivory interior. Ruby Red Pearl, previously only available on the Legacy and Tribeca, is now available on the Outback and comes also with an Ivory interior. read more »

Concept Cars Passenger Cars

Honda Design Philosophy Stresses Function

Honda isn’t typically singled out for its design expertise. Instead, it is the fun-to-drive and rock-solid aspects of Honda vehicles that usually get top billing. But quietly, Honda has been capturing more and more international kudos for its leading-edge design work, and we were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Nobuki Ebisawa, the corporate managing director and general manager of styling and design development, to talk about it.

Ebisawa stressed two simple and overarching themes for Honda design: dynamism and functionality. He said the company’s designers still draw inspiration from the functional designs of the first-generation and first-generation Accord that were drawn in the same nondescript design studio in which Ebisawa and his crew work today. And at the same time, they look back all the way to the 1963 S500 sports car to channel the dynamism that helps set the brand apart. 

Ebisawa is proud of what he calls “an unbroken chain of dynamism and functionality” that stretches from those earliest models through the legendary Acura NSX sports coupe of the ’90s to the Honda Odyssey minivan that transformed its segment. He expects that the upcoming hybrid Honda CR-Z, which was shown in concept form at the recent Tokyo Motor Show, will draw on both aspects of the Honda personality. Functionality will be characterized by the fuel-efficient hybrid drivetrain, and dynamism will be expressed by the car’s style and fun-to-drive nature. read more »

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