It may be impossible to create a truck as tough as David Guzman and Kevin McMahon, two Iraqi War veterans, but Nissan wants to design one that will help them get around the Alaskan terrain.
For the second phase of Nissan’s crowdsourcing project “Project Titan,” Nissan has partnered with Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization committed to helping soldiers and families of soldiers wounded in action adjust to life back in the States. The new mission, as Nissan describes it, is to develop a vehicle “outfitted with customized equipment designed to meet the unique needs of two injured service members who have been selected to take the ultimate outdoor adventure behind the wheel of Nissan’s brawny full-size pickup.”
Guzman and McMahon, both of whom were injured during their respective military services, were chosen by Nissan and Wounded Warrior Project to go on a multi-day, off-road journey through Alaska in a customized 2014 Nissan Titan truck. The Titan fan base played its part by sending in design ideas for the truck that will help the two veterans get the job done.
“Our goal is to create a truck that will cater to the individual needs of these fearless Warriors, and the only way we can do that is by pushing Titan to its limits with features never-before-seen on a Nissan full-size pickup,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president of sales and marketing, parts and service at Nissan North America.
The winning submission of the 2014 Titan will be well equipped to handle the difficult Alaskan terrain: a 5.6-liter V8 engine enables to pickup to generate 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque and tow up to 9,500 pounds. It also includes Nissan’s Utili-track Bed Channel System for even better cargo-hauling capability and a built-in navigation system to help Guzman and McMahon find their way around Alaska.
Volkswagen’s selection of TDI Clean Diesel engines has had a significant impact on the automaker’s entire lineup of new models, including helping the Jetta earn the No. 1 ranking for diesel and hybrid sedans by Motor Trend magazine. Pretty soon VW will be adding another member to the family, which promises to be the most fuel-efficient TDI Clean diesel engine yet.
This new engine, nicknamed EA288, will be available with the 2015 Volkswagen Passat, Jetta, Golf, Beetle and Beetle Convertible. Ultimately, the plan is for the EA288 to replace Volkswagen’s current 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel, offering a 10-horsepower improvement while reducing emissions.
“The Volkswagen Group is a leader in Clean Diesel technology,” said Douglas Skorupski, manager of technical strategy of Volkswagen of America. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even cleaner and more fuel-efficient and powerful. We’re excited to see the increasing numbers of customers able to enjoy the reliability, durability, fuel efficiency and power of Clean Diesel engines.”
The engine lineup originated from VW’s “Think Blue” initiative, which aims to promote more environmentally products and behaviors. The idea behind the TDI Clean Diesel family is to offer engines that return excellent gas mileage, don’t sacrifice performance and reduce emissions.
The 33-mpg-highway 2014 Nissan Rogue has already been rated more fuel efficient than its predecessor by the EPA, but now the compact crossover SUV has also proven to be safer, recently earning a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Introduced in 2013 with strict criteria, the Top Safety Pick+ designation is the highest crash-protection rating given by the IIHS.
To earn a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must first meet the IIHS’ requirements for a base-level Top Safety Pick award, which include top scores of “good” in moderate-overlap frontal, side, roof-strength and head-restraint tests, as well as a “good” or “acceptable” score in a small-overlap frontal test. Then, the model must receive at least a “basic” rating for front crash prevention. The 2014 Nissan Rogue secured that “basic” rating while also achieving a “good” score in every crash test.
“It can be very difficult for an automaker to simultaneously make a vehicle more stylish, more fuel efficient and safer, but Nissan did just that with the Rogue by using more high-tensile-strength steel in the body and covering it with a sleek, aerodynamic exterior design,” said Larry Tentarelli, general manager of AutoFair Nissan of Stratham, a New Hampshire Nissan dealer. “The new Rogue has taken a leap forward in crash protection, but the crossover has also entered completely new territory when it comes to preventing accidents from ever happening in the first place.”