The 2012 Nissan LEAF, the zero-emission car, continues in its second year of production to lead the drive into the “no gas, no tailpipe” zero-emission era. Designed specifically for a lithium ion battery-powered chassis, the Nissan LEAF is a medium size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of 100 on one full charge to satisfy real world consumer requirements.
2012 NISSAN LEAF
The distinctive exterior styling is characterized by sharp, upright V-shaped design featuring long, up-slanting LED headlights with a blue internal reflective appearance. The headlights split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, reducing wind noise and drag. The headlights also consume about 50 percent of the electricity of conventional halogen headlights. Heated outside mirrors have been added for 2012.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the Nissan LEAF as best in the mid-size vehicle class for fuel efficiency and best for the environment with a 99 miles per-gallon (MPG) equivalency rating combined city/highway, along with a rating of 106 MPG city and 92 MPG highway.
Nissan LEAF was also named 2011 World Car of the Year, edging out the BMW 5-Series and the Audi A8 for the top spot. The award is just one of a string of accolades for the vehicle, which was also named 2011 European Car of the Year.
The front-wheel drive Nissan LEAF utilizes a dedicated EV platform with batteries housed in the floor for optimum vehicle packaging and weight distribution. The highly rigid body design includes a rigid-mounted battery frame, which helps provide greater body rigidity compared to a conventional compact car. LEAF rides on a 106.3 inch wheelbase, with a 175.0 inch overall length, 69.7 inch width and 61.0 inch height.
The Nissan LEAF utilizes an independent strut suspension with stabilizer bar in front and a torsion beam rear suspension with integrated stabilizer bar. Responsive steering is provided by a vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering system. Braking is provided by power-assisted front vented disc/solid rear disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
2012 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE R CONCEPT
At Volkswagen, the letter “R” promises top-notch performance, a claim validated by the 266 hp Golf R and the 261 hp Scirocco R. In a world debut at the IAA in Frankfurt, Volkswagen is now showing a third variation of this sporty theme, the Beetle R Concept, based on the 21st Century Beetle.
Like the Golf R and Scirocco R, the R version of the Beetle was also created at Volkswagen subsidiary Volkswagen R GmbH, located near Wolfsburg. The Beetle R Concept is still a design study. Those who are familiar with the Beetle Turbo (200 hp) know that the car could offer even more performance, similar to that of the Golf R and Scirocco R.
Visually, the Beetle R Concept, painted in ‘Serious Grey’, offers a glimpse of what a production version might look like. Outside, the concept is equipped with 20 inch ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels whose styling is like that of the Golf R and Scirocco R. However, 18 inch and 19 inch wheels are mounted on those cars. Easy to spot on the Beetle’s wheels, which feature 5 triple spokes, are the blue brake callipers in R design.
Designers completely redesigned the front and rear bumpers that were widened by 30 mm. In front, the bumper module practically consists of 3 air intakes, which are styled in contrasting ‘Black High Gloss’. The middle air intake supplies the engine with oxygen, while the outer two contribute to cooling the brakes.
As is usual on R models, the interior also makes an immediate impression. In the front, the driver and passenger sit in motorsport bucket seats with what are referred to as Ergopads made of gray nubuck leather. The seats are upholstered in black Nappa leather. The R logo is embossed on the seats and the seat seams and piping are in “Space Blue”.