Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

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themadscientist
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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:18 pm

lne937s wrote:
themadscientist wrote:So, essentially, buy something you don't want on the slim possibility the carmaker will make something you do like as a reward for "taking one for the team?" F that. Make what I want or get NONE of my money. :nono: I asked for years for an affordable simple fun RWD car. Nissan put a Z in front of me with no turbos and said "take it or leave it." Toybaru said, "you like this?"

I said "here's my money." :bigthumb:

Image

I AM THE %$*&#@! CUSTOMER!
You please me and I reward you with business. You ignore me I ignore you. That's entirely your fault. :poke:
I think you missed my point, and I didn't articulate well.

Here is the thing: it costs $1-6 Billion dollars to develop a new car (based on IHS), which is dramatically more than it used to be. A very low volume halo car is actually much less expensive to develop than a mass market car, as you don't have to engineer out costs and it falls into multiple low-volume loopholes (GTR's aren't crash tested in the US). But to have affordable RWD, you need economies of scale. Modern safety standards alone make things amazingly expensive--a glove box lid costs millions to develop between design, deformation simulations, impact testing, etc. And an S13 platform will not meet modern safety standards.

If you look at the FRS/BRZ, they are now selling a few hundred a month, less than half what they were when it was first reported they were not living up to sales projections. 100k total sales over all model years may be realistic-- and the platform doesn't lend itself well to other vehicles. If Toyota/Subaru did it on the cheap, let's optimistically estimate $2 Billion for development... or $20k per car. And that's just development. In addition, you have marketing costs that failed to connect with new car buyers, underutilized production lines, lack of scale in parts purchasing, etc... Toyota/Subaru is likely losing money on each car outside of development costs.

If you pay $25k for a car, $2500 goes to dealer and transport, and the automaker spent $45k to produce it (which may well be the case, net, when everything is tallied up)... they tend to not feel as grateful for you covering half of their cost.

So, taking all that into account, it isn't just your money. Even when profitable, cars are not a high-margin category. Sometimes your money isn't a reward, it is just partially covering a massive loss on the part of the automaker.

So, if I am an automaker and I see the money Toyota/Subaru would undoubtedly be losing if I applied estimated costs to their sales numbers, I would be unlikely to want to make that money-losing investment. If I wanted a halo vehicle for marketing purposes, I could do a supercar for a fraction of the net costs... Or, I could take a compact car, spend a fraction as much to make it taller and call it a crossover, charge a premium for that, produce millions of them at low costs and make massive profits.

It is just kind of the reality of the cost to develop/sell a new car today and the market for affordable sports cars. There are a lot of people out there who would love to have options, but not enough new car buyers in the segment to make those options financially viable. Because the BRZ/FRS have failed to live up to the sales volumes needed to avoid massive losses, few other automakers will be willing to take on a similar proposition.

So please, keep buying the car. And convince your friends to. If enough people band together and the market becomes viable for multiple players to participate, more automakers will join in.
I understand what you're saying, I am a businessman myself. I track pennies of cost on a daily basis and measure successful margin on things as miniscule as a tiny bottle of shampoo or a task completed a minute faster extrapolated over an entire operation; I get that cars ain't cheap to develop or build. I just don't agree that it's my responsibility to suffer with inferior cars on the front end on the hope that it can fund cars I like on the back end. Build boring cars and I won't deal with you.

Carmakers aren't suffering for lack of business from people of a demographic like me or Greg or anyone else for who a simple, affordable RWD car is desirable. I think there are less of us than some may think. People suck. They are boring cookie cutter empty shells these days as sentient beings, the masses will buy cars that match their personality so these wet noodle things will move where anything taking some sort of bold tack will only sell to dwindling niche customers like me.

Move units, Nissan. I don't care. You've long ago lost my business. I know that doesn't hurt you at all. It doesn't really hurt me either. I've got my cars. I do feel sorry for the next generation, though. Sure, as I've said, they seem to be mostly smartphone tapping morons who's idea of excitement is adding cinnamon to their friggin latte, but there are still little Scientists and Hitmen that would love to have something new, but affordable and sporty and Nissan just doesn't care about them. The accountants are running the joint and they have no imagination. There are only so many rusty 240s out there for those guys now and no cars being funneled into the used car stream on the top for future buyers.

I would hope someone could pull some stats, but I would guess that the sales for 240SXs when they were new were only slightly better than the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZs are now, but look at the way they have appreciated in the secondary market. People want the cars, but they don't have the means to buy them new. For this reason, their buying power will NEVER influence the manufacturers. Just because Nissan refuses to build the car I want does not mean I will settle for what they want to build. F that. Only Kobe Bryant gets to foce people to take what they don't want.

When I was looking for a new car I went to my Nissan dealer and talked to a really good salesman. We chatted for a little while about all the Nissans I've owned and the GT-R that I have now. I described the kind of car I was looking for and I could see behind his smile in his eyes that his brain was going "crap, I've got nothing like that!" When I said I was looking at the BRZ it was like the kill shot. His shoulders slumped and he admitted there was nothing he had to sell me. He mentioned the Z, but admitted at the same time that wasn't what I was looking for.

Those folks, the salesmen out there in the trenches, only they really know what Nissan needs to build. They are the only people in the equasion who see the whole picture because they are the touch point between the manufacturer and the car-buying public. Carmakers can listen to marketers, conduct surveys and all that specious shiit, but the dealers know what people with the desire and more importantly the means to buy a car are after. My Nissan dealer knows a sale just walked out the door and he was powerless to stop it. How often is that happening? Only he and the other salesmen know. Perhaps it happened just that once. Maybe it happens a lot. I don't know. It would be foolish for a manufacturer to build things that don't sell. It's more foolish, though, to sell only products conceptualized in a vacuum and expect the consumer to toe the line because that's all you will make for them. I'm not going to do that and I am confident that unlike the perceived mass death of real enthusiast car owners, most people will not buy something that doesn't excite them on some level, even the smartphone zombies.

In conclusion, Nissan, good luck on achieving the milquetoast crown, wear it with pride, you've earned it. You used to build great cars en masse and I enjoyed them immensely; I love my GT-R and it will stay with me until the end I suspect, but as far as you current lineup, sorry. The only car you make that I want if the Leaf. Yeah the electric car. The guy with the AWD "godzilla with the Volvo semi truck turbo, seriously, and the on/off switch metal triple plate clutch skipped over your whole lineup for the car that plugs into the wall. Consult you $%#@in focus group and work that one out. :poke:

Give up. :gotme


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:50 pm

OriginalWheelman wrote:The biggest problem is passenger cars change every year/ two years/ 3 years for almost NO REASON.
I'm gonna be the voice of dissent here and say, not really.

In fact, compared to ANYTHING built by the Big Three between, say, WWII and 1980, cars DID change [significantly] every year.

The longevity of modern models is 10x that of cars in the 50s and 60s. Trucks? 20x.

One need only look at Nissan's lineup in 2003 and compare it to 2014 (most of their cars have had ONE major redo).

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Eikon » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:51 pm

I blame Renault.

Nissan made great cars in the 90's and had a nice pipeline of new models already in the works in 1999 when Renault took them over.. (I mean, joined in strategic alliance.. even though Nissan only has a 15% non-voting stake in Renault vs. Renault's 43% voting share in Nissan).

Renault took over Nissan and told them to stop making great cars and start making "camry's". Volume = profit and that keeps the shareholders happy. Period.. Done..

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby lne937s » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:03 am

I think a lot of this is a matter of perspective. Renault didn't tell Nissan to "stop making great cars." They told them to stop making money losing cars that have no chance of ever turning a profit. Many people forget that in the late '90's Nissan was losing money hand over fist while being in an up economy. The Japanese government was going to liquidate the company if they couldn't find an outside investor to help them refinance. If it were not for Renault or some other partner, Nissan wouldn't exist (Chrysler was offered the company and refused at the time-- comparing late '90's Nissan to taking a ship, filling it with money and sinking it).

The 370z and GTR only exist today because Nissan is now financially viable and sells a lot of Qashqai, Rogues, Altimas, etc.

Some people may feel entitled and are angry because Nissan hasn't made the money losing car they want. I feel lucky that Toyota/Subaru took the gamble, realizing the market really didn't exist at the time, in hopes that all the persistent blog chatter would become a reality... It didn't. Sales are a fraction of what they projected or what would get them close to break-even. The FRS has failed to energize the Scion brand in the US. The BRZ really has not done much for Subaru that the more capable and better-aligned WRX/STi doesn't already do for the brand.

I wish Toyobaru did better-- as automakers are quick to jump on the bandwagon. Look at what has happened in Europe when Nissan took a chance with crossovers. Look at the resurgence of muscle cars when baby boomers became empty nesters-- both GM and Chrysler jumped on that. But because the Toyobaru has been a business failure, I wouldn't get my hopes up for similar cars in the near future.

I do still hold out hope for a Nissan hot hatch, because Renault makes some pretty impressive ones and the financial risk involved would be nowhere near as great.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:43 pm

"You can't make money building a perfect car" - Carlos Ghosn

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:32 am

Mic drop!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:41 am

I'm trying to find a more current article, but as of a year ago, sales weren't bad;
http://jalopnik.com/everyone-is-wrong-a ... 1540661520

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:48 am

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2012/05/sc ... gures.html
http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2012/05/su ... gures.html
Sales still look pretty good to me. They're on the decline, but not sharply and at a rate, that to me anyway, seems typical and expected. The vehicle is now in it's 4th year, and if it follows the trend of most manufacturers, will get a facelift in the next couple of years, which usually boosts sales.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:55 am

The buying public is not the same as the 90's. That time has passed. A rapidly growing majority of the buying public does not view cars the way I do. A car is not the symbol of freedom and individuality it once was. I am not sure if these things have been replaced with something else, what, an iPad, or if people no longer find joy in such things, but people are very different.

As mad as it makes me that few people are building anything I like I am a businessman, I get it. As I said, though, you want my money, make what I want. Make cookie cutter boring cars and the aforementioned lame-a** automatons will reward you so go ahead. Just don't get buthurt when I pick up repair parts from my 94 GTR in a 2015 Subaru.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby lne937s » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:44 am

float_6969 wrote:<a class="vglnk" href="http://www.goodc ... gures.html
<a class="vglnk" href="http://www.goodc ... gures.html
Sales still look pretty good to me. They're on the decline, but not sharply and at a rate, that to me anyway, seems typical and expected. The vehicle is now in it's 4th year, and if it follows the trend of most manufacturers, will get a facelift in the next couple of years, which usually boosts sales.
Here is the thing. You may not think they look bad, but Toyota admitted that they were not living up to expectations and they were questioning the future of the program after 2013-- their peak sales year, when sales were about twice what they are right now. So figure that Toyota was planning on 3-4 times the sales they have now to make the program viable. A mid-cycle refresh is not going to get them there.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/0 ... -upgrades/

If this was a Porsche Cayman, starting around $55k stripped and topping out over $80k, then the sales would not be bad that bad. If this was a hot hatch version of an existing car, were the margins are high on a car that is largely already developed, not that bad. If it were at a ~50% higher price point and based on the platform that underpins virtually every luxury car you sell, like the FM under the 370z, then also not that bad...

But when you are selling at a low price point on a platform shared with no higher volume vehicle, you are losing a boatload of money. To make a low-cost RWD sports car not lose money, you have to sell a lot of them.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:41 am

themadscientist wrote: A rapidly growing majority of the buying public does not view cars the way I do.
Mad i don't think anyone looks at cars the way you do. :chuckle:

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby txchamps » Fri May 22, 2015 9:37 pm

themadscientist wrote:The buying public is not the same as the 90's. That time has passed. A rapidly growing majority of the buying public does not view cars the way I do. A car is not the symbol of freedom and individuality it once was. I am not sure if these things have been replaced with something else, what, an iPad, or if people no longer find joy in such things, but people are very different.
As mentioned elsewhere, what one finds joy in and what another does are matters of personal preference. I find joy in efficient, good, basic transportation that leaves money in my wallet so that I may find joy in other things as well, like a fine piano, or maybe groceries. You find joy elsewhere, and I have absolutely nothing against that.
As mad as it makes me that few people are building anything I like I am a businessman, I get it. As I said, though, you want my money, make what I want. Make cookie cutter boring cars and the aforementioned lame-a** automatons will reward you so go ahead.
I'm not looking to start a flame war, but, hey, characterizing me, or anybody else, as lame-a** automatons because we don't find joy in the same things as you strikes me as a bit unfair. We are not a homogenous nation of car enthusiasts, after all.

I, and others like me, are just like you in one respect -- if they don't build what I want, then I will not buy it. Every single manufacturer on the planet except for Nissan lost my business because they did not have exactly (or close to exactly) what I wanted. There is nothing unique about that.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Sat May 23, 2015 6:00 am

TMS is just mad at all these new fangled automotive gizmos these days. Like Yaw Control, Traction Control, Paddle Shifters, Automatic Transmissions, Fuel Injection, Vacuum Advance, Liquid Cooling and foot operated brakes.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby txchamps » Sat May 23, 2015 9:35 am

OriginalWheelman wrote:TMS is just mad at all these new fangled automotive gizmos these days. Like Yaw Control, Traction Control, Paddle Shifters, Automatic Transmissions, Fuel Injection, Vacuum Advance, Liquid Cooling and foot operated brakes.
:rotfl

Although I do think paddle shifters are doo doo............

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby float_6969 » Sat May 23, 2015 3:05 pm

OriginalWheelman wrote:TMS is just mad at all these new fangled automotive gizmos these days. Like Yaw Control, Traction Control, Paddle Shifters, Automatic Transmissions, Fuel Injection, Vacuum Advance, Liquid Cooling and foot operated brakes.
LOL!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Sat May 23, 2015 3:51 pm

My fellow Niconauts, my esteemed colleagues comments are understandable in light of his past policy positions.
OriginalWheelman wrote:CVT is the only Auto I ever liked.
I believe in a car market where there is something for everyone. There should be something out there for real people who like to actually drive their cars and also for those other people who are holding off on masturbating until there's a app for their iPhone that will spank it for them. Until then, they have the new GTR.

My opponent would seek to deny you options, to be non-inclusive, to propagate a message of hate. I don't believe in that world view. Shift_Tolerance.

TMS 2016
this message was approved by elect TMS and everyone else can go suck it

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Sat May 23, 2015 8:17 pm

Manual > CVT > Auto. I stand by that.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Sat May 23, 2015 9:43 pm

Even gamer nerds know the clutch is more fun.

Image

Enjoy your CVT.

Image

For me, that left button will always be pushed when I am alone in the car.

Image

The pedal on the right is my traction control and I'm not at all pleased I need $400 gizmo to make it just do what I tell it to do. :rolleyes:

Image

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Sun May 24, 2015 7:44 am

I don't NEED a computer to do my spark advance for me.

Image

There is a certain level of automation we're all willing to accept. For each of us that point is different. I Just don't see the point in getting worked up about it.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby txchamps » Sun May 24, 2015 11:05 am

themadscientist wrote:I believe in a car market where there is something for everyone.
I absolutely agree. I went shopping for a car that had a hibachi in the glove box, an electric dog polisher in the trunk, and an attachment on the rear of the driver's seat that made mounds of julienne fries in mere seconds. Nobody had anything remotely like it. Needless to say they won't get any of MY business....

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Sun May 24, 2015 8:37 pm

OriginalWheelman wrote:I don't NEED a computer to do my spark advance for me.

Image

There is a certain level of automation we're all willing to accept. For each of us that point is different. I Just don't see the point in getting worked up about it.
All silliness aside, you misrepresent my stance. I like technology, but I like this kind of technology.



See how all the tech is there to deliver to the rider, not step in for him? That's a far cry from all the hand-wringing nannytech metastasizing through vehicles these days. You like smooth power transmission instantly available at any speed, why aren't you driving a Leaf? If Nissan had their leasing structure set up in Japan like they do eleswhere I would probably already have one. It's a hell of a lot more high tech than a CVT car, but I'm the luddite? BS. :poke:

I don't like nannytech being forced on me. I LOVE that it is available. With my wife in the car all safeties are running in my BRZ, but before I pull out alone all that ****in **** gets turned off. I'm being cautioned on my BRZ board in enquiring about a throttle controller that "tunes" a throttle so it just does wht my foot does that "linear throttle response is unwanted," what the hell is going on here? How have all us knuckldraggers not crashed all these years with our deadly cable throttles? Thank god for the throttle pedal that has more processing power than the Appolo moon lander! :rolleyes:

I want choice and I am far-looking enough to know for a fact that choices will dwindle as this moves forward. It must.

Here's the problem, it's less and less a choice anymore and as these things have become increasingly REQUIRED by governments you are seeing cars prohibitively expensive to produce. All the people clamoring for performance cars refuse to adjust to the price that that costs nowadays. The reason cars are disappointing is carmakers are trying to find a median point between two points that hate each other.

You can't build a lightweight tossable car when it has to have 87 airbags and emissions and computers running every damned thing including the gyroscopic cupholders and make it at a price point regular people can afford because you are going to have to make everything out of unobtainium to recover the weight penalty and design s*** at an exotic level to meet all your targets. A friggin mirror, at that point, becomes a major design change that has to go to a committee of lawyers and accountants and some ***hole from the government.

Don't worry that they are getting too difficult to work on, though, because it also means carmakers, terrified of lawsuits and loss of intellectual property for all that alien area 51 s*** they designed so your climate control can talk to your nav system and pass the message on to a satellite that beams a report so the EPA knows you turned your chick's ac vent up 1 degree past the federally mandated maximum crotch-aiming vent temp which melts 3 square inches of the polar ice cap and kills a baby seal, will try to sue you like ****in Lars Ulrich and legislate your right to mess with a car you own, wait, I mean "own" because you tried to do your own oil change. No way? Way.

http://247wallst.com/autos/2015/05/22/g ... s-not-you/
Because software controls critical functions like steering, acceleration and braking, repairing or tuning these controls requires access to the software. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), GM and other automakers claim the right to protect their intellectual property by prohibiting unauthorized access or modifications to the control software.
In the not too distant future, your car will not even be legal to operate. It's not about "I have to keep my old car," it will be "I have no choice but to buy a new car or ride the bus." Your car doesn't link up with the "smart" road it can't operate there. It would be invisible to "smart" cars and thus a hazard. Think I'm kidding? Think again.

http://gizmodo.com/us-government-gets-i ... 1704454487
In the future every car will talk with other cars on the road through vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V). But the government doesn’t think that tech is coming soon enough. The US Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it will accelerate efforts to mandate V2V on American roads.
I'm not talking about a ****ing vacuum advance distributor. I'm talking about freedom including yours. See the bigger picture and wake the hell up. Be well.


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Mon May 25, 2015 12:06 pm

I'm not going to buy a Leaf. Too much money for too little car. When I can afford it, I'll own a Tesla.
I think your automotive dystopia is exaggerated. I would love for my car to do the tedious parts of driving. Namely commuting and long distance travel. That makes every time I drive the car myself recreation. I love driving the Miata through the mountains. I will continue to do it, then come home and hop in my other car, that drives me to San Francisco to watch the races at Infineon. And I have 6 hours of talking with my wife and reading, instead of 6 hours getting mad at idiots that can't drive. I'll be able to take pictures stretch move and not have to focus and think for 6 hours to get there. It's mentally draining. It's much nicer to have someone (or something) else drive you there and be fresh and ready to go. I will embrace the freedom that the new tech gives me, and I will still enjoy driving my own car for sport. Look at airplanes. They are the extreme end of vehicular regulation and there is still a huge number of pilots who are in their own aircraft, flying just for fun.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Mon May 25, 2015 2:50 pm

Teslas are nice, I can't afford one of those either.

I also have the everyday car, the BRZ. The R is the goof off car. I would actually like it if it had a drive itself option, but you can't have that work unless all cars on that road are also driverless. Your airplane analogy doesn't work because all those private pilots are sharing the skys with other piloted craft. They aren't all automated as is the goal of government and private industry for the roadways and cars.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Mon May 25, 2015 4:39 pm

Just about the only thing a commercial airliner pilot does set the auto pilot and land the plane. Almost the entire system is automated. You really don't even need to land some of them. The newer jets all have automatic take off and landing systems and all the airports have GPS/Radar guided computer controlled glide slopes for decent. The pilot is literally only thee in case the automation fails.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_landing_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Desert Rat » Tue May 26, 2015 9:07 am

Wait, did someone say gyroscopic cup holders?

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Tue May 26, 2015 3:14 pm

That actually would be kind of cool. :chuckle:

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby themadscientist » Thu May 28, 2015 4:41 am

This is my kind of car, daym!


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Bubba1 » Thu May 28, 2015 2:02 pm

Desert Rat wrote:Wait, did someone say gyroscopic cup holders?
I believe Nasa inspired zero gravity gyroscopic cup holders are gonna be offered in the next Altima so owners don't get as angry when the CVT breaks.


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