6 Amazing Facts about NISSAN
Nissan is one of the most recognizable names in the automotive industry. It stands to reason, as the company has existed in some form for around a century. Over those years Nissan has done some incredible things for the industry and it continues to innovate. Here are a few amazing facts about Nissan and its fascinating history.
1. NISSAN IS TO JAPAN WHAT FORD IS TO AMERICA
The United States led the world in car production for the first few decades of the industry’s existence, but automotive invention and innovation grew up independently all over the world. Nissan, then known as Nihon Sangyo Company Limited, handled the majority of Japan’s car needs in the early 20th century. Starting with the acquisition of the famous Datsun in 1932, Nissan expanded its brand with everything from pickup trucks to convertibles.
2. NISSAN USED TO BUILD ROCKETS
It was thanks to Nissan’s aerospace division that Japan launched its first orbital satellite in 1970. The carmaker produced the Lambda 4S-5 spacecraft that sent the Osumi satellite into space. Sadly, Nissan sold the aerospace division in 2000 to focus exclusively on the car business.
3. NISSAN HOLDS THE FOUR-SEAT ACCELERATION RECORD
It’s true that there is at least one car that goes from 0 to 60 MPH faster than the Nissan GT-R, but those speed demons are all small or, in most cases, experimental vehicles. The GT-R, a four-seat Nissan car, hits that iconic acceleration mark in under three seconds. That’s approaching the physical limit for what’s safe for drivers, so it’s the biggest driving thrill you’re likely to get without special safety equipment.
4. RACE CARS WITH HIDDEN UMBRELLAS
When we think of modern convenience in cars, we tend to think of satellite navigation and smartphone app integration. But back in the late 1970s, Nissan went a bit more low-tech with the Pulsar GTi-R racing car. In the driver side door frame, Nissan installed an umbrella in its own specialized compartment. Silly? Perhaps, but it probably kept plenty of the company’s award-winning racers dry on rainy days at the track.
5. LAW-ABIDING CARS
Nissan’s GT-R line of performance vehicles has a history of breaking records, especially when it comes to racing. Japanese law has recently placed top speed limits on cars within the country’s borders, though, so Nissan has come up with a unique solution. The newest GT-R cars electronically limit their top speed to 180 km/h, the upper reaches afforded by the law, but the onboard computer will lift that limit if the GPS recognizes that the car is on an approved race track.
6. FOUR PEOPLE BUILD ALL NISMO ENGINES
The top-performing engines of Nissan’s Nismo brand are all hand-built by four master engineers at the Yokohama factory. Each piece of the engine is formed and placed by hand, then rigorously inspected before the engine gets the official nameplate signifying its approval by the exacting standards of these experts.
A company as long-lived and ambitious as Nissan is a wealth of incredible stories. Use these few examples as inspiration to dive deeper into the automaker’s amazing history.
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