Humans are complicated. We tend to hold completely opposite views depending on so many factors it’s quite difficult to make sense of us. I will give you a couple of examples:
– I can’t believe you cheated on me with my best man
– Who are you to talk? You cheated on me with your boss
– I… didn’t know you knew that, and that is not the point
– I have the right to say whatever I want! It’s called free speech, so shut up!
Hate the bank, request a mortgage. Love healthy exercise, smoke. Love privacy, use Facebook. Shy superstar. Diet soda with fries. It’s endless.
So it should be no surprise that humans bring complexity to the companies they work at. Which brings us to Nissan.
Nissan, a company that makes no jokes. A car that takes fun out of any sort of driving activity. The creators of the Sunny, implementers of the CVT transmission across their range, the company that still has beige as a color option. Precision engineering at the service of the bottom line. Always servicing the market gap with a product that does what’s required on a budget.
However, they also have a funny side. For example, and in the area of jokes, they have Infiniti. The premium brand that sponsored the Red Bull F1 team but, when it came to sports car of their own, they kept the GTR for Nissan.
Or the Skyline, the Juke, the Patrol Super Safari and the Kicks are, or have been, truly fun cars to drive. Each in its own particular way.
Thus it should be no surprise that we have seen Nissan’s spin-offs into new ventures, the likes of the Intelligent Mobility, solar powered roofs and brain-vehicle technology, some of which we have covered on this site. And we cannot help to eagerly expect more news on these futuristic and around-the-corner technologies.
But, what occupies us today has nothing to do with any of these. What we are talking about are a couple of World Records Nissan has attained in the past two years. The last of them just last month. And these truly represent that humanity and that incomprehensibly contradictory human spirit.
As much as we are in the era of SUV as a regular transportation device, we expect them to be reasonably capable on the road and unstoppable off it. What we don’t expect them to be is precise or capable of complex choreographies. Hitting the apex or heel&toe are not associated with the scary tilting of the SUV in a roundabout. And yet, look at this…
The most imprecise of vehicles, driven by the most incomprehensible of earth life-forms in a choreography of 180 cars. Some of you have planned a wedding, and you know that managing even just 100 people to show up at a certain time is nigh impossible.
But, on the other end of the scale, we have the aforementioned Nissan GTR (should have been an Infiniti). A car that has a couple of turbos, 4-seats, is the fastest off the line, a beast on the track and has the nickname of Godzilla. Expected to shame the likes of Porsche, driven by performance oriented people that appreciate power combined with finesse on throttle and steering. No doubt.
What does Nissan do? Well… they tune it up a bit, to about 1,380HP, bring a Japanese drifter, and set about to break the drifting speed record. Because… why not? Drifting, the activity that is normally unplanned, that tends to end in a lamp post and that, at the best of times, leaves the driver with a cold sweat and a pledge of sacrifice to the Drowned God. And this is the result:
For a company that makes the Sunny, the most boring of people movers, with a name that can’t elicit a more different emotion than the car itself, these feats of impossibility make us smile in admiration. Nissan has broken a few other world records, pulled a plane, gotten someone to jump over a car with a pogo stick and other things. I do wonder whether they have an actual World Record department and what are the qualifications to apply. For the right amount, count me in.
Love it. More please. And while you are at it, can we try the Leaf? Pretty please?