Rsearch & Development

Bright hues, thick gloss, and shining ChromaFlair: Nissan orange is increasingly unique

The current orange in Nissan's lineup was developed to coincide with the launch of the Sentra SR.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's Sunset Drift ChromaFlair paint color isn't your usual choice. It's a bright and vibrant orange, not matte or candied, but attractive nonetheless. It's available on nine of the models in Nissan's North American lineup even though orange represents just four-tenths of one percent of the vehicles solid in the U.S.

The Japanese automaker's ties with the color orange run deep. Orange was layered onto the body of the 1970 Datsun 240Z, and it's available on the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

2017 Nissan GT-R Premium Katsura Orange This 2017 Nissan GT-R Premium wears Katsura Orange.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Today, Nissan offers more orange vehicles than any other automaker in the U.S. It's on the Altima, Leaf, Rogue Sport, Maxima, Versa, Kicks, Murano, Rogue, and Sentra. Hyundai sells the Veloster in Sunset Orange, the Kia Soul comes in Mars Orange, and Lamborghini offers a number of options that look like they came from a bag of Skittles including Arancio Argos, Arancio Xanto, and Arancio Borealis.

Nicole Fonseca, Senior Design Manager at Nissan loves the color orange and spends 90 percent of her workday at Nissan Design America outside San Diego making color decisions for vehicles that are coming to the company's lineup. "Orange is for a very specific customer," Fonseca said. "They're bold, confident and secure… and those are the same words we use when we're developing the different hues of orange at the design center."

Fonseca and her team are largely credited with having developed Sunset Drift. They wanted something bold.

"Orange evokes a feeling that no other color does, and I love to incorporate it into our designs," said Fonseca. "Your car is an extension of who you are, and color is a big part of that. It's the same as picking the colors for your nails, makeup or home – you do so to make a statement and show your personality."

Designers use renderings and real life models of new vehicles to determine if a paint colors is "right".Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The color was designed while work was underway on the current generation of the Nissan Altima, specifically their SR trim. One major component to achieving the look needed to make the Altima appear vibrant and saturated is a paint pigment known as Chromaflair. The trademarked ChromaFlair pigment makes the paint appear as different colors depending on the light source and view angle.

To test how the color will look on the cars in real life, Fonseca's team uses more than digital renderings. They spray full-size mock ups of vehicles with two color options, divided down the center, so they can review them simultaneously.

"We need to evaluate them in real life," Fonseca says. "Orange is very challenging to get just right. It can't be too yellow or too red. It has to have the perfect balance."

With Nissan launching 10 new products in the next 20 months, it's likely that a new version of the orange color is on its way. For its part, the company isn't saying much, just that "new hues and a bright future" are what color designers are working on now.

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The QX60 is all-new for 2022.


Infiniti has released detailed specs and features for its all-new QX60 SUV. The upscale family hauler will land later this year with a reasonable starting price, updated tech, a nicely appointed cabin, and plenty more. The automaker offers its new SUV in four trims, each of which is available with all-wheel drive: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and Autograph.

The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available, and all models get a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Infiniti says that the gearbox has a low first gear that helps deliver better acceleration and power off the line, and taller upper gears for smoother cruising on the highway. The revised all-wheel drive system is more responsive and engages more quickly than the system in the previous model.

2022 Infiniti QX60 The QX60 gets leather and several luxury features as standard kit. Infiniti

An upgraded interior is in the cards for the new QX60, as all models now get leather, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. Front passengers' backsides are treated to Infiniti's excellent zero-gravity seats and a stiffer second-row seat frame reduces vibration and noise in the cabin. Infiniti says that the cabin itself has more sound-deadening materials and thicker glass in the second row, which together yield a 7 percent improvement in noise on the highway.

2022 Infiniti QX60 A digital gauge cluster comes on all but the base model.Infiniti

A 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports, nine speakers, HD Radio Bluetooth, voice commands, and SiriusXM radio are also standard. All but the base Pure trim level come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the top Autograph model gets a 10.8-inch full-color head-up display and a smart rearview mirror.

The new QX60 goes on sale this fall in the U.S. and Canada. Pricing starts at $47,875 for the base Pure model and tops out at $64,275 for the top Autograph AWD trim.

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Initial quality study

Nissan Maxima earns top spot in J.D. Power study

The Maxima earned the best model score in J.D. Power's 2021 quality study.


J.D. Power has released the results of its 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS), and found that the Nissan Maxima achieved the highest score of any single model. The car earned a score of just 85 problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) and Nissan performed well overall in the study. The Maxima entered its sixth generation in 2016 and has remained on sale relatively unchanged since, though Nissan has updated the car with new tech and safety equipment over the years.

Nissan's scores landed it at fourth among mass market brands. The Altima, Maxima, and Murano took the top spots in their respective segments as well. The automaker also took home a top score for its Smyrna Assembly facility in Tennessee, which houses production for the Murano SUV. The six-million square-foot plant earned a gold award for producing vehicles with the fewest defects in the Americas.

2021 Nissan Maxima Infotainment was cited a a major problem area for new car owners.Nissan

Nissan's results are impressive, but Ram has an even bigger reason to celebrate. With a score of 128 PP100, the automaker was the highest-ranking brand in overall quality for the first time ever. Sister company Dodge earned the number-two spot with 139 PP100. Lexus tied with Mitsubishi at number three with a score of 144 PP100, which also made Lexus the highest-ranking premium brand.

J.D. Power surveyed over 110,000 purchasers and lessees of new vehicles for the 2021 study. Owners were asked 223 questions across nine categories on vehicle features, infotainment, seats, and others. On average, scores for the industry as a whole improve by about 3 percent each year, but progress slowed in 2021 to 2 percent. J.D. Power says that infotainment issues were the primary cause of slowing quality improvement levels.

2021 Nissan Maxima Three other Nissan models scored well in the study.Nissan

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