Safety First

Nissan arms 10 models with standard Safety Shield 360 for 2021

The Nissan Sentra offers the most standard safety features in its class.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan is arming 10 of the models in their lineup with their Safety Shield 360 technology as standard equipment for the 2021 model year. The suite of safety technologies includes six active systems.

"Offering these safety technologies as standard equipment on 10 of our most popular models is an important step forward," said Andy Christensen, senior manager and lead technology expert of Intelligent Transportation System Research, Nissan Technical Center North America. "This added layer of protection can help keep young drivers safe especially as they are getting used to being on busy roads."

2021 Nissan Rogue The 2021 Nissan Rogue will have Safety Shield 360Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The six systems include:

  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection - uses forward-facing radar and camera technology to track vehicles and crossing pedestrians, can give audible and visual warnings and apply braking to help avoid or reduce the severity of frontal collisions
  • Lane departure warning – can alert driver of drifting from lane with a visual warning and audible or haptic signals
  • Automatic high beams – automatically switches to low beam headlights when it detects a vehicle ahead and turns the high beams back on when appropriate
  • Blind spot warning – helps spot vehicles in driver's blind spot areas
  • Rear cross-traffic alert – can warn the driver about detected approaching vehicles when reversing out of a parking spot
  • Rear automatic braking – helps detect stationary objects when backing up and, if necessary, applies the brakes to help avoid a collision.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, vehicles equipped with Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking experience a 56 percent reduction in crashes with injuries. IIHS also reports that back-up crashes went down by 78 percent in vehicles equipped with Rear Automatic Braking and by 22 percent in vehicles with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Safety Shield 360 is currently standard on the Nissan Sentra, Leaf, Maxima, Kicks, Rogue Sport, and Titan. It will be standard on the 2021 Rogue when it reaches dealerships and three additional models that are TBA. Those three models are likely to be the redesigned Pathfinder, Frontier, and Armada.

With the suite of technology, Sentra and Rogue have the most standard safety features in their respective classes.

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Bugatti is selling just 40 Divos worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Only 40 Bugatti Divos will be made. Four of them were recently delivered to U.S. customers. The latest customized version of the supercar to be delivered by the French automaker pushed the limits of what the Bugatti craftspeople are capable of. As company founder Ettore Bugatti once said: "If it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti."

Meet the Bugatti Divo named "Lady Bug".

The Divo premiered in 2018 and shortly thereafter a prospective buyer and noted collector from the U.S. approached Bugatti with an idea in mind. They wanted a strict geometric pattern that featured diamond shapes in a unique color contrast on their Divo. The Bugatti design and development team set about figuring out how to make that happen.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" design process

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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Two special metallic paint colors were developed: Customer Special Red and Graphite. The diamond pattern was designed to run precisely from the front over the sides to the rear – matching the silhouette of the Divo.

Bugatti's team spend a year-and-a-half to develop and implement the technical and graphic solutions the Divo owner required. Adding the diamonds to the car was far more complex than they expected. They would have to be painted onto the body with precision and exact definition.

What made it so hard? According to Bugatti, "the digital patterns in the CAD program bear little resemblance to reality: owing to the three-dimensional, sculptural form of the Divo with its contours, curves and ribs, the 2D-printed diamonds became distorted on the surface of the exclusive hyper sports car. As a result, they had to be digitally modified."

Being off by as little as one millimeter would ruin the entire visual effect. The total would be 1,600 diamonds by the time the pattern was fully executed.

Weeks later, designers discovered a way to match the CAD data with reality. They ended up being able to pull the film over the deeply concave surfaces of the Divo without the diamonds becoming distorted or developing folds.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" graphics application

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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During the pattern's development, a test car was used to perfect the pattern. After the initial steps of the application process were applied to the customer's Divo, Bugatti's team need to remove each diamond. Graphite paint and a clearcoat were applied on top of the effect paint in Customer Special Red in order to invert the pattern. As part of this process, the paintwork was sanded, smoothed, checked, retouched and then re-sanded. All in, the total time spent on the paint on the customer's car alone was two weeks.

"Every Bugatti Divo is one of a kind. With the custom-made 'Lady Bug', Bugatti has demonstrated the full range of its customization expertise. What initially seemed impossible was executed to perfection by the designers and developers in collaboration with the customer," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti."We are proud to have matched the customer's personal taste and expectations with this unique Divo. The car really demonstrates what the marque is capable of in terms of creativity and craftsmanship."

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug"

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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There were no changes to the car's W16 powertrain for the project.

Each Divo is priced at $5.6 million USD but buyers pay more depending on which options they choose. All Divos are produced by the Bugatti Alelier in Molsheim. The first deliveries of the supercar happened in August 2020. All models will hav been delivered by this spring.

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The Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the models that can be found on the new CPO website.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Customers looking for certified pre-owned Alfa Romeos no longer need to pay a visit to their dealership, browse the lot, and keep their fingers crossed. The Italian automaker has launched a new version of its certified pre-owned vehicles website.

The new site allows buyers to locate, research, and purchase late-model certified pre-owned Alfas from wherever their smart device will connect to the internet.

Every Alfa Romeo certified pre-owned vehicle passes a certification process followed by a thorough reconditioning process using authentic Mopar parts. The certification process includes a 169-point inspection including a diagnostic review, service and maintenance background verification, and examination of the interior, exterior, undercarriage, unibody and multimedia.

The Alfa Romeo website now has a certified pre-owned vehicles section.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Certified Alfas are sold with a factory-backed five-year/100,000-mile Maximum Care Warranty that includes a $0 customer deductible that starts the date of the vehicle sale. Buyers can choose to upgrade that to an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. Maximum Care Warranties cover over 5,000 mechanical parts.

A CARFAX Vehicle History Report is also included, as is a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM.Twenty-four hour roadside assistance that includes flat tire service, gas delivery, battery-jump assistance, lockout service, towing service and rental car allowance is also part of the package.

As with a new vehicle, multiple financing options are available.

Don't want to shop in person? Alfa Romeo's E-Shop option allows buyers to locate, research and purchase vehicles from home, as well as take advantage of home delivery.

The updated alfaromeousacertified.com website can now also be accessed via the alfaromeousa.com homepage.

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