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Alleged next-gen Nissan Z photos leak online showing new wing, automatic transmission

New photos show what is alleged to be the new Nissan Z.

Photo by AutomotiveMap/courtesy of @_nycarculture_ on Instagram

It's a code red at Nissan. Pictures of an alleged new Nissan Z car have been leaked ahead of the model's official unveiling. Instagram user "Brandon" (@laidout4dc) published four photos of what looks like the upcoming Nissan 400Z on his Instagram feed.

The photos show front, back, and side views of the car. It looks nearly identical to the Z Proto Nissan showed off last September, giving the photos validity.

At the front, the photos show a car that has a definitive eye toward its 350Z heritage. A The modern touches of eye-like LED headlights and unique grille mesh are carried over from the prototype into this model. Right up front on its hood is the new Nissan logo, covered by a protective film commonly used in the auto industry.

The rear gives off all sorts of modern and retro vibes. There's a wing on this Z that there wasn't on the Z Proto. It's kept the dual exhaust and Tron-inspired taillights from the September model.

Nissan has put the fuel filler door on the rear passenger side of the coupe and given it door handles that look more passable than the ones on the Z Proto. It rides on 10-spoke black wheels wrapped in performance tires.

The car is shown with a two-tone paint scheme, something that's also carried over from the prototype. This model appears to have the bulk painted a silver/gunmetal color rather than the striking lemon-lime of the model. "Z" badging is seen on the car at the end of the window glass on the passenger side back haunch.

Interior shots of the car show a model that has nearly identical styling to the Z Proto's. There is an automatic transmission rather than the six-speed gearbox that the Z Proto was originally shown with, as well as USB ports and switchgear for what could be heated seats.

The all-digital instrument panel is similar to the one found in the new Pathfinder while the wheel is unique and features a "Z" logo at its center. A traction control button appears to be located to the left of the steering wheel, on the dashboard.

Is this for sure the real thing? The new Nissan Z is set to be officially unveiled later this year. We'll find out more then. In the meantime, you can listen to the roar from its tailpipe.

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Brie Larson got into costume for an ad celebrating Nissan's history.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

On the court, you know what you need to do. Get the win. You may have to pivot, stop to catch your breath, and change up the plan along the way, but that's all part of the game. Whether it's March Madness or a Nissan company plan, both follow a similar route.

Nissan, an official NCAA partner, debuted "Thrill", a new ad campaign starring Brie Larson during the NCAA Men's Final Four over the weekend. The new spot, named "The New Nissan" aims to showcase the company's heritage and future.

The New Nissan www.youtube.com

The spot opens with Larson experiencing some of Nissan's most iconic heritage vehicles through the decades, asserting that cars once played important roles in pop culture, but noting that the feeling has been lost in recent years. The story takes a sudden turn to feature Larson driving spiritedly in a Z Proto, then off-roading in a Frontier, driving an all-electric LEAF, and behind the wheel of a Rogue. The spot ends with Larson driving away in the Nissan Ariya, followed by a wide shot displaying the new Nissan product portfolio.

"At Nissan, we want to thrill people at every turn and we're excited to showcase this with our completely refreshed product lineup," said Allyson Witherspoon, vice president and chief marketing officer, Nissan U.S. "We've been working with Brie for more than a year and she definitely brings the spirit of our message to life in this latest campaign."

This isn't the first time that Larson has worked with Nissan. She was the face of the "Refuse to Compromise" campaign for the redesigned Sentra. She also was part of the launch of the 2021 Nissan Rogue.

In the coming months, Nissan will launch the redesigned 2022 Pathfinder and Frontier, and debut the next-gen Nissan Z. That's all before the Nissan Ariya arrives on U.S. shores closer to the start of 2022.

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Nissan's ProPilot Assist technology debuted in 2018.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Technology is supposed to make us better drivers, right? A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that just the opposite is happening.

Adaptive cruise control is an upgraded version of traditional cruise control. It allows users to set a speed then it regulates the vehicles speed according to the traffic around it, within certain parameters. If the car in front of the vehicle slows down, the tech is designed to slow down the vehicle accordingly. If the car in front speeds up, the technology will speed up the vehicle up to the point of the set speed.

Some varieties of adaptive cruise control can slow the vehicle to a stop then start it moving again within a certain time period.

IIHS researchers have found that some divers are using adaptive cruise control as a tool for speeding, which the organization is concerned undermines the feature's potential safety benefits. The study found that drivers are substantially more likely to speed when adaptive cruise control or partial automation technology combines with lane centering tech.

"Adaptive cruise control does have some safety benefits, but it's important to consider how drivers might cancel out these benefits by misusing the system," says IIHS Statistician Sam Monfort, the lead author of the paper. "Speed at impact is among the most important factors in whether or not a crash turns out to be fatal."

An analysis of insurance claims data by the IIHS-affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute and other research indicate that adaptive cruise control may lower crash risk. To do this, they maintain a greater following distance as their default setting than most human driers would traditionally follow. Studies have also shown that they reduce the frequency of passing and other lane changes.

IIHS describes its study methodology:

"To find out the impact ACC and lane centering technologies have on speeding, IIHS researchers analyzed the behavior of 40 drivers from the Boston metro area over a four-week period using data collected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium. These drivers were provided with a 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque outfitted with ACC or with a 2017 Volvo S90 equipped with ACC and Pilot Assist — a partial automation system that combines ACC with lane centering. The data suggest that drivers were 24 percent more likely to drive over the speed limit on limited-access highways when those systems were turned on. The amount by which they exceeded the speed limit when they did speed was also greater when they were using the driver assistance features compared with driving manually.

"Whether driving manually or using ACC or Pilot Assist, speeders exceeded the limit by the largest margin in zones with a 55 mph limit. In these areas, speeders averaged about 8 mph over the limit, compared with 5 mph in 60 mph and 65 mph zones. ACC also had the largest impact on how much they exceeded the limit in zones where it was 55 mph. In these slower zones, they averaged a little more than 1 mph higher over the limit when using ACC or Pilot Assist than they did driving manually.

"That 1 mph increase may not sound like much. Leaving aside any other effect these features may have on crash risk, however, it means ACC and partial automation users are at about 10 percent higher risk of a fatal crash, according to a common formula for calculating probable crash outcomes. This study did not analyze real-world crashes."

"Driving faster is more dangerous," says Monfort. "You can't argue with physics."

IIHS is quick to point out that their study did not account for several other factors that have been shown to reduce crash frequency and severity.

The organization also chose to test using vehicles that only allow drivers to bump their selected speed up or down by 5 mph increments at the touch of a button, which they say may explains why users exceeded the legal limit by larger amounts.

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