Design

Nissan's design team shows what they're creating at home during the coronavirus lockdown

Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design, gives a peek at his lockdown life and what he's sketching these days.

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motors

Every new car starts with a single line. Lines bend, curve, and connect whether you're drawing the new Nissan all-electric SUV your version of a fish for your wannabe marine biologist son in an effort to keep him busy during the extended COVID-19-related lockdown.

Nissan's design team has been busy during this time of social distancing, woking from home and creating sketches of possible new vehicles as well as drawing some of the vintage models in Nissan's lineup.

"To draw, draw, draw, in our world, is one of the best ways to close the gap between wonderful creative impulses in your head and making it a reality – especially as we face this global pandemic together," said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design. "Our team of designers, worldwide, are using this time to breathe, to draw, to dream creatively. I know that some of their best work will come from the challenges that we're facing now."

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Dubbed the #DrawDrawDraw effort, Albaisa is launching this campaign with a video from his home, and with input from his two young sons, showing what he is currently drawing and why. Designers from his team will post additional videos in coming weeks to talk about their design inspirations, what they are drawing, how they became car designers, and tips for those looking to break into the business.

"Our inspiration for this project came from Nissan designer Giovanny Arroba, the creative mind behind the recently unveiled Ariya Concept car," said Albaisa. "Gio was asked for advice on becoming a car designer. He said, simply and beautifully, 'Draw like crazy. Draw, draw, draw."

Nissan is now offering 23 downloadable coloring pages featuring the company's classic cars, current models, futuristic concepts. The company's designers from around the world created the pages over the last few weeks. Other automakers including Land Rover, Audi, and Ford have also made free coloring pages available.

Nissan is asking individuals to tag their drawings, from sidewalk art to napkin sketches to the downloaded coloring book pictures, with #drawdrawdraw.

"We're looking forward to celebrating passion and creativity," said Albaisa. "Don't be surprised if you see a Nissan designer comment on your drawings and artwork."

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The 2022 Frontier gets a brand-new face and updated tech.

Nissan

After 16 years on sale in its current form, the Nissan Frontier is a familiar face on our roads. The truck, which is technically old enough to get a driver's license and drive itself, is being totally overhauled for 2022, and the new look is a big departure from the ute we've seen for so many years. Nissan announced that production has started, so we don't have much longer to wait to see it in action for ourselves.

The new truck's 3.8-liter V6 has already been in action powering the 2021 Frontier. It produces a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to either the rear or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.


2022 Nissan Frontier Production is underway in Mississippi.Nissan


This is the first new Frontier we've seen in over a decade, so the upgrade in technology is steep over the previous truck. The 2022 Frontier can be optioned with a surround-view camera system with off-road mode that automatically displays terrain around the truck when it's shifted into 4LO. The system displays guidelines and can help the driver navigate tough obstacles on the trail. A host of safety features will be available that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, high beam assist, and more.

Other than its age, there was nothing particularly wrong with the previous Frontier's interior, but the new truck looks to be considerably more upscale and modern. Various trims come with interesting contrasting color schemes and the truck gets Nissan's excellent Zero Gravity seats as standard. New hydraulic cab mounts should help quell vibrations inside, and traditional hydraulic power steering will provide excellent steering feel and feedback.

Nissan is building the new frontier in its Canton, MS facility, while the truck's engine is being built at the automaker's powertrain plant in Tennessee. We'll start seeing the new model on dealers' lots sometime in late summer 2021, and you can find a first drive review of the truck right here in a few weeks.


2022 Nissan Frontier The new trucks will arrive on dealers' lots later this summer.Nissan

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The new Grand Cherokee L is on its way to dealers now.

Stellantis

The all-new three-row Grand Cherokee L was unveiled earlier this year, and features an ultra-premium interior, a load of new tech, and sharp styling that shouts back to Jeep models of the past. Just a few weeks ago, we learned pricing and feature details for the new model, and now Jeep says the vehicle is on its way to dealerships across the country.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L is the first three-row Grand Cherokee.Stellantis


In terms of styling, the L's shape has been reworked from previous Grand Cherokee models to be more reminiscent of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The automaker says that the grille has been tilted forward and is now wider for better air flow and a more dramatic appearance. The idea was to make the Grand Cherokee L look rugged, but keep it sleek and technical in the process.

The stretched Grand Cherokee retains the engines that powered its predecessors. That means a 3.6-liter V6 is standard, which delivers 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter V6 is optional, and makes 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or al-wheel drive. Either powertrain option will provide decent towing capability, but the V8 is unsurprisingly more powerful. With a V6 on board, the Grand Cherokee L can tow 6,200 pounds, while V8-powered models can pull 7,200 pounds.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L's styling is modern but nostalgic.Stellantis


Inside, Jeep says the L can be equipped with the latest tech and entertainment features. Running the latest Uconnect infotainment software, the Grand Cherokee L will be capable of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be had with a head-up display, a rear-seat monitoring camera system, and a 950-watt 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. At the top end of the lineup, the Summit Reserve model gets Palermo quilted leather, open-pore waxed walnut wood, and 21-inch wheels.

Pricing for the L starts at $38,690 after destination, which buys the base Laredo trim. The range-topping Summit Reserve model starts at $61,690 after destination. Dealer deliveries are underway now, supported by almost 5,000 employees at Stellantis' Detroit Assembly Complex.

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