Nissan X-Trail plugs away
TWELVE minutes is an awful time for a hot lap at Nurburgring. It’s what you’d expect from grandad in a Toyota, based on Porsche 911 and Nissan GT-R record runs in the seven-minute bracket.
But it’s not as bad as you might think for a — wait for it — electrically powered Nissan X-Trail.
Just as Nissan is bringing a diesel engine to Australia for its compact soft-roader, the technical chaps from HQ have been cranking around the German racetrack in a zero-emission X-Trail.
It is one of the costliest cars — about $2 million — on the circuit.
Nissan took the hydrogenpowered fuel-cell machine to Germany to show the future does not have to be boring or slow.
The FCV, driven by Nurburgring 24-hour class winner Frank Eickholt, even managed to top 150km/h during the speed run.
‘‘I was surprised at how comfortable it is to drive a fuel-cell car. You get in, turn the key and off you go, just as in a normal car,’’ Eickholt says.
‘‘Though some of the uphill sections were challenging, the speed was still very impressive. If the course hadn’t been so wet, I could have got more momentum out of the curves. Thirty to 40 seconds could have been shaved off,’’ he says in typical racedriver fashion.
The FCV technology is the best Nissan can do for the moment, with 90kW, 280Nm and a range about 500km. It has the latest battery technology from Japan: a Nissan- designed compact lithium-ion unit with thin laminated cells is used to start the vehicle.
Battery assault: the electrically powered Nissan FCV was good for 150km/h at Nurburgring.