By Stewart Smith on 2016-03-23 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Nissan boost for
GT-R and Qashqai
NISSAN is stepping up production of the top-selling Qashqai crossover in Britain.
The announcement came at the same time as the company revealed a new version of the GT-R high performance sports car at the New York motor show.
To cope with demand, the Japanese car maker is to invest a further £22 million into its UK plant in Sunderland where the Qashqai is built at the rate of one car every minute.
Despite record volumes of 300,000 Qashqais a year coming off Line 1 at the factory demand for the model is so high that additional vehicles will now be made on Line 2 at the works which also builds the Juke and the all-electric Leaf.
The first additional vehicles are scheduled for production before the end of 2016.
Meanwhile in New York the wraps came off the latest GT-R which has been completely restyled at the front and now comes with more firepower.
Its twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 engine has been uprated to deliver 570ps - up from 550ps - and the car now features a wider stance as well as a much more aggresive nose.
Inside, the dashboard has been decluttered with fewer switches, a new-look display screen and the gear shift paddles have been moved from the steering column to the wheel allowing for easier operation.
What the power tweak has done to the car's already awesome performance has not been revealed but already it is close on 200mph with an asotnishing 0 to 60 time of just 2.7 seconds.
Neither has Nissan said anything about the price of the newcomer which currently costs from £78,000.
This year Nissan is celebrating the 30thanniversary of its operatations at Sunderland, which has grown to become the largest UK car plant of all-time, supporting nearly 40,000 UK jobs and manufacturing one in three of all cars made in Britain.
It now exports to more than 130 markets worldwide and by the end of February 2016 the total Qashqai production run at Sunderland since the car was launched in 2006 stood at 2,398,134 units. No other car in the history of the UK car industry has gone beyond two million units in such a short period of time.
Since 1986 Nissan has invested more than £3.6 billion into its UK operations.
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