The Nissan Versa has been on a sales bonanza, delivering big sales for their company, and with the all-new 2014 Versa Note, things can only get better. The second-generation hatchback went on sale at Nissan’s U.S. dealers in June 2013 and gives notice that in an era of changing consumer needs and expectations, Versa clearly want to be a leader of the entry-level pack. After spending a week driving this hip compact, we also found some pleasant surprises in the Versa.
The new sleek exterior of the 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV really elevates this car into new heights regarding design and appeal. The Versa Note’s sculpted modern styling accomplishes things like providing enhanced aerodynamics to help improve fuel economy and make it stand out from the crowd of entry-level competitors. Its dramatic shape and proportions provide an energetic look that reflects the active lives of its target buyers. Attention to aerodynamic detail helps the Versa Note achieve a coefficient of drag of 0.298 (CVT-equipped models) – a nine percent decrease over the 2012 Versa hatchback’s 0.31 Cd. The large front spoiler combines with a “kick up” roof shape and low aero-drag floor structure (including front and rear tire deflectors, rear suspension beam mounted flush with floor and fuel tank deflectors) to direct airflow over, under and around the body.
CVT-equipped Versa Note models include Nissan’s first-ever Active Grille Shutter, which limits the amount of air entering the engine compartment, reducing drag force by 0.01. The Active Grille Shutter is generally closed at speeds above 20 miles per hour. The iconic front grille and large multi-reflector headlights are paired with Note’s “boomerang” rear taillights, which are similar to those found on the Nissan 370Z and Nissan JUKE. The special “vented” taillight design includes special outlets and lip to help guide air away from the body for reduced air turbulence and improved rear lamp visibility in bad weather. Fog lights and heated sideview mirrors are also available. The Versa Note’s dynamic design also takes full advantage of Nissan’s global “V” platform. It features a long, 102.4-inch wheelbase that helps maximize interior roominess, while the six-inch shorter front and rear overhangs than the previous Versa hatchback help provide a sporty stance and parking maneuverability.
This is where the biggest surprise hit us with much more room than expected; the rear seating alone blew us away with crazy leg room. The roomy five-passenger Versa Note interior provides a spacious total interior volume of 112.9 cubic feet and ample cargo space of 18.8 cubic feet. Cargo area liftover height has been reduced by 1.7 inches (over previous generation Versa hatchback) for easier loading and unloading of heavy or bulky objects. Also leading the conversation is Note’s front headroom of 40.8 inches and rear legroom of 38.3 inches – which is nearly 3.7 inches longer than the nearest competitor (38.3 inches versus 34.6 inches) – making the Versa Note both kid-friendly and adult comfortable.
Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage
Just when it seemed like Fox was engineering a smart reboot of its X-Men franchise with “First Class,” the series’ original director, Bryan Singer, has returned to combine the old with the new in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” That’s not exactly bad news for fans who appreciate the lengths that Singer has gone to in an attempt to fix the continuity issues within the X-movies, but by doing so, he’s tethered the prequels to the earlier films in a way that ensures they’ll never be able to exist on their own. And considering the potential of where the franchise was headed prior to this “sidequel,” it’s a little disappointing to see Singer turn his back on that initial vision. Granted, there’s still quite a bit to like about “Days of Future Past,” but it feels more like a step backward than the creative leap forward that Matthew Vaughn’s prequel pointed towards.
In the near future, mutants are being hunted down by advanced versions of Sentinel robots that can instantly adapt to any situation, making them impossible to defeat. With only a handful of X-Men remaining, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) uses her powers to send Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back in time to his younger body circa 1973 in order to reunite Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) for a single purpose: stopping Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from murdering the creator of the Sentinel program, Dr. Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), in the hope that it will alter the course of history. Meanwhile, the X-Men from the future must hold off an impending Sentinel attack to provide Logan enough time to complete his mission, although that’s much easier said than done.
A unique auto and design-related story just crossed our desk, and we wanted to share it with our Bullz-Eye readers. In a collaboration with CoverCar, a unit of Italy-based Confezioni Andrea S.r.l., Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC recently collaborated to create handmade, custom-fit fabric covers to replace the plastic wrap common to vehicle shipping. Already stylish cars and trucks like the Corvette Stingray, ELR electrified luxury coupe, the new Silverado and Sierra HD pickup trucks leave assembly plants in handmade covers that fit like the finest tailored suits. Fussy tailors spend years honing their skills, learning how fabric draped on a body could be pinned, cut and sewn to protect the wearer and make a high-quality fashion statement.
The custom and handmade process behind the “suit” for your vehicle is interesting, and the Italian dude in the video is pumped about these tailor-made covers. The first GM application was for export of the 2013 Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, followed by the 2014 Corvette Stingray, which ships each copy of the 2014 North American Car of the Year in one of the covers regardless of its final destination. Some Corvette owners keep the single-use covers as souvenirs.
Estimates are that approximately 100,000 vehicles will use the custom-fit car covers. In addition to using the covers on Corvettes and ELRs for domestic delivery, the export-bound full-size pickups and utilities, the Chevrolet Malibu and Volt and Opel Ampera extended-range electric vehicles. The wardrobe of custom-fitted vehicle covers will also be an option for GM facilities to use around the world over time.
March Madness is set to begin tomorrow, and there’s plenty of buzz around players like Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Duke’s Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. But all everyone seems to be talking about is the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket which is insured by Warren Buffet. Buffet has been making the rounds on television, as has Dan Gilbert, the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now Nate Silver is chiming in as he he launches his FiveThirtyEight blog on ESPN. Silver calculated that you would have roughly a one in 7.4 billion chance to win. So basically you have no chance, but I decided to fill one out anyways. Why not? I haven’t filled out a bracket for years, but this promo was just interesting enough to get me to try it.
March Madness has become an institution and filling out brackets an annual ritual. Of course that’s just the beginning as places like Las Vegas will be a zoo this weekend with all the first round games. Around the world it doesn’t quite measure up to events like the World Cup which will have bettors going crazy in every part of the planet, from Canada down to South Africa betting houses. People for that one will be checking every betting site and wiki to find information. That’s what’s going on here this week for March Madness. College hoops gets some attention, but not a ton during the regular season. Then everyone tries to become an expert over a couple of days as they start filling out their bracket.
Of course, your girlfriend who sticks with the favorites and then some of her favorite teams can probably do just as well as you given all the luck that’s involved.
I like to go with my own teams as well. Why not pick teams you like? Winning a bracket pool with lots of people is practically impossible. Of course, in office pools, you do have a real chance to win, or at least get some bragging rights for doing well, so I guess there some research is in order.
But with the Buffett bracket, I blew through it quickly and picked teams I liked. I have just as good a chance as anyone – one in 7.4 billion!