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Nissan announces Formula E effort from 2018

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Add Nissan to the list of manufacturers competing in the FIA Formula E Championship. Nissan will enter from season five in 2018, and more importantly, become the first Japanese manufacturer (ahead of Toyota, Honda and Mazda) to enter the electric open-wheel series.

The NISMO release is below.


Nissan will become the first Japanese automotive brand to compete in the all-electric FIA Formula E racing championship starting in 2018.

The move to participate in the growing Formula E series gives Nissan a highly visible global platform from which to spread the message of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – the company’s three-pillar strategy to redefine how its vehicles are driven, powered and integrated into society.

“As the ultimate expression of the thrill of instant acceleration and agile handling that’s at the heart of Nissan zero-emission driving, Nissan is going to electrify the Formula E championship,” said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president of global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business, and chairman of Nissan’s management committee for Japan, Asia and Oceania.

“Nissan will be the first Japanese brand to enter this growing championship, bringing our long history of motorsports success to the Formula E grid. It will give us a global platform for bringing our pioneering Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy to a new generation of racing fans.”

Nissan cemented its position as the leading mass-market zero-emission brand with last month’s unveiling of the new Nissan LEAF. The second generation of the five-door all-electric vehicle is packed with ingenious technology that embraces the early steps of advanced driver assistance.

The new LEAF replaces the first-generation model, which pioneered accessible zero-emission mobility with its launch in 2010. Nissan has sold more than 280,000 LEAFs globally, making it the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. LEAF customers have driven more than 3.5 billion zero-emission kilometers combined.

“Nissan’s DNA is rich in innovation in electric mobility, not to mention a long history of success in motorsports,” added Schillaci. “It makes sense that we bring these two core elements together by competing in Formula E.”

Launched in 2014, the FIA Formula E championship is a global racing series where teams and manufacturers compete with all-electric powertrains on street circuits set up in major urban centers around the world.

“To have a name like Nissan coming on board is a momentous day for the series,” said Alejandro Agag, the founder & CEO of Formula E.

“Not only is it great to welcome a new manufacturer to the Formula E family – it’s great to see our first Japanese manufacturer entering the frame, showing truly how global the electric revolution is. Japan is a country at the forefront of new technologies, with one of the biggest followings of Formula E. The shift toward sustainable mobility is in motion, and it’s unstoppable. I look forward to seeing the Nissan logo adorned on the new-look cars for season five.”

Nissan will compete from season five, which is expected to begin in late 2018, when the all-electric championship will introduce new chassis and battery specifications.

The company will work with its partner Renault to leverage expertise and development already available, in keeping with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automotive partnership’s focus on collaboration and maximizing synergies to boost competitiveness.

Season four of Formula E begins this December and runs until July. The global championship visits key venues including Hong Kong, Berlin, Paris, New York and Montreal.

Further information about Nissan’s participation will be available closer to season five.

IndyCar star Scott Dixon to test skills on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Scott Dixon will be the latest IndyCar driver to enter the realm of reality TV when he auditions in Indianapolis next week for “American Ninja Warrior.”

The four-time IndyCar champion, nicknamed “The Iceman,” thought it sounded fun when he was approached with the idea of trying out. As the competition has drawn near, Dixon is wondering what he got himself into.

“I feel a lot of pressure on this one,” Dixon told The Associated Press before heading to this weekend’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. “When it got to be about a month away, I figured I should start training for it, and it’s pretty hard stuff.”

IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Tony Kanaan all auditioned for the show, which follows competitors as they tackle a series of obstacle courses in qualifying rounds across the country. None of IndyCar’s contestants advanced out of the first round and neither did NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Dixon’s appearance comes about the same time the Game Show Network has Sebastien Bourdais as a guest host for “Daily Draw” for the entire week leading into the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Most recently, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly teamed to finish fourth on “The Amazing Race,” and James Hinchcliffe was a runner-up last year on “Dancing With The Stars.” Castroneves is a former “DWTS” winner.

Dixon, the 2008 winner of the Indianapolis 500 who ranks fourth on IndyCar’s all-time wins list, is accustomed to success. But the New Zealander not so sure he’s going to become the next great ninja. Most of his fitness work focuses on endurance training, and preparing for the obstacle course has taken Dixon out of his element.

“It’s not my wheelhouse,” he said. “This is agility kind of stuff and I’m looking forward to the process. I’m not looking forward so much to the failure, because it’s going to happen at some point, so I guess I just have to make the most of it and enjoy the experience.”

Dixon was famously robbed at gunpoint in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell last year hours after he won the pole for the Indy 500. Asked if his ninja training will have him better prepared should that happen again, he did not think so.

“I suppose if I run away it would help,” Dixon said. “But I don’t exactly have a ninja toolkit to get me through that situation.”