Nissan builds an origami car to celebrate the fifth birthday of its Juke crossover

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RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

It’s been five years since Nissan launched its compact Juke SUV/crossover, and the company is celebrating with a very special fifth anniversary edition: a full-size origami model.

Oftentimes, auto manufacturers will mark the round-number birthdays of their best-sellers with a special paint color or extra badging. Nissan, though, instead enlisted English origami artist Owen Gildersleeve to make a paper Juke to commemorate the milestone.

▼ The regular/metallic juke

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Unfortunately, this special car is a one-off, so you won’t find one waiting in the inventory lot of your local Nissan dealer. But if we ever find ourselves in the market for a Juke, and if Nissan is offering “origami” as a factory option at that time, we’ll be tempted to check that box when placing our order.

Owen Gildersleeve website

Cosplaying taxis with monster drivers to offer free rides to cosplayers in Shibuya (Tokyo) this Halloween

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

Halloween in Japan keeps getting bigger and better every year, with cosplayers coming out in droves to celebrate the world of costumes and make-believe. This time around, Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is joining the fun with a fleet of taxis dressed up in Halloween costumes, complete with “monster drivers” behind the wheel.

The monsters and their vehicles will be helping fellow ogres and ghouls by offering free rides to people in costume in the Shibuya area on October 29 and 31. What’s more, the unusual vans promise to be so spacious, they’ll accommodate any type of outfit you’re wearing!

The event, called “Ride on Halloween by Nissan”, will feature three “costumed” vehicles: an orange Jack-o-Lantern, a purple-and-green Frankenstein (‘Frankenstein’s Monster’ for the purists), and a pale-brown, bandaged Mummy.

▼ They may be monsters, but they’re Japanese taxi-driving monsters, so they’ll all be wearing white gloves.

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The promotion is designed to showcase the spacious nature of Nissan’s NV200 taxi, which has been ferrying people around New York and London for several years and will finally be making its debut in Japan as part of the preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

▼ New York marked the debut of the NV200 taxi with a #HAILYES interactive marketing campaign in 2013.

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In Japan, they’re using Halloween to highlight the roomy interior of the new taxis, by offering the free rides to cosplayers to show how a van ride can be superior to a sedan ride, especially when you and your clothes take up a extra space. The driver of each vehicle will also take part in the dress-up!

You can catch a ride at three as-yet-unannounced designated pick-up and drop-off points in the Shibuya area, which is one of the main hubs for Halloween celebrations every year.

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The taxis will run between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on 29 and 31 October. The organisers have pointed out that free rides are limited only to those in costume and rides cannot be guaranteed, so if you really want to step inside the cosplaying vehicles, you might want to try your luck before the night of Halloween, when there’s less chance of monsters lurking about.

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The pick-up and drop-off points will be announced soon, so be sure to check out the official campaign website for updates!

Watch these Nissan GTRs rip through a touge course in 4K

Japanese automotive magazine Motorhead has released a special 4K short for its Volume 16, titled ”Japan Tuned.”

Featuring a 1,200-horsepower HKS-tuned R35 GT1000 and a R32 GT-R Group A model, the video follows racing driver NOB Taniguchi through one of the most famous togue courses — a form of racing that involves two cars chasing each other through twisty mountain roads — in Japan, Gunsai. The video incorporates augmented reality-esque touches to provide detailed information on each vehicle before Taniguchi-san floors it, taking us on an exhilarating journey filled with breathtaking sights and sounds.

If you’re interested in gaining access to bonus in-car footage, head over to Motorhead’s site to purchase its latest July issue.

Jay Leno takes a closer look at the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Taking advantage of Le Mans’ notoriously strict regulations on the rear aerodynamics as opposed to the front of the car, Nissan has chosen to build its entry, the GT-R LM Nismo, in a front-engine, front-drive configuration decidedly opposed to the mid-engine layouts from Audi, Porsche and Toyota.

With the driven wheels up front, the bulk of the downforce thus shifts to the front as well. This unconventional decision, to say the least, caught the eye of Jay Leno, who brought it into his garage to have a closer inspection of the race car with Nissan’s chief engineer Zack Eakin, before Nissan GT Academy Season 3 winner Jann Mardenborough takes it around the track for a spin.

Watch the episode above and find the rest of Jay Leno’s Garage here.

Infiniti creates the Vision Gran Turismo concept in real life

New Mercedes-Benz pickup truck to be based on the Nissan NP300

With news of Mercedes-Benz planning to unveil a pickup truck by 2020, reports confirm that the forthcoming truck from the German automobile maker will be based on the mid-size Nissan NP300. The development and release of the pickup truck is planned to initially target South Africa, Latin America, Europe and Australia. MBUSA CEO Steve Cannon explains the new pickup truck production as part of Mercedes-Benz’s global strategy for international expansion with vehicles tailored to the demands of several foreign markets. A

Although no U.S. division has been established for the pickup truck, Mercedes-Benz’s pickup truck is reported to sport two rows of seats and contain many of the same interior components and luxury features of Mercedes-Benz cars.

Anticipate further news on the Mercedes-Benz pickup truck in the near future.

2016 Nissan GT-R Gold 45th Anniversary Edition

Nissan revives the glory of the coveted GT–R with a new edition of the vehicle for its 45th anniversary. Released as a special iteration of the already-spry Premium edition, the Gold ‘Anniversary’ edition features a powerful 550 horsepower engine underneath the hood, delivered courtesy of a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. The bold gold paint job harkens back to 2001′s Skyline GT-R M-Spec, or alternatively, the dreamboat of gearheads worldwide. As if that weren’t enough to stop onlookers in their tracks, this version of the GT-R sports new 20-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, as well as commemorative plaques at the engine and interior console.

While the inventory is still in question, Nissan has confirmed that less than 30 of these beauties will be available stateside. With a base price around $102,000 USD and the rarity already confirmed, it might be best to savor this car with the photo above.