August 1, 2014
Nissan NP300 Navara: Test Track Challenge
Chiang Mai, Thailand – Aug 1 – Nissan built a special 4X4 test track for media attending the first global test drive of the all-new NP300 Navara in northern Thailand, putting the pickup through its paces.
Jesus Pellon, an off-road specialist, conceptualised and built the track with his team to highlight key features of the new pickup, including Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Suspension Travel and Weight Distribution.
The 4X4 test track is part of a full-test drive programme in which media can drive the new vehicle in various on- and off-road situations.
HILL START ASSIST
Pellon: In this case, we have a mountain with a 30-degree slope. Halfway up the mountain, we can see that the car has a feature, the Hill Start Assist. Once I release the brake, it holds for three seconds, and before the car goes, I can give throttle and the car goes up easily and completely safely.
HILL DESCENT CONTROL
Now we are going to do the Hill Descent, so we connect the button. The car controls the vehicle by braking and controlling at a very low speed. We can go down perfectly without any risk, and it’s very safe.
In this area we can test the Suspension Travel that the car has. When the car goes over these obstacles, some of the wheels lose contact with the ground. The wheels start to spin without giving traction to the car.
The traction control detects that some wheels are turning faster than the one opposite, so the car gets stuck. At that point when we give a little gas, we give the order to transfer all the torque from the wheel that is spinning to the wheel that has a good grip. At that moment, you can get out of the obstacle.
Now here at the Weight Distribution obstacle, we can see the weight distribution of the car. The pickup has more weight at the front, so in this obstacle the pickup will fall sooner than, for example, a Pathfinder. At the same time, when the car is on the two diagonal wheels, the car has torsion, so we can see if the car is really stiff and strong.
More than 100 journalists from 16 countries tested the Nissan NP300 Navara pickup on highways, tight and steep country roads, and even off-road tracks in the dense jungle, covering a total of 20,000 kilometers of driving among 30 pickups in the wide mix of road conditions. They were also able to test both the king cab and double-cab body styles, and the two- and four-wheel drive powertrain options.