NISMO PlayStation GT Academy is Back On

Nissan’s alliance with Sony Computer Entertainment continues in 2014 with the announcement that NISMO PlayStation® GT Academy is returning for the sixth time.

GT Academy is a cutthroat competition that has attracted more than three million aspiring drivers since 2008. Every year, thousands of gamers compete against one another for the best track performance in the Gran Turismo racing game. Eventually, Nissan trains and pits the best virtual drivers against each other in real cars on real tracks. By the end of the process, only one will remain, with a potential racing career ahead of him.

You might be surprised at just how well the online experience translates into real life. GT Academy’s inaugural winner Lucas Ordoñez is already well-known for his 2nd and 3rd place finishes at the prestigious le Mans 24 Hours. Another GT Academy winner, Janna Mardenborough, will be competing in the Formula One feeder series GP3 later this year.

Online qualifying for this year’s competition began on April 21. But if you’d like to drive a real Nissan off the track, there’s only one place to start: Nissan of Lake Charles. See you there.

Nissan Leaf Rises to the Challenge with Regenerative Braking

Do you like good cars and pretty scenery? Then take a look at this video:

The two-minute clip depicts Neil Wagner, a Maui resident who climbs the volcano in Haleakalã National Park in his Nissan Leaf to catch a beautiful sunrise. The trip is no small task: after getting more than 10,000 feet above sea level, the Leaf has used about 84 percent of its usable battery capacity.

So how did he get back down? Not by refueling or recharging, but by using regenerative braking, a technology only available with an electric motor. In a typical car, braking represents a significant loss of energy. In the Leaf, regenerative braking gives some of that energy back. Each time Wagner applies his brakes on the way down the volcano, his battery recharges a little, allowing him to complete the trip back home.

If that sounds like the kind of technology you could get behind, check out the Leaf at Nissan of Lake Charles!

Fun Road Trip Games for your Spring Vacation

It’s hard to believe that winter is finally over, after that brutal one even we here in Louisiana fell prey to. You can rejoice, however, because it truly is gone! And because it’s over, that means it’s time to start planning your spring vacation. You’ll need to figure out a budget and where you want to go; you’ll have to pack your bags and reserve your lodging; and, just as importantly, you’ll need to figure out just how you plan to keep the kids in the back entertained for a long car trip. When DVDs and iPods don’t do the trick—or if you really want to promote family bonding—we recommend some of the following fun road trip games to try out!

  1. License Plate Game: Family members try to spot a license plate from as many states as possible. Alternatively, you can try to find a car in every color of the rainbow, or perhaps every vehicle from the current Nissan model lineup! (But we at Nissan of Lake Charles may be a little partial to that one.)
  2. Alphabet Game: Look for words on signs or on vehicles that begin with the letter A. Once you’ve spotted an A word, you’re on to B. The first person to get through the alphabet wins.
  3. The ABCs of Shopping (or Zoos, or History, or More!): This is a fun memory game where you “go to a grocery store” and buy something that begins with an A. The next person must go and buy something with a B, but first must recite what was bought that begins with an A. Eventually, it’ll become much harder to remember everything that was purchased! You can also pretend to be at a zoo and tell what you saw, or going on a time machine to grab historical figures, or even looking in a Crayon box for a certain color. Use your imagination!
  4. Riddles: Before you leave, research and print off a bunch of riddles to take with you. Try stumping family members with these riddles, and enjoy watching your kids’ faces as they try to work through them.

Do you have any fun road trip games you’ll be trying out on your spring vacation? Share them with us and other readers in the comments below!

Don’t Forget to Set Your Parking Brake!

Now be honest: how many of you set the parking brake every time you park? We at Nissan of Lake Charles admit we forget at times; but we dare say many of us should be using the parking brake much more often than we do.

Your parking brake is not only for emergencies when the brakes fail or for parking on steep hills. According to Driver’s Ed Guru, the parking brake should be set each time you park your car.

If you set the brake before you release your foot from the brake pedal and move your gearshift into park, the parking brake helps take the pressing weight off the transmission (manual or automatic). It also provides a smoother transition as you shift into drive and hit the road again.

Perhaps you already knew all of this information, but you simply forget to set your parking brake. We suggest you place an item next to the brake handle to remind you to set it and subsequently release it before you get back on the road. For instance, a cell phone charger or a pair of sunglasses work well – something inexpensive that you don’t mind leaving in the vehicle.

Join us as we all make a conscious effort to remember to set our parking brakes.