We go behind the scenes to see the seemingly bizarre objects used by Nissan to test its crossovers before they go to market. Singer Mariah Carey might not know it, but she plays a crucial role in the development of every Nissan Crossover. So do a brown bear and a selection of cups and bottles from around the world.
This rigorous engineering approach aims to replicate the real-life and sometimes arduous usage that the vehicles experience in every-day situations. This ensures that Nissan customers can be confident of first-class build quality and durability and, that Nissan has considered customers’ needs and market trends.
Since the first Crossover was conceived in 2007, Nissan has conducted more than 150,000 tests across the Crossover range. These include:
Using special robots to open and close the windows at least 30,000 times per model, while using specific volcanic dust imported from Japan to test against scratching and ensure durable functioning of the electric window mechanism
Activating the windscreen wipers for 480 hours at different speeds and settings, as well as in simulated varied weather conditions
Deploying the indicators right and left 2.25 million times on every model
Playing the stereo at high volume for a total of 1,200 days (that’s 1,728,000 minutes) using specifically selected music tracks to encompass the widest range of pitch and beat. These include Mariah Carey for the high notes and German House music for the thumping bass
Dropping weights to ensuring the glass roof can withstand the weight of a brown bear climbing on the car
Using a host of different cups, bottles and containers to check the usefulness of the cupholders and door pockets
Such is the dedication to perfection that engineers even decided to redesign the front door pocket of the Nissan Qashqai when it emerged that the new bottle of a popular brand of Japanese Green Tea would not fit without being slightly squeezed.
The same engineers and their ingenious robot helpers have also opened the bonnets of its Crossovers collectively more than 48,000 times and the doors an astounding 1.2 million times. This may seem extreme, but it has to exceed the anticipated usage of these parts by customers during the cars’ lifetime.
Nissan Crossovers have also set new standards in interior design. Over twenty driver seat variations have been evaluated and tested for comfort over 300 times, with the interior finishes further tested against tricky every-day stains such as chocolate and oil, lipstick, hair gel and coffee.
David Moss, Senior Vice-President at Nissan Europe Technical Center said, “Some of the devices we have created and instruments we use might make us look like mad inventors. But they are all there to make sure that Nissan’s range of Crossovers are thoroughly tested to meet the needs of our customers – and will continue to do so for years to come.”