Perhaps Nissan knows something that we and Carol Kirkwood off BBC Breakfast don’t. We’re going to get very drookit this coming winter. Perhaps prompted by the horrendous floods of recent years, Nissan came up with a new ploy for the UK ‘launch’ of its brand new Nissan Note car – it has extras!
Now, Nissan says there was a deliberate reason for presenting the new car at the2012 Olympic rowing venue at Eton Dorney Lake. They claimed that this novel ‘launch’ of the new car allowed them to fully demonstrate its sliding rear seat (like the single rower’s boat) and rear doors which opened a full 90 degrees (thereby allowing a full rowing stroke to be executed) to the car buying public.
Further emphasising the practicality of this device, Nissan deployed its ‘Around View Monitor’ 360-degree parking system comprising four cameras – one in the front, one at the rear and one under each door mirror – to give a helicopter-style top down view.
Even more suspicious was the fact that this system incorporates Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Moving Object Detection. In other words, even with their backs to the flow, the rowers could see where they were, and where they were going, without straying into other teams’ lanes.
Taking the whole ludicrous idea a stage further was the attendance of Olympic rowing gold medallists Helen Glover MBE and Sophie Hosking MBE, who triumphed in the womens’ coxless pairs and the lightweight double sculls – and Polly Swann, who partnered Glover at the 2013 World Rowing Championships scoring a victory the womens’ coxless pairs.
Polly Swann commented: “It’s certainly a novel experience rowing down Eton Dorney Lake in a car. I’m amazed at how wide the doors open – I could achieve almost a complete rowing stroke, which produced more than enough power to push the Note down the lake.”
It all made such a convincing case for the Note-Boat that I can’t help wondering if Nissan dealers around the coasts will get ‘extras’ on the Options list when the car goes on sale. Things like oars, waterwings, flare pistol and an anchor if the brakes get wet!
So if it’s too deep for a Land Rover to wade through, then with just the addition of a few extra external airbags around the Note, you can forget Top Gear’s ambitious attempts at amphibians and hovercraft.
Has Nissan ‘crafted’ the perfect compromise? Now where did I put my fishing rod?