Long before a Nissan ends up in the showroom for sale, engineers have made sure that every shade of exterior paint will stay looking great, even if the owner frequently takes his car, SUV or truck through the rigors of an automatic car wash.
One way they test paint samples to make sure the finish holds up to the tough environment of automatic car washes is to use a miniature car wash, about the size and shape of a popcorn machine. Installed in the Nissan Technical Centre North America, the machine has a spinning brush with vibrant blue bristles.
To mimic an automatic wash cycle, Nissan’s miniature car wash spins the brush at around 180 rpm, causing the bristles to harshly slap the paint sample as water jets spray and ‘Arizona dirt’ replicates the harsh and abrasive real world.
In the video above, the red 1:16 scale model of the 370Z is for illustrative purposes only. In actual testing, Nissan paint is applied to rectangular plates (such as the yellow sample seen in the photos), which are placed into the miniature car wash and tested multiple times to ensure a top-quality finish that lasts.
Keeping the finish of a car as bright and clean as possible for a long period has always been a goal of Nissan engineers and in Europe, the company was the first automaker to use Ultra-Ever Dry on automotive bodywork. This is a waterproof coating which uses proprietary nanotechnology that will completely repel almost any liquid. By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface.
12 years ago, Nissan also began offering its Scratch Shield, a world first in paint technology developed by the carmaker in collaboration with University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials Inc. The Scratch Shield paint self-heals fine scratches and is capable of restoring the vehicle’s paint surfaces overnight or up to a week’s time in more severe cases. The paint, applied on certain Nissan and Infiniti models, is also more scratch-resistant than conventional paint, therefore, contributing to a more durable and long-lasting exterior finish.
The self-healing paint concept was so appealing that NTT DoCoMo, a leading telecom company in Japan, took a licence to use Scratch Shield paint for its mobilephone casings sold in Japan as a value-add feature for customers.