BEFORE

ONE WEEK LATER

Among several new techs shown off by Nissan earlier this month at an R&D center near Yokohama, a new scratch resistant paint proved a few doubters wrong. The paint, known as Scratch Guard Coat, contains a resin that helps prevent scratches from affecting the inner layers of a car's painted surface. That makes many scratches--albeit not deep indentations like those made with a key--disappear within a few days. How quickly the scratches fade away depends on the temperature--hotter is better--but even in cooler climes a week should be enough to correct small scratches. (see before and after shots above). Nissan says the water-repellant paint also has a higher resistance to scratches compared with conventional clear paints.

To speed up the process at Nissan's demo, an engineer poured hot water on fresh marks made with a wire brush on the hood of an SUV. The results were startling. Within a few seconds, the marks were vastly improved.

What's more, this new tech isn't far away. In Japan, it's been painted on a few X-Trail SUVs since December. Before long, the company says it will likely begin offering it as an option in overseas markets. Still, at about $500 it won't be cheap.

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