Nissan plots new Nismo onslaught

Nismo to open new factory next week as Nissan readies new strategy for its performance arm

Nissan will announce a major new direction for its Nismo motorsport and performance division next Tuesday (February 26).

Although details remain scarce, Nissan says CEO Carlos Ghosn will open a new factory for its go-faster arm in Japan next week, when the car-maker’s outspoken global chief will chief will “reveal a new direction for Nismo’s core mission”.

Following the redevelopment and expansion of a former Nissan manufacturing facility near Yokohama, the new Nismo HQ replaces Nismo’s previous premises in Omori and includes a larger showroom for up to eight vehicles plus a retail outlet.

“Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for Nismo’s operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it a new home with expanded technological capacity,” said Nissan this evening.

“Well known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts, Nismo has nearly 30 years of motorsport expertise and proven tuning capabilities for road cars, and for its millions of global gaming and virtual fans Nismo products are about to become much more of a reality.”

Due on sale here in the third quarter of this year, the Juke is Nissan’s first production model to receive the Nismo treatment. The Juke Nismo is already on sale in Europe and Japan and will be launched in the US by mid-year, but is yet to be confirmed for Australia.

Nismo’s second showroom model, the 370Z Nismo, will be revealed at the Geneva motor show on March 5 and offers increased performance (245 versus 261kW) from its 3.7-litre V6, plus upgraded suspension, braking and aero systems.

It’s not yet clear which other Nismo production models Nissan has planned, but the mid-size Altima sedan – which is due on sale here later this year and will form the basis of Nissan’s return to Australian touring car racing in 2013 – is sure to be among them.

Nismo could also produce a high-performance version of the born-again Nissan Pulsar SSS hatchback that is due on sale here mid-year powered by a 147kW/250Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four.

When he unveiled a concept version of the 370Z Nismo at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, Nismo President Shoichi Miyatani said plans were underway to develop more Nismo-tuned vehicles and not just focus on motorsport.

"Of course we have a plan. As I said, not only the motorsports fans, but we are trying to capture a wider audience. By definition, that means we are going to expand the Nismo version line-up."

Watch this space for full details next Tuesday evening, when Nismo is also expected to reveal more about its future motorsport activities.

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Published : Friday, 22 February 2013
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