THE head of Nismo has revealed it is considering breathed-on variants of the 370Z, Leaf and even Micra.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled the Juke Nismo concept, which has been fettled by the famous tuning arm of the Japaense car maker.
Although currently slated as a ‘concept’, Nismo boss Shoichi Miyatani said it would be put it into production if reaction from the press and public was positive.
‘If we get the right reaction then we will market this car globally,’ he explained. ‘We started the Nismo project with the Juke as it is an individual model and fits the car’s image. If it’s successful we will expand the model line-ups to possibly Leaf, 370Z and even Micra. Nothing has been ruled out.’
‘We want the Nismo brand to be based on substance,’ he added. ‘We want to unleash the potential of the products we tune and make them sportier.’
To promote the Nismo brand, Miyatani said motorsport programmes across the world had been considered from WRC to Le Mans.
‘F1 is not really in the picture because of the ties Infiniti has with Red Bull, but I could see us using the technology learnt there, for example a form of KERS would be possible,’ he added. ‘WRC is currently not in our immediate plan, but that doesn’t mean it has been ruled out completely.’
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Miyatani explained that the cars that would get the Nismo treatment after the Juke had not been rubber stamped yet, but he did say Micra was ‘a possibility’, while a Leaf Nismo could also ‘be explored’. A 370Z Nismo model already sells in Japan and America so this could easily be rolled out globally too.
Head of global product for Nissan, Andy Palmer, added: ‘Nismo is about proof points to excitement. It’s about using racing DNA and bringing that to our mass brands. Bringing it to our Leaf, for example, is about saying innovation and excitement can exist in an electric car.’
Nissan UK managing director Jim Wright is excited about the prospect of having a Nismo line-up to sell in the UK too.
‘The Juke Nismo is a so-called concept, but you can see from the car it is easy to imagine it in production reasonably soon,’ he told us. ‘If you know cars you know Nismo, so to bring this to life in a production sense is something that is really exciting. And it works really well with the Juke.’
Wright added that Nissan was looking at developing a range of Nismo accessories for dealers to sell alongside the cars, but added that one thing needed to remain clear:
‘It has to be more than sticking a badge on the back and trading off the back of it,’ he said. ‘The Nismo cars need to deliver in terms of performance and sportiness too.’