If the subject of Nissan is brought up in the motoring press, it’s usually to do with how many squillion Qashqais have been sold in the last minute.
Maybe sometimes it’s to focus on the jaunty Juke or the all-electric Leaf, but very rarely is it to discuss performance, specifically the Japanese brand’s Nismo division, which has been making Nissan models notably more potent since 2013.
That’s a shame, because applying the Nismo treatment to Nissan’s regular range has resulted in some very intriguing if flawed cars, namely the GT-R Nismo and Juke Nismo in the UK.
Now, Nissan feels the world deserves more Nismo models and has set up a new unit to speed up development and flesh out its Nismo offering.
Talent from Nissan, Autech Japan, Nissan Motorsports International and other group companies will collaborate to plan and develop more appealing Nismo products in a shorter time, applying the Nismo label to previously untouched segments.
Nissan currently sells around 15,000 Nismo cars a year and this new unit is a clear move to boost that figure. However, the brand refuses to quantify what would qualify as a success.
Takao Katagiri, president and CEO of both Autech Japan and Nissan Motorsports International, said: “As a Nissan sub-brand, Nismo further builds upon the core values of Nissan cars.
“With the combined expertise of Nissan group companies, Nismo road cars will make customers enjoy Nissan cars more than ever.”
It’s reasonable to expect that a souped-up Qashqai would come out of this and although a go-faster Micra may seem ridiculous at face value, it would almost certainly pinch a few sales from the Peugeot 208 GTi and Ford Fiesta ST, especially since the Micra’s more aggressive rebirth last year.
Some may remember the Pulsar Nismo concept [below] was paraded at 2014’s Paris Motor Show but it never made it into production. Could an updated production take on this hot hatch be a worthy rival to the Golf GTI on European roads?
No timeframe has been attached to the creation of the new unit or when we can expect to see new Nismo cars, so sit tight for now…