This is awesome news. Nismo is about to go from being a small factory racing workshop more connected to fans through video games than real cars, to a global performance badge for Nissan’s sports cars.
I’m not a massive fan of Japanese cars, as you know, but I do have a special affinity for Nissan. I did all my early driving hours, aged 17, in a Datsun 180B. One of my best friends growing up in Melbourne ended up with a Datsun 260Z. Of all the Japanese companies that put down roots in Australia back in the 1960s and 70’s, Nissan was the one with biggest sporting pretensions. Datsun 1600’s are still favoured by those looking to get into rallying and some of sell for big money.
More recently, Nissan have looked to spice things up in Australia by entering the enormously popular V8 Supercar series. This series is like Australia’s version of Nascar, but with corners. It’s been a Ford/Holden series since forever but this year Nissan and a privateer team using Mercedes Benzes will enter the fray. It’ll be the most interesting series in years.
Actually, Nissan has a pretty huge motorsports division.
I give Nissan huge kudos for their work in making themselves one of the interesting companies to come out of Japan. That they’re now going to make Nismo cars available as part of their regular range is a fantastic development for car fans in general. We need more variety and more interest in the automotive scene. It’s nice to see companies coming on board to provide it.
A 370Z Nismo and Juke Nismo will be the first cars offered. There will also be a Nismo GT-R, which is really going to shake things up in the performance car ranks, I think. The GT-R in regular guise made some huge waves a few years ago. This Nismo version is going to be fantastic.
The press release is below……
Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO
Global Performance Road Car and Motorsport Brand
- New Global Headquarters in Yokohama heralds new era for Nismo
- Nismo to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars
- Juke Nismo is the first, followed by new 370Z Nismo
- New GT-R Nismo, the ultimate Nissan performance road car, announced
- Nissan’s global motorsport program to be managed by Nismo
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Feb. 26, 2013) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for Nismo, confirming it as Nissan’s exclusive global performance road car and motorsport brand and officially opening the new Nismo global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan.
Nismo is already well-known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts in Japan and to millions of global gaming enthusiasts. Now, Nismo is poised for accelerated global impact, enhancing Nissan’s reputation for innovation and excitement with a new line-up of sporty Nissan road cars.
In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how Nismo will play a more prominent role for the company’s performance car and motorsport activities.
“Nismo will bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people,” said Mr. Ghosn. “Whether it’s a small car or a sports car, if it’s wearing the Nismo badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with Nismo’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.”The first new Nissan road car to get the Nismo treatment, the Juke Nismo, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the U.S. in the second quarter of this year.
A new version of the 370Z Nismo for European markets is the next Nismo road car, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan’s most popular and accessible sports car.
Nissan is promising a rapid pace of introduction of even more Nismo models, at least one model every year during the Nissan Power88 period, encompassing the breadth of the Nissan road car range. This will include the flagship of Nissan’s performance and technology, the GT-R.
“It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of Nismo road cars without including the GT-R,” said Mr. Ghosn. “The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R’s performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the Nismo team. The GT-R Nismo will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.”
New home for NISMO
Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for Nismo’s operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it the resources for expanding beyond motorsport engineering and expert involvement in NISMO road cars Nissan will be developing.The new headquarters facility allows the Nismo team to be co-located in one place, bringing together the functional areas for Nismo’s key activities and technical and competition expertise under one roof.
The 180-strong team is now located inside Nissan’s Powertrain Engineering complex. The workshop, engine shop, rooms for fabrication, grinding and carbon composite processes are consolidated into the same floor space along with the parts warehouse. A new larger showroom allows up to eight vehicles to be displayed, while the retail area is now almost twice the size of the previous store in the Omori factory.
“This is a great move for Nismo as we can now shift gears to operate more efficiently and expand the brand globally,” explained Nismo President, Shoichi Miyatani.
“Nismo is a key element in Nissan’s future global road car and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan’s exclusive performance brand,” added Mr. Miyatani. “This is the first time that all of our team has been located together, and the entire facility will become a hothouse of passion and performance.”
The NISMO spirit
At the heart of each new Nismo road car will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in every day driving with Nismo’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.
Nissan’s new range of Nismo performance road cars will be built on the same production lines as their standard counterparts, which combined with inspiration taken from decades of racing and tuning expertise means that the Nismo brand ensures fully integrated performance enhancements.
Every modification Nismo makes to a road car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence.
The spirit of Nismo relies on its proud motorsport heritage and a maverick engineering philosophy. This spirit will be reflected in every new Nismo model with efficient performance, accessible and advanced technology, and bold, smart design, all of which embody Nissan’s philosophy of innovation that excites.
Connecting the virtual with the real
Nismo is known around the world by millions through the virtual world of driving simulation games. In fact, the first opportunity to drive a Nissan Juke Nismo was provided virtually, through the game Asphalt 7: Heat.
Now, at the same time as Nismo is moving from race track to road, it is also moving from the virtual world to the real world as, for the first time in many markets around the world, a range of affordable Nismo-badged cars will be available from Nissan dealers.
“For many would-be Nismo customers, one of the very few occasions to experience a Nismo performance road car has been through a game like Sony Computer Entertainment’s Gran Turismo® series,” said Simon Sproule, Nissan’s corporate vice president for Marketing and Communications. “Now we can bring them into the family of Nissan owners with an exciting, real Nismo car created by a dedicated and experienced team that is fully linked to the digital world and well aware of what these new customers are looking for in a performance road car.”
Performance for the road and track
The spirit and inspiration for Nismo started with a group of maverick Nissan engineers almost fifty years ago. In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan saloon to create the first of a legendary line of sporty road cars with the Nissan Skyline 2000GT.
What came next was a run of highly successful competition and performance road cars in Japan, culminating in the birth of Nismo itself in 1984.
With the digital generation, Nissan realised the power of the Nismo legend by working with game creators to create both real and virtual stars and expose a whole generation to the potential for tuning and winning in these cars. Last year alone, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles on Gran Turismo®5 for PlayStation®3.
Now, as Nismo accelerates to become a global performance car brand specializing in delivering affordable, exciting and innovative performance versions of Nissan cars, the lessons learned from almost half a century of racing can be applied consistently to give drivers a surprising and rewarding ownership experience.
NISMO Expands Role in Motorsport
Nismo’s new charter will also impact Nissan’s future motorsport activities, where it is expected to boldly enhance Nissan’s reputation for excitement and innovation.
Nismo is taking on global responsibility for managing Nissan’s motorsport program which includes top level competition in every region of the world.“Nissan’s continued commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsport,” explained Mr. Miyatani. “Our experience a spirit of pushing the boundaries even further helps us to raise awareness of Nismo around the world, but more importantly it means we can transfer the lessons we learn into tangible benefits for our customers, whether for Nismo road cars, race cars or tuning parts.”