Nissan will expand its Nismo performance arm to include more road cars in more markets than what’s currently available. Nismo is also the automaker's motorsports arm responsible for all of the automaker’s racing endeavors.
The automaker wants the Nismo name to “become synonymous with performance and premium sports variants of mainstream Nissan models,” much like its rivals such as Ford with SVT/ST, Toyota with TRD, and BMW with M. Currently only its top performers such as the NIsmo 370Z and Nismo GT-R are available in Nismo guise – and only in limited markets.
"Nismo adds even more excitement and innovation to Nissan products. We now plan to inject that style and excitement into other models in the Nissan range," says Shoichi Miyatani, President of Nismo in a press release.
The first inkling of what’s coming down the pipeline from Nismo is the Juke Nismo Concept – a high performance version of Nissan's funky compact crossover – that will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show tomorrow. The Juke Nismo Concept boasts the tuning arms “signature color scheme of pearl white with subtle red highlights” and “a stylish yet functional aerodynamic body kit.” Nismo will also try its hand at performance tuning for the engine and suspension. Nissan promised more power from the Juke’s 1.6-liter direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine, but didn’t say how much. Typical performance upgrades on the 370Z have included intake and exhaust upgrades as well as and ECU flash.
"Nismo has carved out an enviable reputation in motor racing," said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO in a prepared statement. “In fact, in 2011, Nismo cars and engines won in every category they competed in...the first time we have achieved this milestone.”
Not only will Nismo produce complete performance versions of Nissan models, it will also expand its range of performance parts and accessories so Nissan owners can upgrade their cars a la carte.
The automaker also announced the relocation of Nismo to “an all-new purpose designed global headquarters” in Tsurumi, Yokohama in early 2013. The new site will be able to handle race and performance road car development, will include a race shop with a service and maintenance area, and a heritage center and retail shop selling parts and items from the Nismo Collection. The new site will also be able to handle large crowds for events such as the annual Nismo Festival.