NISMO To Build Upgraded GT-R, Return Nissan To Le Mans

News I By Brandon Turkus I February 26, 2013
NISMO, Nissan’s performance arm, has always been a bit of an odd duck. It never had quite the sanctioning of AMG or M, or even F-Sport, instead being relegated to a 370Z with a tweaked suspension and an aftermarket parts catalog. That’s all set to change, as NISMO is now the official global performance car and motorsports sub-brand for Nissan.
Coinciding with this announcement was news of a NISMO GT-R. It’d be the third NISMO model in the range, following the Juke NISMO and 370Z NISMO. Besides those obvious choices, this line from the press release has us excited: “NISMO to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars.” Hopefully, that means Nissan won’t discriminate when it comes to building sportier models. We’d love to see a sportier Sentra or Versa.
As part of NISMO’s expanding roll, the brand will be getting its own headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.
NISMO will also be taking the helm of Nissan’s motorsports efforts, with a return to the 24 Hours Of Le Mans in 2014. 2013 will be marked with an increased emphasis on Japan’s Super GT Series in both the GT500 and GT300 classes. GT500 will be campaigned by V-8-powered GT-Rs, while GT300 will feature GT3-spec GT-Rs. NISMO will also participate in Japan’s Super Taikyu series, with a GT3-spec GT-R and six 370Zs. Finally, Nissan will be joining Australia’s V8 Supercars Series, with four V-8-powered Altimas.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Nissan.
Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO as its Global Performance Car and Motorsports Brand
Redeveloped 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 2014 370Z NISMO
New GT-R NISMO confirmed, the ultimate Nissan performance supercar
Nissan’s global motorsports program to be managed by NISMO
YOKOHAMA, Japan  – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for NISMO, confirming it as Nissan’s exclusive global performance car and motorsports 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 production vehicles.
In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how NISMO will play an even more prominent role for the company’s performance car and motorsports 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 production vehicle to get the NISMO treatment, the Juke NISMO, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the United States in the spring.
A new version of the 370Z NISMO for European markets is the next NISMO vehicle, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan’s most popular and accessible sports car. The 370Z NISMO is now in its second generation in the U.S., with a revised 2014 370Z NISMO set for sale this summer.
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 model range. This will include the flagship of Nissan’s performance and technology efforts, the Nissan 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 production model 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."
A 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 motorsports engineering to encompass performance car development alongside Nissan. 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 vehicle and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan’s exclusive performance brand," he added. "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 model will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in everyday driving with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.
Nissan’s new range of NISMO performance models 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 production car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence. The spirit of NISMO relies on its proud motorsports 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 Gameloft’s 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, the only way to experience a NISMO performance car has been through a game like Sony’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 exciting, real NISMO cars 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 50 years ago.
In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan sedan 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 vehicles in Japan, culminating in the birth of NISMO itself in 1984.
With the digital generation, Nissan realized 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 Motorsports
NISMO’s new charter will also impact Nissan’s future motorsports 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 motorsports program, which includes top level competition in every region of the world.
"Nissan’s commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan continues, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsports," explained Miyatani. "Our 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 production cars, race cars or tuning parts."

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