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Could these be the best cross-over cars around today? Check out the exciting and gradually expanding Nissan Nismo range, bringing motorsport power to the road.
Jun 20, 2015
If you’re into sports cars, you will probably have heard of the Nissan Nismo, the self-proclaimed “supercar killer”. An iconic Japanese motorsports brand founded in 1984, the Nismo finally landed in the UK in 2013 with its crossover Nissan Juke Nismo. Since then, its expanding range is uniting Nismo GT-R performance with mainstream Nissan models – very exciting new for lovers of speed on all budgets!
The Nismo GT-R made itself at home on race circuits across the world since its launch 30 years ago. On the weekend of 13th June this year, three brand new GT-R LM Nismo’s were showcased at 24 Hour Le Mans 2015, competing with Toyota, Audi and Porsche. With the GT-R LM’s front-wheel drive, 1,250 horsepower and 68 litre engine, Nismo has proven itself as a serious player on the motorsports scene. However, Nismo want more from their already successful brand by edging it further into the European/UK retail market.
Guillaume Cartier, Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Nissan Europe said: “We started with the Juke Nismo and already sporty 370Z Nismo, but by increasing awareness of Nismo with other (more mainstream) models… we need to grow the brand as a Nissan family.”
As mentioned earlier, Nismo’s introduction into the mainstream car market began in 2013 when it released the Nissan Juke with souped up Nismo features. The model certainly demands attention, with its red wing mirrors and red stripe running around the bottom of the body – a trade feature of the Nismo GT-R. Following up the Nismo Juke’s huge success, we now have the Juke Nismo RS and plans in place for Pulsar and Qashqai versions. These models rub shoulders with the releases of Nismo GT-R and 370Z for the wealthier supercar enthusiasts.
Could these be the most exciting and dynamic crossovers on the market? Here’s all the information you need about the Nismo UK range (and details about additional mainstream models to come!)
With prices starting at the £20,000 mark, the Juke Nismo is the most affordable model in the range. But this doesn’t mean it compromises on impressive body kit, technology and performance. The Juke presented tough competition to other sports superminis such as the Ford Fiesta ST in 2013, with strong acceleration from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and a 1.6 litre DIG-T engine. It also offers 188hp of torque and six-speed manual front-wheel drive.
Although it couldn’t be described as a hot hatch, the Nismo Juke has plenty going for it. It combines performance inspired by the Nismo GT-R with the high-view drive of the original Nissan Juke, making it a fun and unique ride. Increased suspension, torque vectoring AWD system for grip and an aerodynamic exterior are just some of its features.
The Juke Nismo RS is the latest addition to the Juke family and is dubbed as the ultimate Nissan crossover. Releases in December 2014, it’s another fine example of Nismo making motorsport technology accessible to all. It has the same 1.6 DIG-T engine, with an extra 37% in aerodynamic downforce and a host of extra technology to make it better, faster and stronger. It offers 215bhp, does 0-62mph in 7 seconds and has stunning 10-spoke 18” x7 aluminium wheels for better grip and handling.
If you’re looking for a motorsport driving experience in the cabin as well, you’re in luck. The Juke Nismo RS includes Recaro sport bucket seats in the front, with red detail and stitching throughout, right down to the leather gear shift and speedometer. The feel of sitting in a sports car is completed with the modified exhaust system producing extra growl and power. All this and it can be yours for around £21,995!
Nismo’s first real contender in the hot hatch market was first launched as a concept in October 2014 at the Paris Motor Show and should be available to buy later in 2015. It’s clear to see that the Nismo-modified Pulsar hatch rivals the Ford Fiesta ST, VW Golf GTI and SEAT Leon Cupra, with its aggressive stance, trademark Nismo red boarder and big alloys set in a low-riding body.
According to Auto Express, the Nismo Pulsar is looking to stir up the market already by targeting the production car front-wheel-drive lap at Nurburgring in Germany. The current record is 7 minutes 54.36 seconds, so Nismo must have reason to be confident in the new Pulsar’s performance!
Sources claim that the standard Nismo Pulsar will have around 247bhp, while the Pulsar RS will offer even more power, bigger brakes, stiffer suspension and recalibrated steering. A lot of details about specifications are still being kept under-wraps though, but this GT-R inspired hot hatch will definitely be highly anticipated.
At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Executives at Nissan Europe revealed that they could be going the Qashqai some high-performance Nismo treatment. Not only this, but they are also considering giving the eco-car a motorsports makeover with an all-electric version of the Qashqai Nismo.
Although northing is confirmed yet, Guillaume Cartier of Nissan revealed that a new addition to the Nismo crossover range could be sooner than we think: “We have four to five years visibility. That’s how far we are looking into the future, but maybe two years is possible.” So watch this space!
What’s 100% certain is that Nissan Nismo has the technology and demand from high-end and mainstream customers across the world to take the range in all kinds of directions. The Nismo GT-R and 370Z models have paved the way in bringing record-breaking racing power to the roads, and the Nissan Juke Nismo crossovers have proven you can get a big slice of that power without breaking the bank.
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