Nissan isn’t the first name that springs to mind when you think ‘performance’. However, that could all change soon after the Japanese brand announced it is to concentrate on fleshing out the number of models that carry its horsepower-heavy Nismo label.
As it stands, only the thrilling GT-R and opinion-dividing Juke compact SUV have received the Nismo treatment, at least in the UK.
But there’s reason to believe UK roads could play host to souped-up versions of the Qashqai and Micra after Nissan announced it has set up a new unit dedicated to expanding its Nismo road car business.
The aim is to plan and develop more appealing products in a shorter time by combining talent from Nissan, vehicle converters Autech Japan, Nissan Motorsports International and other group companies.
Right now, around 15,000 Nismo cars are sold globally every year, which isn’t too shabby considering the limited offering.
Nissan hasn’t expressed how many it would like to sell, but it has confirmed that any new Nismo models would be available in much of the world – Japan, North America, Europe and the Middle East.
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.”
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, adds: “There were a few sniggers around the Petrol News office when the prospect of a Micra Nismo was mentioned, but with cars like the Fiesta ST and 208 GTi doing so well, there’s certainly a market.”