The modern day horsepower wars have finally made it to Japan.
It’s a great time to be alive for those with Ferrari 488s on their screen savers, the classic Lamborghini Countach/Diablo/Murcielago poster in the bedroom, and a copy of Forza in the game console because despite the alarmist headlines clamoring on about autonomy and electrification, it’s easier to walk into a dealership and come out with high-horsepower loot today than it has ever been. AMG and BMW’s M know this well, but the trend is dipping into classes meant for those with slimmer wallets.
With Honda once again reaching out to conquer the Nurburgring with its Civic Type R, cementing that performance and fun is once again of interest for entry-level Japanese automakers, Nissan feels the need to reinforce its Nismo line. The stroke of a pen in Yokohama, Japan has advanced this push by setting up a new unit to expand its Nismo road car business. It will do so by planning to expand and develop more Nismo products in a shorter time span. Read: more Nismo cars are coming soon with a presence in a wider array of global markets in order to expand on the 15,000 Nismo units the Nissan group company sells each year.
What this shows us is that the whims of the enthusiast are important to automakers who see fun and sporting prowess as a way to both pacify our manual transmission-loving and apex-seeking selves as well as market their cars to those who don’t want performance but would like a brand with credibility in the car world. "As a Nissan sub-brand, NISMO further builds upon the core values of Nissan cars," said Takao Katagiri, president and CEO of both Autech Japan and Nissan Motorsports International. "With the combined expertise of Nissan group companies, NISMO road cars will make customers enjoy Nissan cars more than ever.”
At current, Nissan has six Nismo variants in its lineup, the GT-R, 370Z, Juke, Sentra, Note, and Patrol with the latter two being non-US market models. Two foreseeable routes are open to Nissan, and if it’s wise it will chose both like BMW and Mercedes have. First is the option to build Nismo variants of existing models that haven’t yet been kissed by the in-house tuner, and the second is to introduce a line of Nismo-branded add-ons available to enhance the visual appearance and performance credibility of a run-of-the-mill Nissan. Our take? Just throw a few crazy Nismo RS models into the lineup along with the standard Nismo models and parts catalogue to make things more interesting.