Nissan Europe's chairman has said the company is looking to add some Nismo flavor to its EVs.
When it comes to embracing electromobility, Nissan isn't messing around. Together with its alliance partners, Nissan is expected to launch as many as 35 EVs by 2030. Part of this battery-powered onslaught includes the Nissan Ariya (set to arrive in the fall) and, eventually, the introduction of a fully-electric Nissan Micra. Aside from the possibility of an electric GT-R, the automaker hasn't said much about the future of its performance cars - until now.
Speaking to Guillaume Cartier, chairman of Nissan Europe, Top Gear has discovered that the Japanese brand is looking at Nismo to take its performance cars into the electric future. "Nismo is an asset that we have ... and that's something we want to revitalize. And will we have some, let's say, cars with the derivative Nismo? The answer is yes," explained the chairman.
This may come as a disappointment to many; after all, the Nismo nameplate is revered for numerous reasons, the most prominent being its ability to transform already potent Skylines into supercar-slaying machinery - the 400R can strike fear into the hearts of most contemporary Porsches and Ferraris. So, what can we expect?
The chairman hasn't revealed much, but we highly doubt a Nismo-inspired Nissan Leaf is heading to the states anytime soon. Don't discard the idea of a hotted-up Ariya, though. "The point on Ariya, it's a challenge because already we have a big battery with high performance. So we need to go higher than that," said Cartier. He added, however, that electric Nismo products will have "specific suspension and [powertrains]."
In all markets but the United States, Nissan has ended the development of internal combustion engines. This means it's highly unlikely we will see another performance Nissan with a conventional powertrain after the all-new Z car. For now, those who are reluctant to make the switch to electric vehicles will be able to enjoy the last few moments of Nissan's ICE era.
The lack of a sonorous soundtrack and the ability to row your own gears may detract from the overall driving experience, but Nissan knows a thing or two about building exciting performance cars. If anything, we're excited to see whether the Nismo brand does pivot toward electromobility in the coming years. An electric GT-R could be hugely exciting and may have the potential to topple the Model S Plaid as the performance EV to have.