We're talking beyond sports cars.
For years, Nissan's in-house tuning and performance brand, Nismo, has stuck with sports cars and high-performance vehicles in general for the US market. The Nissan 370Z Nismo and GT-R Nismo are, well, the only two recent examples. There was the previous-generation Sentra Nismo, though many view it as a disappointment overall.
But Nismo isn't giving up its American ambitions as its global CEO told Automotive News. Takao Katagiri admitted the brand's offerings have mostly focused on its home market of Japan, such as the recently revealed Note Aura Nismo. Now it's time to expand the party. "When we look at the U.S. market and what our competitors are doing there, I think there is a possibility [for Nismo] in the crossover and truck segments going forward," he said.
"Nismo is a global brand. But when it comes to its actual business, Nismo heavily relies on Japan at the moment. In overseas markets, the U.S. and Europe included, the so-called globalization of Nismo is something we are going to do from now on."
A Nismo-tuned truck or SUV? We're so for that, especially after seeing what the tuner is capable of doing. Look no further than the Patrol Nismo, another overseas-only vehicle. Prior to this, there was the Juke Nismo as well but was little more than a styling package than a serious performance machine. That honor belonged to the ultra-limited Juke-R that somehow managed to pack the GT-R's 3.8-liter twin-turbo inside its guts.
Only five examples were built. Performance crossovers and SUVs, in general, have increased in popularity over the past few years. Examples include the Ford Edge ST, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Ram 1500 TRX, and the Ford F-150 Raptor.
Nissan has dabbled with the idea of doing a Leaf Nismo, but considering the second-generation EV hatchback is clearly showing its age, it'd probably make better sense for Nismo to turn its attention to the all-new Ariya, for example. We'd also love to see a Nismo-enhanced Frontier truck. There are plenty of possibilities here and we hope Nismo knows how to take advantage of them.