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NISMO confirms hotter GT-R, return to Le Mans and more performance models [w/videos]

Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:28:00 EST Nissan has made three announcements, all of which intend to sharpen the global significance and sales of its NISMO performance arm. Calling it "a new era for NISMO as its global performance car and motorsports brand," Carlos Ghosn cut the ribbon on the new, larger, nicer NISMO headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. For the first time since the division was founded in 1984, all of its employees are located in one place that was dubbed "a hothouse of passion and performance." Sign us up.

There, the team will start overhauling Nissan's entire range with NISMO models. The Juke NISMO is right around the corner for the US market, the second generation of the 370Z NISMO is coming for 2014, the first GT-R NISMO is being developed, and after that will come "a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars" – a new model every year. The expanded product line will mean that markets that haven't had access to NISMO's works will finally be able to buy them.

The last big news is that from now on NISMO will manage every one of Nissan's global motorsports programs, and its largest initiative will be prepping an entry for Le Mans in 2014. While Nissan has left the DeltaWing project, it hasn't walked away from experimental racers: the brand aims to have "a pioneering Nissan race car showcasing electric technology" ready in 15 months that shows "a new approach to innovation and excitement."

You can find out more about all the news in the three press releases and two videos below.

Nissan Poised for Return to Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014

- Nissan is targeting a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 with a pioneering Nissan race car showcasing electric technology
- Project will be led by NISMO, Nissan's global motorsport and performance arm
- New Le Mans project follows the pioneering Nissan DeltaWing experimental racer which took the motorsport world by storm at the 2012 Le Mans race

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb 25 2013 – Nissan will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014 with an innovative project that promises to continue the pioneering spirit of last year's award-winning Nissan DeltaWing experimental entry.

Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn made the pledge to return to Le Mans during a special event today in Yokohama, Japan to open a new headquarters for NISMO, Nissan's global performance and motorsports brand.

Ghosn hinted that a new approach to innovation and excitement will be at the project's core, while confirming that the company will return as the "Garage 56" entry for innovative concepts with an all-new race car incorporating electric technology.

The entry will test innovative new powertrain technology and provide the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) with data to enable all parties to evaluate the incorporation of this breakthrough technology ahead of a potential return to endurance racing in the future.

"We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology," said Mr. Ghosn.

Ghosn's revelation promises a continued commitment from Nissan to performance and motorsport innovation – and a bold ambition to change expectations of what is possible in performance.

Nissan will reveal further details about the new project in the near future.

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Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO as its Global Performance Car and Motorsports Brand

- Redeveloped global headquarters in Yokohama heralds new era for NISMO
- NISMO to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars
- Juke NISMO is the first, followed by new 2014 370Z NISMO
- New GT-R NISMO confirmed, the ultimate Nissan performance supercar
- Nissan's global motorsports program to be managed by NISMO

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb 25 2013 – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for NISMO, confirming it as Nissan's exclusive global performance car and motorsports brand and officially opening the new NISMO global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan.

NISMO is already well-known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts in Japan and to millions of global gaming enthusiasts. Now, NISMO is poised for accelerated global impact, enhancing Nissan's reputation for innovation and excitement with a new line-up of sporty Nissan production vehicles.

In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how NISMO will play an even more prominent role for the company's performance car and motorsports activities.

"NISMO will bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people," said Mr. Ghosn. "Whether it's a small car or a sports car, if it's wearing the NISMO badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with NISMO's distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities."

The first new Nissan production vehicle to get the NISMO treatment, the Juke NISMO, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the United States in the spring.

A new version of the 370Z NISMO for European markets is the next NISMO vehicle, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan's most popular and accessible sports car. The 370Z NISMO is now in its second generation in the U.S., with a revised 2014 370Z NISMO set for sale this summer.

Nissan is promising a rapid pace of introduction of even more NISMO models – at least one model every year during the Nissan Power88 period, encompassing the breadth of the Nissan model range. This will include the flagship of Nissan's performance and technology efforts, the Nissan GT-R.

"It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R," said Mr. Ghosn. "The standard production model is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can't wait to drive it."

A New Home for NISMO
Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for NISMO's operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it the resources for expanding beyond motorsports engineering to encompass performance car development alongside Nissan. The new headquarters facility allows the NISMO team to be co-located in one place, bringing together the functional areas for NISMO's key activities and technical and competition expertise under one roof.

The 180-strong team is now located inside Nissan's Powertrain Engineering complex. The workshop, engine shop, rooms for fabrication, grinding and carbon composite processes are consolidated into the same floor space along with the parts warehouse. A new larger showroom allows up to eight vehicles to be displayed, while the retail area is now almost twice the size of the previous store in the Omori factory.

"This is a great move for NISMO as we can now shift gears to operate more efficiently and expand the brand globally," explained NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani.

"NISMO is a key element in Nissan's future global vehicle and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan's exclusive performance brand," he added. "This is the first time that all of our team has been located together, and the entire facility will become a hothouse of passion and performance."

The NISMO Spirit
At the heart of each new NISMO model will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in everyday driving with NISMO's distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.

Nissan's new range of NISMO performance models will be built on the same production lines as their standard counterparts, which combined with inspiration taken from decades of racing and tuning expertise means that the NISMO brand ensures fully integrated performance enhancements.

Every modification NISMO makes to a production car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence. The spirit of NISMO relies on its proud motorsports heritage and a maverick engineering philosophy. This spirit will be reflected in every new NISMO model with efficient performance, accessible and advanced technology, and bold, smart design, all of which embody Nissan's philosophy of "innovation that excites."

Connecting the Virtual with the Real
NISMO is known around the world by millions through the virtual world of driving simulation games. In fact, the first opportunity to drive a Nissan Juke NISMO was provided virtually through Gameloft's Asphalt 7: Heat.

Now, at the same time as NISMO is moving from race track to road, it is also moving from the virtual world to the real world as, for the first time in many markets around the world, a range of affordable NISMO-badged cars will be available from Nissan dealers.

"For many would-be NISMO customers, the only way to experience a NISMO performance car has been through a game like Sony's Gran Turismo® series," said Simon Sproule, Nissan's corporate vice president for Marketing and Communications. "Now we can bring them into the family of Nissan owners with exciting, real NISMO cars created by a dedicated and experienced team that is fully linked to the digital world and well aware of what these new customers are looking for in a performance road car."

Performance for the Road and Track
The spirit and inspiration for NISMO started with a group of maverick Nissan engineers almost 50 years ago.

In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan sedan to create the first of a legendary line of sporty road cars with the Nissan Skyline 2000GT. What came next was a run of highly successful competition and performance vehicles in Japan, culminating in the birth of NISMO itself in 1984.

With the digital generation, Nissan realized the power of the NISMO legend by working with game creators to create both real and virtual stars and expose a whole generation to the potential for tuning and winning in these cars. Last year alone, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles on Gran Turismo®5 for PlayStation®3.

Now, as NISMO accelerates to become a global performance car brand specializing in delivering affordable, exciting and innovative performance versions of Nissan cars, the lessons learned from almost half a century of racing can be applied consistently to give drivers a surprising and rewarding ownership experience.

NISMO Expands Role in Motorsports
NISMO's new charter will also impact Nissan's future motorsports activities, where it is expected to boldly enhance Nissan's reputation for excitement and innovation. NISMO is taking on global responsibility for managing Nissan's motorsports program, which includes top level competition in every region of the world.

"Nissan's commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan continues, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsports," explained Miyatani. "Our spirit of pushing the boundaries even further helps us to raise awareness of NISMO around the world but, more importantly, it means we can transfer the lessons we learn into tangible benefits for our customers, whether for NISMO production cars, race cars or tuning parts."

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Nissan Confirms New, Higher-Performance GT-R NISMO Model

Extensive experience with GT-R race cars will inspire NISMO to create the ultimate GT-R for the road

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb 25 2013 – NISMO is planning to work its magic on the famed Nissan GT-R as the flagship of a new range of performance models.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd announced today that NISMO, its dedicated global performance road car and motorsports arm, is developing a new, higher-powered road version of the iconic Nissan GT-R.

The GT-R NISMO will be the third NISMO-badged model to emerge from Nissan's performance-oriented brand as part of a strategy to add a range of exciting, innovative performance models across the Nissan range.

NISMO, with a new global headquarters near Yokohama, Japan officially opening today, already has deep experience in developing and preparing the Nissan GT-R for the racetrack. That expertise will go into creating GT-R NISMO.

"It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R," said Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn. "The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can't wait to drive it."

Already a legendary name to millions of video gamers and motorsports fans around the world thanks to Sony's Gran Turismo® video racing series and Skyline's on-track success since 1969, it's no wonder that, together with acclaim for its road-going versions from leading automotive publications, the GT-R has achieved cult status.

The NISMO team's intimate knowledge comes from their involvement in racing the GT-R and is a good precursor to the development of the new NISMO road car.

"We know that enthusiasts around the world will be itching to know more about the forthcoming GT-R NISMO," said NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani. "It's too early to share any details yet, but fans can be certain we'll be applying all of our motorsport expertise to creating a GT-R NISMO worthy of the name."

The current production 2014 model year Nissan GT-R has received evolutionary design and engineering enhancements based around feedback from competing in last year's 24-Hours Nürburgring, and its success in Super GT and Global GT series.

As a result, the vehicle's overall performance has been dramatically increased, high-speed stability improved and ride quality vastly more refined.

In development now, the new GT-R NISMO will sit at the top of the new Nissan NISMO range of performance vehicles, and be available alongside the standard model in Nissan's specialized GT-R dealerships next year.

Technical specifications and performance figures will be released closer to launch.

By Jonathon Ramsey

See also: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder: February 2013, Nissan unveils Altima-based V8 Supercars [w/videos], 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo is the runabout we've always wanted.