Nissan's Nismo celebrates 30th year with video retrospectiveTue, 23 Sep 2014 16:57:00 EST
Nismo's job first and foremost at its beginning was to excel at motorsports. It wasn't too long after the division was founded in 1984 that the company made its first of many attempts to take an overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It never quite succeeded in that goal, but still managed to do well in long-distance competition elsewhere. At the same time, Nismo was racking up wins in touring car races in Japan.
Eventually, the division's engineers started dipping their toes into tuning road cars, in addition to going racing. What began as something sporadic has become a growing part of the Nissan lineup with Nismo-branded models of the 370Z, Juke, Note in Europe and the GT-R.
That isn't the end of the Nismo road car expansion, but where it's going exactly is still a secret. According to Nissan spokesperson Dan Passe speaking to Autoblog, the company's motto for the division's future is, "Nothing is off the table."
According to Passe, in terms of numbers the US is already Nismo's biggest market, and the company is now going through an education process to expose more customers to the high performance division. That's being done though projects like the Nissan GT Academy to engage young people with the brand and especially through motorsports. Passe said that the automaker is "in conversation with racing teams" to get even more of its cars on the track in America.
Worldwide, Nismo is also making a big jump back to the top class of endurance racing with the GT-R LM to challenge Audi, Porsche and Toyota at Le Mans in 2015. That's some steep opposition, but watch the video for a better understanding of why it's so important to Nissan's motorsports arm to be competing there.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Nissan wants an American driver for its Le Mans team, Meet Sparky, Nissan's Leaf-based, Frontier-bedded EV parts hauler [w/video], Nissan ZEOD RC on track and from behind the wheel.