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Nissan Exec Hints At More Nismo For Europe, Australian Launch No Closer Photo:
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2014 Nissan Pulsar Nismo Concept Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Jun, 13 2014 | 2 Comments

Nissan’s list of sports and performance models is about to heat up, if new reports out of the UK are any indication of what’s to come.

It was early last year that Nissan first confirmed plans to expand Nismo’s influence, but only a handful of models and ‘concepts’ have appeared since.

Now, a new interview with outspoken Nissan VP Andy Palmer suggests we’ll soon see a hotted-up Pulsar Nismo in Europe, with more to come.

Speaking with Britain’s Autocar, Palmer hinted at the potential for a GTI-rivalling model in Europe’s new Pulsar range.

“It’s not something I’d like to confirm now, but would a C-segment hatch be the great place to have a Nismo? You might say so,” Palmer said.

The company won’t be stopping at the Pulsar in adding new Nismo models to the line-up, however, with Palmer suggesting an assault in other segments could be on the cards.

“Wherever you could imagine an S or GT grade in a passenger car line-up, we’ll have a Nismo,” he said.

That could mean that buyers might see new Nismo-enhanced versions of the Note hatch and even the Qashqai and X-Trail SUVs.

Nismo’s range already includes versions of the 370Z coupe, Micra hatch and Juke crossover, each with a different level of enhancement. A hero GT-R Nismo is also on the way.

The tuning house has also shown off a powered-up Pulsar sedan concept in past months, featuring a 179kW 1.8 litre turbo engine - marking a noteable increase over the 140kW output of Australia’s Pulsar SSS hatch.

Palmer said that, much like BMW’s M Sport and M divisions (and other rivals), the future Nismo range will see a focus on high performance for some models and lower-end handling and styling tweaks for others.

“Generally speaking, we’ll have two levels of Nismo, this is very important because that was the original concept of Nismo, this democratisation of performance," he said.

Watch for a two-tier Nismo line to appear in the future, with S representing ‘warm’ models with handling and styling upgrades, while RS will stand for… “all the extra power,” Palmer said.

“So as we go forward over time wherever you would expect there to be a GT or an S in a normal-grade line-up, there will be a Nismo S and a Nismo RS,” he added.

As for Australia, an official launch for the Nismo brand appears no closer.

Speaking with TMR last year, former Nissan Australia boss Peter Jones said that there’s a place for Nismo in Australia, but that “it’s something that we need to study."

The time since has seen Nissan’s local arm focused on the launch of the Altima sedan, the Juke crossover and the large Pathfinder, along with the recent debut of the new X-Trail.

Likewise, the new Qashqai will soon land to replace the Dualis, and the recently unveiled Navara is also around the corner.

Building that volume-selling consumer side of the brand will continue to be Nissan’s focus in Australia for the immediate future, but Nismo remains a priority.

“Nissan Australia is closely assessing the potential introduction of NISMO into the Australian market,” a Nissan spokesperson told TMR today.

“Both Nissan Australia and NISMO are keen to make this happen, but at this stage there are no confirmed plans and, therefore, no confirmed timeframes for officially introducing NISMO to Australia.”

And so we wait.

MORE: Nissan News and Reviews
MORE: Nismo News

Note: Pulsar Nismo hatch rendering via RoadMag UK.

 
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