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Paris show: Nissan fronts up with Nismo Pulsar

Nismo DNA: That could stand for ‘Do Not Ask’ when it comes to just how far Nismo has turned up the wick on the new Euro Pulsar, with no output or acceleration details forthcoming at this stage.

Aggressive Nismo concept adds spice to Euro Pulsar but no word yet on performance

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Nissan logo3 Oct 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

NISSAN unveiled a Nismo version of its European Pulsar hatch at this week’s Paris motor show, exploring in concept form the potential of a high-performance flagship for the new small-car series that would take on the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Crucially, no engine and performance details were provided, with the Japanese car-maker preferring instead to show off the car’s potential in terms of race-inspired design features inside and out and optimised chassis dynamics via revised suspension and steering.

As a guide, the factory tuning arm turned up the wick of the US-market Sentra at the Los Angeles auto show late last year – sold in Australia as the Pulsar sedan – with a 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine good for 180kW of power and 325Nm of torque.

Separately, Nissan also revealed details this week of a new 1.6 DIT-G engine coming for its Euro Pulsar early next year, developing 140kW at 5600rpm and 240Nm from 1600-5200rpm, which could be uprated for Nismo purposes.

The Paris show car is said to be embedded with the same “motorsport DNA” that runs throughout Nissan’s Nismo product line, although as Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery recently emphasised to GoAuto, Nismo versions are not all created equal in terms of their sporting demeanour and will be carefully scrutinised on their suitability for the Australian market.

A question mark also hangs over the European Pulsar itself as far as Australia is concerned, with the vehicle on the local subsidiary’s “watch list” as a potential replacement for the current ‘Rest of World’ (ROW) version, which has failed to get anywhere near the top-selling models in the segment such as the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Hyundai i30.

The Euro Nismo concept sits low to the ground and looks menacing with its aggressive front bumper, deep side skirts, unique carbon-fibre rear spoiler, diffuser-style rear bumper, central twin exhaust pipes and flared wheelarches housing 19-inch five-arm alloy wheels shod with 235/35-section tyres.

Interior highlights include a red-coloured tacho, deeply sculpted Alcantara sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and alloy pedals.

Nissan says the revised suspension incorporates settings “honed on the racetrack” and that in addition to the lower ride height, the concept has revised spring and damper settings “to provide drivers with the kind of agile and sporty responses that are synonymous with Nismo models”.

“Further still, steering on the Pulsar Nismo concept has been honed and modified for an even more direct response, gaining learnings from Pulsar road car and pushing for further focus and finesse on the driver experience,” the company says.

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