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Nismo fireworks now closer

Fire power: Nissan looks set to introduce the Nismo GT-R next year (below) as well as the Nismo Juke and 370Z.

GT-R leads Nissan performance arm Nismo into Australia with an early 2017 launch

5 Sep 2016

NISSAN’S performance division Nismo is confirmed for an Australian launch and is set to inject some more personality into the brand from early next year with an initial three-model line-up.

The Nismo brand has been rumoured as a showroom halo division for years in Australia and, according to Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery, it is now close to launch.

“This has been a work in process for a while and we’ve spoken about it many times before,” he said at the launch of the updated GT-R supercar at Phillip Island last week.

“We’re quite advanced with our discussions (with Japan) on Nismo and I believe Australia is a good market for a brand like Nismo.

“There’s a generation of people who know what Nismo is and we’ve been investing a bit in the last couple of years in branding it and with our involvement in the 12-hour race.

“We’ve been slowing drip feeding the Nismo message into the marketplace. And we wouldn’t be doing that unless something was down the track.”

Mr Emery would not give a date but indicated that product would be ready by the end of the year with sales starting early in 2017. It is likely the GT-R Nismo will make its appearance at the 12-Hour at Bathurst in February.

As previously reported by GoAuto, the first Nismo models are likely to be the GT-R, 370Z and Juke.

“It has to be a broad offering and up to this point there has only been a few vehicles available for us – GT-R, 370Z and Juke – so it’s important that when we do it and all the stars align, it has to be authentic,” he said.

“Just putting Nismo badges on a car isn’t what it’s all about.”

Mr Emery said he was aware that buyers were losing patience with Nissan Australia.

“I’m prepared to wait until we get products that reflect what Nismo is all about,” he said.

“If we got impatient and jumped the gun we would probably do the brand some damage so we’re working with Japan to ensure we do it at the right time,” he said.

“Nothing is in concrete yet about timing.”

Nissan has already shown its Nismo version of the 2017 GT-R at a preview at Germany’s Nurburgring racing circuit earlier this year.

The Nismo model is lighter, thanks to extensive use of carbon-fibre, and quicker with a 441kW output, up from the model year 2017 version that pumps out 419kW.

It will be followed by a 370Z Nismo – now with 260kW, up from the standard model’s 245kW output – and the Juke Nismo RS with 160kW, a rise from 140kW.

Globally, Nismo is available as a performance and image upgrade for three Nissan models but the company is reportedly looking for more.

While there is a Micra Nismo in Japan – albeit only with visual tweaks rather than any mechanical changes, it is unlikely for Australia, as is a Pulsar version given Nissan will axe the Pulsar hatch at the end of this year.

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