If you are a gaming, racecar or even a frequent visitor of Carscoop, then you already know about Nismo. For the rest, it’s an abbreviation of Nissan Motorsports, the Japanese carmaker’s in-house performance division established in 1984.
Yet its activities have been restricted mainly in motorsports, where it has been involved with great success in events like the FIA GT1 World Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and of course, numerous racing series in Japan .
Its road car presence has been limited to tuning parts and a very small number of special edition models such as the 370Z NISMO (Fairlady Z in Japan). But this will soon change as Nissan announced today the initiation of a major expansion program for its performance arm which will use its race and tuning expertise to spice up the company’s road cars.
"Nismo has carved out an enviable reputation in motor racing", said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO. “In fact, in 2011, Nismo cars and engines won in every category they competed in - the first time we have achieved this milestone."
"The time is now right to let ordinary drivers experience what our racing drivers enjoy every time they head out onto the track. We aim to bring Nismo's passion and focus on driving excitement to mainstream models, and the Juke Nismo Concept shows what we can do”, he added.
Ghosn’s intention to compete with other carmakers’ performance divisions, like BMW’s M and Mercedes-Benz’ AMG, is more than evident in the building of an all-new global Nismo headquarters in Tsurumi, Yokohama, in the beginning of 2013.
Looks like the Juke Nismo Concept is just the warning shot in the war Ghosn is planning to wage against rivals in the performance segment.