Posted Nov 30th 2012 6:30PM
Nissan is reportedly working toward turning its Nismo arm into a legitimate sub-brand. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the Japanese automaker plans to pattern its performance wing after Mercedes-Benz's AMG, which means that moving forward, every vehicle with a Nismo badge will also pack a sizable jump in performance. Engineers will work to sharpen the suspension and brakes while offering more horsepower and revised aesthetics. In addition, Nissan will seek to burnish Nismo's credibility and visibility by putting forth bigger efforts in various motorsports series.
While speaking in an interview, Nissan global marketing boss Simon Sproule noted that Japanese brands have historically missed out on exploiting their performance history. Much of that struggle has come in the form of a lack of consistency from brands like Lexus and Infiniti with their F-Sport and IPL efforts, respectively.
Sproule says Nissan is now looking at a line of low-volume vehicles, the first of which will be the Juke Nismo set to launch next year. While the executive declined to comment on which products could be next, he stressed each vehicle will have to meet a few criteria before being branded as Nismo models. Those include significant design changes inside and out as well as a 10-percent bump in horsepower and different ride and handling calibrations. Among the possible visual cues for Nismo models? Red mirror caps as well as more aggressive grilles and front fascias. Sounds good by us, but we imagine those tweaks won't come cheap.