Nismo is one of the most recognizable names in world motorsport, but Nissan has been slow to capitalize on its pull. It didn't arrive as a genuine sub-brand for road cars until 2013, and the fabled badge has only been applied to the Juke, 370Z and GT-R since then. You can expect that to change, following a big announcement from Nissan this week.
Although Nismo Cars Business Department has been established to rapidly expand the range of cars wearing a Nismo badge, the team Nissan is remaining coy about what those cars will look like. Globally, the performance sub-brand turns over around 15,000 cars per year across Japan, North America, Europe and the Middle East.
By better integrating Nismo into the development process of regular Nissan models, the company is hoping to shorten the time taken to make a regular, mundane family car into something much more special, while also making them available in more markets.
"As a Nissan sub-brand, Nismo further builds upon the core values of Nissan cars," says Takao Katagiri, president and CEO of Nissan Motorsports International. "With the combined expertise of Nissan group companies, Nismo road cars will make customers enjoy Nissan cars more than ever."
Expect to see more Nismo cars popping up in Nissan showrooms later this year, or early next year. The success of BMW M, Audi RS and Mercedes AMG shows people have a desire for sportier, faster versions of their daily commuters, so Nissan's move seems like a no-brainer.