By on April 30, 2017

Nissan Sentra NISMO 2017 debuta en el Auto Show de Los Ángeles

Nissan is about to embark on a global expansion plan that would double the number of models wearing the NISMO performance badge. The brand says that it is aware that enthusiasts only make up a small fraction of prospective buyers, but it doesn’t want to ignore them — especially in segments where NISMO hasn’t left much of an impression. For North America, that means trucks. However, Nissan says the it is seriously considering adding the emblem to crossovers, MPVs, and even minivans. Assumedly, since the Quest was retired in 2016, the company is referring to new models.

The timeline for the tuner sub-brand has set for itself wraps in 2020. By then, Nissan wants 100,000 NISMO specific sales annually, up from last year’s 15,000. How it plans to accomplish that is slightly worrying, however. 

At the moment, Nisan offers seven NISMO nameplates. In the United States, that includes versions of the GT-R, Juke, 370Z and Sentra. The brand has focused predominantly on adding performance through tire and suspension upgrades, with only marginal upticks in power — although the Sentra sedan uses the same engine as its less-sporting brethren. In Japan, the NISMO lineup includes the likes of the Note e-Power hybrid. Like the Sentra, it also received a bodykit and suspension upgrade without much in the way of powertrain enhancement. Are you seeing a trend?

Nissan wants to double the number of NISMO-related models before 2022, Takao Katagiri, CEO of Nissan Motorsports International told Automotive News. And, if it also wants to multiply sales by 2020, odds are decent that it will continue to pursue a more show and less go mentality.

“Demand for these types of cars is about 5 to 10 percent of every market,” Katagiri explained. “It’s the same all over the world.”

He then added that roughly 9 percent of all Nissan Note hatchback sales in Japan are attributed to e-Power hybrid NISMO versions. But that recipe might not fly with North American consumers seeking a tuned truck — a model Katagiri said seemed a likely inclusion. Improved handling is always a welcome addition to cars but most pickup owners will want more power and, possibly, some supplementary off-road capabilities.

In addition to light trucks, Nissan also stated it was considering minivans and crossovers for the expanded NISMO lineup. “We see potential in the expansion of categories,” Katagiri said, explaining that NISMO would begin targeting “lifestyle vehicles” well-beyond the performance arm’s usual stable of sedans, coupes and hatchbacks.

Relieving some of the apprehension over the expansion was Katagiri’s promise that NISMO will broaden to include several top-tier high performance models. Those units should, hopefully, offset any lower tier models that receive little more than a from-the-factory appearance package and new tires.

“As a Nissan sub-brand, NISMO further builds upon the core values of Nissan cars,” said Takao Katagiri in the official announcement. “With the combined expertise of Nissan group companies, NISMO road cars will make customers enjoy Nissan cars more than ever.”

We’re hoping so too, but let’s stay cautiously optimistic.


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19 Comments on “Nissan to Expand NISMO Performance Lineup Across the Globe by Twofold, New Models Could Include Trucks and Minivans...”

  • avatar

    Happy to see it! But Nissan, please, make sure there are real handling benefits behind the badge. If the vehicle itself is class competitive, making good dynamics available is a win for buyers like me. Note how I wrote that – I’m well aware that good dynamics will not make up for core product deficiencies, especially in the classes of vehicles that Nissan is going to offer the upgrades in.

    Now, if Toyota would offer a handling package across the board….Prius included….

  • avatar

    Moar NISMO, moar faux performance.

  • avatar

    CVT Performance Cars… I so can’t wait to not buy one…

  • avatar

    Just say NIS-NO!

  • avatar

    Be consistent. Persevere.
    NISMO was used on trucks and it was your top NISMO branded seller. Then you switched to PRO-4X. PRO for the BROS and X for X Games? I don’t know and your customer audience does not either.

    I think Datsun was a friendlier brand and better logo than Nissan, so what do I know?

    • 0 avatar

      You’re not the only one. I’d be stoked to see a Datsun brand revival here, but Altimas with body kits, rimz and the same 2.5L/CVT doesn’t do anything for me.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Datsun would have to be under the Nissan brand and lets be honest…those customers buy Mitsubishis or h=shop at places such as the lot of former contributor Steve Lang.

  • avatar

    Can a hulking 15 mpg Armarda gain Nismo performance agility?

    The Juke Nismo RS has quietly disappeared. It may be listed on the US site but do an inventory search and its just 2015/16 left overs. Perhaps limited by those Recaros?

    I guess what we’re getting there is a Rogue Nismo – for sure. Since its the top selling NA model.

    In some ways Nismo means more basic. Moonroofs, heated seats and automatic lights tossed in favor of perxx HANDLING/panel upgrades.

    As for pallet lets have some more color. Nismo only comes in black, white or silver shades. Nissan only has two decent colors IMO burgundy and blue. All their other shades are totally forgettable.

  • avatar

    The idea of a successor to the Quest with a ‘Nismo’ designation both horrifies me and makes me laugh at the ridiculousness of it.

  • avatar

    Corporate castle marketing project floated to upper management staring at a forecast chart…reaching for a swim noodle.

    • 0 avatar

      HAHA No sh*t!!

      Some cheapo cladding, an extra muffler, spiffy wheels, red stitching a performance car do not make. Like the Accord Sport. A whopping four more HP! Wow! I’m a boy racer now!

      If they add the Nismo option with some meaningful, tangible upgrades then maybe. But enough of the “sport” versions. They are selling an image of sporty and nothing more.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Titan XD NISMO. I may buy one because I could probably get a smoking deal after it has been on the lot for a year and a half.

  • avatar

    Get me a Versa Nismo with the Clio Sport’s 2.0 w/ 6-speed that still looks like the substitute teacher’s grocery getter and I will seriously consider it.

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