Performance sells, and Nissan recognizes that fact of life sales. Nissan today announced that the NISAMO performance brand is going global, and that the lineup of NISMO-modified products will increase. Besides the Juke (which has zero performance interest as far as DrivingEnthusiast can tell) and the existing 370Z (entering its last or second last year in 2014) NISMO, the biggest news today is the creation of a special NISMO GT-R.
Nissan Press Release follows:
Nissan Launches New Era for NISMO as its Global Performance Car and Motorsports Brand
- Redeveloped global headquarters in Yokohama heralds new era for NISMO
- NISMO to create a range of affordable performance Nissan models from small cars to flagship sports cars
- Juke NISMO is the first, followed by new 2014 370Z NISMO
- New GT-R NISMO confirmed, the ultimate Nissan performance supercar
- Nissan’s global motorsports program to be managed by NISMO
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today kicked off a new era for NISMO, confirming it as Nissan’s exclusive global performance car and motorsports brand and officially opening the new NISMO global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan.
NISMO is already well-known to motorsports and performance car enthusiasts in Japan and to millions of global gaming enthusiasts. Now, NISMO is poised for accelerated global impact, enhancing Nissan’s reputation for innovation and excitement with a new line-up of sporty Nissan production vehicles.
In a special ceremony today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn declared the new headquarters open and explained how NISMO will play an even more prominent role for the company’s performance car and motorsports activities.
“NISMO will democratize performance and bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people,” said Mr. Ghosn. “Whether it’s a small car or a sports car, if it’s wearing the NISMO badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.”
The first new Nissan production vehicle to get the NISMO treatment, the Juke NISMO, is already on sale in Europe and Japan and launches in the United States in the spring.
A new version of the 370Z NISMO for European markets is the next NISMO vehicle, which made its world debut earlier this month and builds on the platform of Nissan’s most popular and accessible sports car. The 370Z NISMO is now in its second generation in the U.S., with a revised 2014 370Z NISMO set for sale this summer.
Nissan is promising a rapid pace of introduction of even more NISMO models – at least one model every year during the Nissan Power88 period, encompassing the breadth of the Nissan model range. This will include the flagship of Nissan’s performance and technology efforts, the Nissan GT-R.
“It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R,” said Mr. Ghosn. “The standard production model is a global supercar and the GT-R’s performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.”
A New Home for NISMO Nissan has invested in an entirely new facility for NISMO’s operations, redeveloping a former production site to give it the resources for expanding beyond motorsports engineering to encompass performance car development alongside Nissan. The new headquarters facility allows the NISMO team to be co-located in one place, bringing together the functional areas for NISMO’s key activities and technical and competition expertise under one roof.
The 180-strong team is now located inside Nissan’s Powertrain Engineering complex. The workshop, engine shop, rooms for fabrication, grinding and carbon composite processes are consolidated into the same floor space along with the parts warehouse. A new larger showroom allows up to eight vehicles to be displayed, while the retail area is now almost twice the size of the previous store in the Omori factory.
“This is a great move for NISMO as we can now shift gears to operate more efficiently and expand the brand globally,” explained NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani.
“NISMO is a key element in Nissan’s future global vehicle and motorsports strategy and we will quickly establish it as Nissan’s exclusive performance brand,” he added. “This is the first time that all of our team has been located together, and the entire facility will become a hothouse of passion and performance.”
The NISMO Spirit At the heart of each new NISMO model will be a consistent DNA focused on delivering quality, functionality, and efficiency in everyday driving with NISMO’s distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities.
Nissan’s new range of NISMO performance models will be built on the same production lines as their standard counterparts, which combined with inspiration taken from decades of racing and tuning expertise means that the NISMO brand ensures fully integrated performance enhancements.
Every modification NISMO makes to a production car will be functional and targeted to improve on-road performance and presence. The spirit of NISMO relies on its proud motorsports heritage and a maverick engineering philosophy. This spirit will be reflected in every new NISMO model with efficient performance, accessible and advanced technology, and bold, smart design, all of which embody Nissan’s philosophy of “innovation that excites.”
Connecting the Virtual with the Real NISMO is known around the world by millions through the virtual world of driving simulation games. In fact, the first opportunity to drive a Nissan Juke NISMO was provided virtually through Gameloft’s Asphalt 7: Heat.
Now, at the same time as NISMO is moving from race track to road, it is also moving from the virtual world to the real world as, for the first time in many markets around the world, a range of affordable NISMO-badged cars will be available from Nissan dealers.
“For many would-be NISMO customers, the only way to experience a NISMO performance car has been through a game like Sony’s Gran Turismo® series,” said Simon Sproule, Nissan’s corporate vice president for Marketing and Communications. “Now we can bring them into the family of Nissan owners with exciting, real NISMO cars created by a dedicated and experienced team that is fully linked to the digital world and well aware of what these new customers are looking for in a performance road car.”
Performance for the Road and Track The spirit and inspiration for NISMO started with a group of maverick Nissan engineers almost 50 years ago.
In their efforts to boost car sales through racing success, they shoehorned a powerful engine into an ordinary Nissan sedan to create the first of a legendary line of sporty road cars with the Nissan Skyline 2000GT. What came next was a run of highly successful competition and performance vehicles in Japan, culminating in the birth of NISMO itself in 1984.
With the digital generation, Nissan realized the power of the NISMO legend by working with game creators to create both real and virtual stars and expose a whole generation to the potential for tuning and winning in these cars. Last year alone, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles on Gran Turismo®5 for PlayStation®3.
Now, as NISMO accelerates to become a global performance car brand specializing in delivering affordable, exciting and innovative performance versions of Nissan cars, the lessons learned from almost half a century of racing can be applied consistently to give drivers a surprising and rewarding ownership experience.
NISMO Expands Role in Motorsports NISMO’s new charter will also impact Nissan’s future motorsports activities, where it is expected to boldly enhance Nissan’s reputation for excitement and innovation. NISMO is taking on global responsibility for managing Nissan’s motorsports program, which includes top level competition in every region of the world.
“Nissan’s commitment to a variety of motorsports programs around the world from the Altima in the Australian V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan continues, but we also intend to surprise people by exploring advanced forms of motorsports,” explained Miyatani. “Our spirit of pushing the boundaries even further helps us to raise awareness of NISMO around the world but, more importantly, it means we can transfer the lessons we learn into tangible benefits for our customers, whether for NISMO production cars, race cars or tuning parts.”
For further information, visit: www.nissan-live.com/NISMOglobal
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Nissan DeltaWing Named to Popular Science’s “2012 Best of What’s New”
Popular Science magazine recognizes the innovation and capability of Nissan’s lightweight, fuel-efficient racecar
FRANKLIN, TENN. – The Nissan DeltaWing has been named one of Popular Science’s “2012 Best of What’s New” products and innovations in the magazine’s December 2012 issue. The winners, presented across 12 categories, include 100 top tech innovations that represent significant advancements in their areas.
The Nissan DeltaWing debuted in France at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race this summer. The most ground-breaking motorsport innovation of its time, the racecar features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical Le Mans sports car. Accordingly, Nissan DeltaWing only consumes about half the fuel of a typical Le Mans prototype car, as well.
The vehicle’s unconventional specifications, which include four-inch-wide front tires, allow the 1,250-pound DeltaWing to reach 200 miles per hour with the same amount of power used in a high-end family sedan, versus the real world equivalent of 600 horsepower required by other Le Mans racers.
Darren Cox, Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director, said: “The Nissan DeltaWing was designed and built with the initial aim of completing the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans using just half the fuel and half the tires of contemporary sports prototypes. This recognition from Popular Science is evidence that the Nissan DeltaWing is truly something different, and we’re glad that its innovative contributions to racing have been recognized.”
Popular Science’s editor-in-chief, Jacob Ward, added: “For 25 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future. The ‘Best of What’s New’ list is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners − chosen from among thousands of entrants – are each a revolution in its field.”
“One of the key elements to the success of the DeltaWing is its highly-advanced and hugely-efficient Nissan 1.6 engine,” added Cox. “During the project, our engineers learned a lot about high performance, high efficiency engines as well as radical aerodynamics, advanced lightweight technologies and breakthrough chassis dynamics. All these things are important trends in road car development. Nissan used this project to fast track our learning.”
In October, the DeltaWing scored its first-ever race finish, taking fifth place overall in the grueling 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in Georgia despite starting from the back of the grid of 42 endurance racers.
For those eager to see the innovative racecar up close, the Nissan DeltaWing will make its North American auto show debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where it will be on display to the public from November 30 to December 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
About Popular Science Founded in 1872, Popular Science is the world’s largest science and technology magazine; with a circulation of 1.3 million and 6.8 million monthly readers. Each month, Popular Science reports on the intersection of science and everyday life, with an eye toward what’s new and why it matters. Popular Science is published by Bonnier Active Media, a subsidiary of Bonnier Corporation.
About Nissan Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.8 million vehicles in 2011, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($118.95 billion US). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards.
About Nissan North America In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.
We previously detailed the VK56DE 5.6 liter DOHC race engine that has been designed to power Nissan’s re-entry into the V8 Supercars series. Now Nissan has revealed the car itself.
North American will see its first V8 Supercars event on May 17-19, 2013 at the new Circuit of the Americas track outside of Austin, Texas.
Original COTA Press Release follows:
V8 Supercars Agrees to Five-Year Deal With Austin’s Circuit of The Americas™ to Host Championship; SPEED™ to Broadcast Races
Australia’s Most Popular Motorsports Series Makes Its First U.S. Home in Austin, Texas
Not that this is necessarily news of interest to driving enthusiasts… except that we should all be glad we aren’t driving our enthusiast car on the streets of New York City (or have to pay for parking). If there is one place to let somebody else do the driving, this is it. So be glad that starting a year from now, we’ll have a more comfortable ride in NYC.
Nissan Press Release follows:
New York City Approves Nissan as Exclusive Taxi Provider
-Taxi of Tomorrow hits streets in October 2013-
-Nissan Taxi fleet will be New York’s most fuel-efficient ever-
New York - In a majority vote today, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) officially approved regulations requiring the replacement of retiring taxicab vehicles with the Nissan NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. This milestone, which officially makes the NV200 the taxicab of New York City, comes after a rigorous review and competitive selection process. The regulation sets a new standard for vehicles operating on the streets of New York, beginning in October 2013, and will significantly improve the overall fuel efficiency of New York’s taxi fleet.
The exclusive agreement begins in late 2013, when the first Nissan taxis will hit the New York streets, and lasts for a decade. Powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, the Nissan NV200 is designed to reduce carbon emissions and enhance fuel efficiency across the entire taxi fleet, as old models are replaced.
“Nissan is appreciative of the opportunity to provide the City of New York with the next-generation of its iconic yellow taxi,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, commercial vehicles and fleet, Nissan North America Inc. “We’re looking forward to working side-by-side with the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission to deliver the safest and most comfortable taxi ever to be on the streets of New York. The Nissan NV200 Taxi will deliver unprecedented innovation and vehicle features to the 13,000-strong taxi fleet.”
“The Taxi of Tomorrow is a little closer to today,” said NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission Chair David Yassky. “Today’s vote paves the way for a safer, more comfortable, convenient and fun ride than New Yorkers have ever known. Today’s culminating vote may have been five years in the making but feels like a new beginning and leaves us even more excited and energized about the future!”
Drawing on its full range of commercial vehicle experience – including providing taxis for municipalities around the world – Nissan is in the process of conducting extensive testing for the Nissan NV200 Taxi prior to the vehicle going on sale, both at Nissan test centers and on New York city streets. Additionally, the Taxi of Tomorrow will be the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition.
Nissan has also partnered with Braun Corp., the world leader in automotive mobility products, to develop, engineer and produce a creative solution for a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York. Drawing on Braun’s innovation and experience in the mobility industry, Nissan will offer a mobility solution to New York taxi medallion holders when the taxis go on sale in 2013.
Designed from the inside out, using input from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, fleets and passengers, standard interior features and passenger amenities include:
- Ample room for four passengers and their luggage, offering substantial improvements over current taxi models
- Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit
- Transparent roof panel, presenting unique views of the city
- Opening side windows
- Independently controlled rear air conditioning
- Active Carbon Lined headliner to help neutralize interior odors
- Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings
- A mobile charging station for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports
- Breathable, antimicrobial, environment-friendly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric, simulating the look and feel of leather
- Flat “no hump” passenger floor area for more comfortable ride
Other notable vehicle features are:
- Proven 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet
- 150,000 mile powertrain warranty
- A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently. A 6-way adjustable driver’s seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, even with a partition installed
- Unique driver’s seat material and stitching to promote improved airflow
- USB Auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver
- Standard navigation system with integrated rearview backup monitor
- Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired
- Driver and passenger intercom system
- Pre-wiring for taxi T-PEP system
In addition, important safety features of the Taxi of Tomorrow include:
- Only taxi ever to be safety tested and certified with full taxi partition
- Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, and seat-mounted airbags for the front row
- Standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control
- Sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly
- Lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening
The Nissan NV200 Taxi will be produced in North America at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Total manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the vehicle, with all planned standard features, will be approximately $29,700.
About Taxi of Tomorrow In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owners and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. Taxi of Tomorrow was the result of a groundbreaking effort by the Design Trust for Public Space and the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission to re-imagine the entire taxi system – including the vehicle – for the 21st century. In December 2009, the TLC issued a “request for proposals,” inviting auto manufacturers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle to serve as a New York City taxicab. At the end of the evaluation, the Nissan NV200 was selected and will be the next New York City taxicab for ten years, beginning in 2013.
About Nissan North America In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 and 2011 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at http://www.nissanusa.com/ and http://www.infinitiusa.com/.
About Nissan Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.6 million vehicles in 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.
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Nissan’s entry into the Australian V8 Supercar series has been dependent on the creation of a dedicated engine – an all-Nissan engine. Enter the new VK56DE engine, taken from the existing production 5.6 liter DOHC V8.
Great news for North American readers is that the V8 Supercars series is coming to the new Circuit of the Americas track in 2013. We’ll be able to see the Nissans, the Chevy SS (aka Australian Holden) – both of which we will be able to buy in North America in 2013, and the Australian Ford Falcon. For which Ford has no plan or analogy in North America.
Nissan Press Release follows:
February 9 2012
NISSAN ENTERS THE V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP FROM 2013
First new manufacturer to join the Championship under the Car of the Future program
Kelly Racing to race four Nissans in the Championship from 2013
Nissan leads grid in opening Championship to new manufacturers
In one of the most significant events in V8 Supercar history Japanese car giant Nissan will join the pinnacle of Australian motorsport and touring car racing by entering the Championship from 2013.
After a 20-year absence from the Australian Touring Car Championship, Nissan Motorsport (Australia) will run four cars with up and coming V8 Supercar team Kelly Racing.
From 2013, Kelly Racing will campaign as Nissan Motorsport – a formalised factory team.
The announcement was made in Melbourne today by Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO Dan Thompson; Ian Moreillon, Executive General Manager, Sales and Fleet, Nissan Australia; V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane, and; V8 Supercar CEO David Malone. They were joined by V8 Supercar Commission Chairman Mark Skaife; Kelly Racing Chairman John Crennan, and; Kelly Racing co-owner-drivers Todd and Rick Kelly.
Nissan is the first manufacturer to take advantage of the Car of the Future program which virtually two years ago to the day was unveiled with an aim to cutting running costs and encouraging other marques to compete, in turn broadening fan and sponsor appeal.
Nissan’s decision confirms that the Car of the Future program is high on the agenda of V8 Supercar teams and potential new manufacturers. V8 Supercars expects more manufacturers to follow Nissan’s lead given the high profile of the sport domestically and internationally. The sport intends to grow to 18 events world-wide (up from the present 15 Championship events) across 40 weeks in the coming years.
The first Car of the Future prototypes were unveiled at the Sydney Telstra 500 just last December.
Nissan’s entry into the V8 Supercar Championship reflects its brand promises of “innovation and excitement”: innovation with the Car of the Future program, and excitement through the attraction and popularity of V8 Supercars.
It also believes the sport will add significant momentum to its primary and corporate brand profile in Australia.
Nissan is highly acclaimed and successful in global motorsport, its products having won the European-based FIAGT1 Drivers’ Championship, Japanese SuperGT Championship and the LMP2 class (1st and 2nd) at Le Mans last year.
Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Australia Dan Thompson said: “We plan to use our presence in the series to strengthen our passenger car credentials in Australia.
“Nissan believes that, alongside Ford and Holden, we possess the most convincing motorsport DNA and track history in Australia, making a V8 Supercars debut in 2013 an obvious initiative. “We are targeting No.1 importer status in Australia and already making progress towards that as one of the country’s fastest growing brands. V8 Supercars will boost that momentum.”
V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane, who announced the Car of the Future program in March 2010, said it confirmed the global demand for V8 Supercars by manufacturers and destinations was very real. “We welcome Nissan with more than open arms,” Mr Cochrane said. “This announcement confirms all we have known about V8 Supercars for a long, long time – that we are truly an international player, an extraordinarily popular sport amongst fans globally and in great demand by big business and corporate players. “I applaud Kelly Racing for this pioneering move to embrace Nissan and take one of the world’s biggest brands on their journey within the V8 Supercar Championship. Todd and Rick are truly remarkable businessmen, visionaries and drivers.”
Kelly Racing will from 2013 be a fully-fledged Nissan factory team developing its own cars and engines, utilising the global resources of the giant NISMO motorsport organisation. Rick Kelly, a V8 Supercar champion and multiple Bathurst winner, was enthused about the move. “I couldn’t be more excited with the opportunity Nissan has offered Todd, myself and the entire team at Kelly Racing to become their official factory team,” he said.
“Nissan’s genuine enthusiasm, unwavering support and absolute professionalism through this evaluation has been tremendous and underpins their absolute intentions of Championship success in the category – a dream we share and hope to deliver on.
“This new partnership has only been made possible by the endless amount of hard work that John Crennan has done for Kelly Racing on this project, and that of Ian Moreillon, Jeff Fisher and the team at Nissan of which Todd and I are very grateful.
“The Nissan Car of the Future (COTF) project is a huge undertaking however Todd and I are firmly focused on the job at hand this season ensuring that Kelly Racing takes those important steps forward on and off the race track. “Development of our cars and recruitment of key personnel in the off-season should assist us to realise these immediate goals. “This new partnership brings with it a host of opportunities for the team, our business partners and of course fans and delivers the vision that we have shared since our inception in the category in 2009.”
Business partner and elder brother Todd Kelly said Kelly Racing’s innovative business strategies fitted perfectly with Nissan’s desire to enter the V8 Supercar Championship. “Rick and I have had one clear goal that we have been striving for since we started Kelly racing, that was to become a benchmark race-winning team with factory support,” he said. “The timing with Car of the Future has enabled us to engage a manufacturer and achieve that. We couldn’t be happier to be a factory Nissan team and Factory Nissan drivers.
“Nissan is a fantastic brand that we will all be extremely proud to represent and their international motorsport heritage and engineering capabilities are both key factors in our new relationship that will help us achieve our goals.”
Car of the Future architect Mark Skaife said the ground-breaking announcement was only the start. “This opens up a whole new chapter for V8 Supercars,” Mr Skaife said. “The sport and the brand have been so successful over such a long period of time with today’s news reinforcing the direction of the business, coupled with imminent international expansion to multiple destinations globally.
“Nissan has clearly acknowledged V8 Supercars as a major component of their future plans within the Australian car market and motorsport internationally. V8 Supercars will deliver on their expectations. “There is no doubting the entry of more manufacturers now that Nissan has taken the first step to recognize what the relationship will do for their brand.”
The three-year Car of the Future project, led by Mr Skaife and a key team of engineers, designers, car builders, V8 Supercar team personnel and drivers, is complete with 2013-spec Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon fully tested and on the showroom floor. The cars, developed with the sponsorship support of Dunlop, represent the next generation V8 Supercars, paving the way for new marques. V8 Supercar teams have already commenced building their new cars before the compulsory roll-out in 2013.
About V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category run as an international series under Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) regulations. It is the premier motorsport category in Australasia and one of Australia’s fastest growing sports. By 2011 the competition had millions of television viewers in Australia, an international broadcast footprint and had achieved multi-million dollar sponsorship at the Series and team levels. V8 Supercars is one of the few truly national sports in Australia, with 14 events held across Australia, plus an event in New Zealand and in Abu Dhabi. On average, 126,000 people attended events in Australia and New Zealand in 2011. V8 Supercars was created in 1997 to professionally manage, market and promote the sport of V8 Supercars racing around the world. Until May, 2011, V8 Supercars was owned 25 per cent by Sports & Entertainment Limited (SEL) and 75% by TEGA, the body representing the teams. Following the investment of Australian Motor Racing Partners Pty Limited (AMRP), V8 Supercars Australia is owned approximately 40% by the teams and management and approximately 60% by AMRP. More information at www.v8supercars.com.au
What a surprise we had when we found a Nissan Pulsar GTI-R on a recent road trip. This code RNN-14 Pulsar special model, built between 1990 and 1994, features a transverse 2 liter DOHC turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. It’s based on the 3-door hatchback model of the Pulsar and features unique bodywork and interior changes. There are two models: the RA with luxuries including air conditioning and multi-adjustable seats, and the RB which is a stripped-down homologation special for rallying without the amenities and with steel wheels. Also, in Europe, the car was badged as a Sunny and produced slightly less power.
The 230 HP (PS) 210 lb-ft engine is based on a unique variant of the SR20DET, which is already well known to Nissan Silvia (240SX here) enthusiasts. Given a square 86mm bore and stroke, the redline was a generous 7500 RPM. Only a 5-speed manual transmission was offered. Suspension is by struts at all 4 corners.
This was our first view of the car when we found it - a mostly stock GTI-R. Needless to say we hit the brakes and got out to look. Note the rather odd scoop on the hood for the engine-mounted intercooler, as well as the cooling vents right behind it. Overall it’s a very handsome hatch, although on the small size at 156″ in length.
Wheels are not stock, and somebody cut some parts out of the front cap.
Typical engine-mounted intercooler, a front-mount would be desirable.
The classic Japanese hot hatch, very functional. Note the rust – the origins of this car are unknown.
Very large hatch-mounted spoiler.
Even at nearly 20 years old, this is still a very desirable car. And note that Nissan makes nothing like it currently, nor will they in any foreseeable future. Where once there was a viable competitor to the Focus ST and Golf GTI, now Nissan has exactly zero. Fail.
There is an owner’s club in Australia here: http://www.gtiroz.net/. Great to see the Australians appreciate a great car, as they always do.
There is also a Canadian GTI-R owners group here: http://www.gtiroc.com/. They also have a brochure for the car here: http://www.canadagtir.com/articles/nissan-pulsar-gtir-brochure. This would imply that the GTI-R was imported to Canada in some numbers, and that may be the source of the car shown in this post (which would also explain the rust).
And there are several sites in Japan, of course.
Nissan, who gave us so many timeless classics ranging from the original 240Z and 510 to today’s 370Z and GT-R, is introducing the 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet this coming week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s simply an abomination.
Nissan pitches this as “The world’s first all-wheel drive crossover convertible”. That much is true.. and it’s probably also the last.
Between this and the recent Juke… we think somebody at Nissan is on a really bad drug trip. If it requires outright ”weird” to make an impression, rather than good old straightforward creativity… then something is very very wrong in that company.
Lets just hope the designer in question doesn’t get assigned to the mid-cycle update of the 370Z next year.
Here’s the new Nissan “DIG-T” 1.6 liter 4 cylinder, with twin variable cam timing, Direct Injection, and a turbocharger. With an air-to-air intercooler. The result? 190 HP PS, 177 torque (European scale).
And it’s only for Europe… so far.
Nissan understands Ford’s EcoBoost strategy. Ford is not at all the only vendor with such a strategy.
Courtesy of Nissan Europe, we have a video explaining it all:
Many of the most interesting cars that are sold around the world are not imported into the North American market. Case in point are any number of Japanese cars. Sometimes the entire model line is not available, and sometimes it’s just a particular engine and driveline. A current example is the engine in the Japanese domestic market (JDM) Subaru Imprezza STi. The rest of the world gets a 8000-RPM 2 liter turbocharged 4; we get a slower revving 2.5 liter. We also don’t get the Recaro seats the rest of the world gets, the carbon-fiber roof, the auto transmission (and we’re ok on this one), or the Spec C model (which we are definitely not ok with).
There are any number of other examples over the years, including the variable-cam twin-turbo Supra (sold just after the Supra left our market), the last round of the RX-7, 5-valve turbo Corollas from the last decade, and of course every single year of the Skyline save the last two model years (sold here as the Infiniti G) and the GT-R (finally on sale worldwide).
But most of the cars aren’t sold here because they are right hand drive and the assembly and certification would cost too much. There is a way for enthusiasts to bring in a car for themselves, but even then the minimal safety and emissions certification costs too much. My own encounter with a Ford Escort Cosworth RS left me wanting, although the track events I was into at the time would have been a poor venue for it (any modern Evo would blow it away, and local emissions laws wouldn’t have let me take full advantage of its 500-HP tuning capability) and the $50k asking price was too much for what would be relegated to only an occasional drive and the novelty of showing up at a Ford dealer or car show in it.
The bottom line is that you need a company to shoulder the expense, and they need to do it in volume.
Enter ”Right Hand Drive Japan”: http://righthanddrivejapan.com/. This California company does the hard work for you, including the emissions testing and paperwork. This brings JDM into reach for more of us.
The Nissan Silvia S-15 is their latest project example. Front engine, rear-wheel drive – from a styling and mechanical standpoint it’s the missing link between the 240SX and the 350Z. It’s a newer model of what we received as the Nissan 240SX (dumbed down with a truck engine, rather than the JDM-market 2 liter in normally aspirated and turbocharged forms). Nissan was failing at the time it was produced; and insurance companies were raising rates on 240SXs thru the roof in order to keep young drivers out of them.
The Silvia S-15 was sold in Japan from 1999 thru 2002, at which point the model was put on hold due to Nissan’s deteriorating condition. It’s thought that a revival is in the works, although undoubtedly the worldwide economic condition put a delay on that, as well as the move towards hybrid development.
As you can see, the S-15 is a handsome and sophisticated design, although this particular example is burdened with an optional body kit. It also – oddly – has “Spec R” badging on only one side of the car – it remains to be seen if this is an actual Spec R or not. If so, it has various body bracings, a 6-speed manual, and a helical limited slip diff.
Here is the JDM twin-cam turbo engine in its glory: 250 HP PS. An earlier year of this engine is often imported along with a front clip (to circumvent emissions laws by bring it in as “replacement” parts) and transplanted onto 240SXs. I’ve seen a number of these on the street.
The interior should be familiar to any late nineties Nissan owner. Rounded dash, flat door panels, a mashup of various grey colors.
Proof that this may be an actual Spec R is in the trunk – there is another photo on their site that shows this more clearly, but this car has an unusual tubular brace at the back-end of the trunk, tieing the frame rails together. There is also some sort of v-shape brace just forward of the spare tire. Interesting – I’ve never seen a brace on the back of the frame like this from a JDM factory.
And here’s the manufacturer’s plate, showing the serial number and the original equipment SR20DET turbo engine.
I would really like to have this car myself, although it doesn’t appear to have air conditioning. Unfortunately, it will probably end up converted into a drift car (one of the world’s worst forms of motorsport) as has so many of it’s older brothers.
This is going to be a big week for Nissan with announcements at the Los Angeles show including the all-new 370Z.
In preparation for this week, it would be good preparation to review the ‘Nissan GT 2012″ business plan presentation by Carlos Ghosn from May 2008. The presentation includes both video and slides: (suggest <right click> and <open in new tab>): http://www3.stream.co.jp/web06/nissan/press/EN/epre/080513/bb/index.html
The Z announcement and official unveiling is only a few days off. However, this weekend there were two official unveilings of actual production cars held in the Los Angeles area and of course numerous spy photos have been seen over the past year. Thanks to all of this there is only a little we don’t know about the new ‘Z: we’ve already got pictures of the complete exterior, the engine compartment and interior, and one to answer our big question about the location of the brace. The big brace of the 350Z is gone, replaced by a smaller and far less intrusive brace immediately behind the seats between the B pillars. It will certainly be more effective there than at it’s previous location between the rear shock towers.
Once the announcement occurs this week, we should have the final HP and torque figures – as well as official word on the weight of the car. The weight is the big remaining question: the intent was to remove some serious weight and internet rumors are ranging all over the map: anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds. My own “guess” is only 100 pounds – because while the car is shorter it is also wider, and of course it also would have been engineered for an improvement in crash ratings. On the other hand, it appears that the doors are composite so Nissan probably went further than usual taking out weight. Only the official announcement will tell us what actually occurred.
As you can see from the following pictures, the storage area behind the seats is considerably more usable. They may even pass the “2 golf bags” test. However, rear/side visibility looks to be extremely poor.