Nissan’s performance arm, Nismo, says it would be interested in creating tuned versions of its pickup and SUV range as it seeks to expand its global lineup in the future.
Nismo’s global boss of sales and marketing, Darren Cox, believes creating a Nismo version of the new Nissan Navara, would be an interesting proposition.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Nismo Festival in Japan today, Cox noted that any SUV or pickup product from Nismo would need to be credible and not just a body kit and big wheels.
“In terms of product we need to be credible, [Nismo] pickup would be a massive seller for Nissan all around the world as it’s very much a global product.” Cox said.
“I imagine a lot of people would be asking if we could do a Nismo job, but it’s something very different to what we currently do today.”
“Nismo has to be a credible production car from Nissan that’s sporty and therefore we study the implications of that, a pickup could be an interesting product because of its global nature when we go into other markets.”
In December last year there had been a report of a Nissan Qashqai Nismo from Nissan's previous head of global product planning Andy Palmer, but that appears to be premature.
Nismo president, Shoichi Miyatani, gave no hints that the company was already working on a Qashqai Nismo, but added that he also couldn’t rule out future Nismo-tuned global SUV’s larger than the Juke.
“We first chose the Juke to show the mindset of our innovation. For the [larger] SUV if there is a strong demand we should consider it. I do not really rule out a possibility of having a Nismo version of [large] SUVs”. Miyatani said.
He said the challenges of creating a Nismo SUV would come down to the actual implementation.
“How and what kind of performance improvement [can we do]? How to make the car, [we need to] base on the feedback from the marketing team or the market.”
In the past Toyota produced a TRD-branded performance Toyota HiLux TRD which was deemed a failure. So while the prospect of a new Nissan Navara Nismo and Qashqai Nismo sound very tempting, Cox said to not “expect it any time soon”.