It started with the showing of a Nismo-fettled 350Z at the 2006 Sydney motor show, and now finally Nissan Australia has confirmed that the brand will be officially represented here from next year.
The fearsome GT-R NISMO will kick off proceedings for the Nissan sub-brand in February, with an unconfirmed second model to be released within 12 months.
The 441kW/652Nm GT-R NISMO – complete with its GT3-spec turbos, Bilstein dampers and wingier wings – will retail at a slightly eye-popping $299,000 before on-roads, and looks to be sold out already until 2018.
Nissan Australia head Richard Emery – the man behind convincing Nissan Japan to stay the course in Supercar racing – says that demand will exceed supply for the GT-R. “We’ve got more than our fair share on a global scale,” he said. “Is it going to be enough in the first year and a half? Probably not, but it won’t be far off.”
He also says that he would have liked to get the brand up earlier here. “I would have liked it to happen faster, but NISMO has been doing its homework on launching the Nismo brand on a global scale in terms of production capacity and R&D, to make sure that they can continue to broaden availability, making sure the timing was right, and not having a long gap between product offerings,” he said today.
“It’ll add an emotional connection to the Nissan brand, which has been missing for the last four or five years, and it’s a brand that’s well known to the PlayStation generation.
“The products that will bring in with the Nismo brand will be genuine Nismo products. Nismo can’t be around spoilers, alloy wheels and a stripe; it needs to be bedded in real performance offerings with the Nismo badge.”
Emery couldn’t confirm the identity of the next Nismo model to be launched here. “We’re not just doing this off the back of one car,” he said. “There will be follow-up models with the Nismo branding available in Australia in the near future.”
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a flood of Nismo oil caps and windscreen decals in local dealerships, according to Emery, who points out that the Autech brand sells parts and accessories for Nissan locally.