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Nismo’s Future to Incorporate EVs and Crossovers Into Its Mix of Performance Vehicles

by | May 30, 2024

Nismo will bank its future on electric vehicles and crossovers as the performance sub-brand prepares for a new generation of buyers and the challenges that come with them.

Nissan’s Nismo brand confirms that EVs and CUVs will play a bigger part in its future

Nissan’s Nismo performance sub-brand has built a strong reputation for itself in the performance vehicle market with the sub-brand being responsible for producing spicier versions of the Nissan Z and Nissan GT-R sports cars. This formidable pairing has helped raise sales for Nissan and the GT-R in particular has benefitted from Nismo’s upgrades during its long time in production.

However, Nismo’s strong focus on sports cars is also a weakness since it has prevented Nismo from rapidly responding to changing market conditions including a surge in CUV demand as well as persistent demand for performance-focused EVs. However, that’s about to change with Nismo confirming that it will be putting a greater emphasis on entering the crossover and electric vehicle markets for the first time ever.

Crossovers to play bigger role

Nismo recently undertook a small step in this plan wth the unveiling of the Ariya Nismo

While Nismo’s U.S. lineup is focused mainly on road cars these days, it wasn’t too long ago that the brand offered a crossover with NIsmo offering a package on the Nissan Juke. The Juke proved to be an interesting vehicle and while the added horsepower and suspension upgrades it received were welcome touches, it was not enough for it to avoid being axed after the 2017 model year.

It appears that this time around, Nismo will put a greater effort into crossovers with the brand also looking to expand its presence internationally according to a statement that was made by Francoais Bally Nissan’s SVP and chief planning officer for the Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania regions made to Australian media according to a report published by Drive.

“The Nismo brand, we want to make it bigger, yes. For me, Nismo is the Z, is the GT-R, is the Patrol, is those performance cars. Then you say EV [electric vehicle] and Nismo? I have no issue,”

It’s important to note that Nissan recently unveiled the Ariya Nismo a spicer version of the EV crossover that makes 429 hp, gets sharper handling, and is currently not expected to be offered in the U.S. anytime soon. We hope that Nissan will eventually change their minds and bring it over since the Nismo brand would not only get a legit rival to performance versions of the Model Y, but also a halo model that might help jumpstart demand for the Ariya in the U.S. which has been moribund at best.

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Electric vehicles will also add piece to Nismo’s puzzle

In addition to crossovers, EVs willl also play a bigger role in Nismo’s quest for long-term survival

In addition to crossovers, Nismo will also be expanding its presence into electric vehicles. While the Ariya Nismo is a good start, look for the company to expand on this by exploring new ways that it can inject electrification into its vehicle lineup. However, don’t look for the company to rush headlong into this plan with reckless abandon. Instead, look for Nismo to take a calculated approach with some of these models having their start in international markets first before making their way to the U.S.

While some of Nismo’s most dedicated fans would have plenty to say about the brand potentially going soft in their minds, the fact of the matter is that Nismo is being forced to confront the challenges brought about by changing consumer tastes and is putting the task of its long-term survival as an ongoing concern front and center. The sub-brand is also not the only one preparing to surrender to the law of trends, with Toyota’s Gazoo Racing sub-brand also confirming that they need a performance utility vehicle and potentially other models to branch outside of the traditional sports car market.


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