Nissan plans to transform its long-time motorsport arm into an “affordable” performance brand, two new models wearing the Nismo badge making their debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week.
Originally launched in September 1984, its name a shorthand reference to Nissan Motorsport International Limited, Nismo was primarily focused on sports car racing, including Japan’s Formula 3 series. Until now, only a handful of vehicles were built for road use, but that’s about to change, according to Nissan’s global marketing and communications chief Simon Sproule.
The two offerings on display at Chicago’s McCormick Place include the Juke Nismo, a sporty version of Nissan’s little crossover, and an update of the 370Z Nismo, the 2-seat sports car until now being one of the few production Nissan models to get the Nismo treatment. And there will be more to come, according to Sproule.
“This represents an exciting new growth opportunity for the Nissan brand,” he said during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show.