When word first broke out that Nissan was bringing back its once popular Datsun brand, the general feeling was a mix of intrigue and indifference. After all, it’s been a while since we last saw a Datsun out on the road yet the possibility of the return of the 240Z was too tantalizing to ignore.
Well, Nissan is dead serious about bringing back Datsun, so much so that they recently released the first teaser of the first model of the new Datsun. Unfortunately, Nissan has made it quite clear that Datsun will be an economy lineup for smaller markets, so don’t expect to see a 240Z revival any time soon.
The teaser doesn’t offer much in the way of giving us an idea of what the car is going to look like, but the first thing we thought of when we saw the teaser was that it resembled a Volvo. The angular headlights are there, as well as a vented hood and a small radiator grille with the Datsun badge attached to it.
About the only thing we’re interested in on this teaser is that Nissan is confident about turning Datsun into a brand with a strong independent identity. We’re not as confident as these guys are ,which makes it even more intriguing on how Nissan can pull this one off in time for Datsun’s expected 2014 return.
With Nissan officially announcing its intention to drop out of the DeltaWing program, we started to worry about its long-distance racing future.
Fret not, as the company has announced its intention to return to 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014. According to Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Ghosn, the company is preparing an "innovative project that promises to continue the pioneering spirit of last year’s award-winning Nissan DeltaWing experimental entry." Nissan will return as the "Garage 56" entry for innovative concepts.
First details revealed on this experimental project show that it will offer an "innovative new powertrain technology." Data delivered by this experimental project will be provided to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) who will then decide if this "breakthrough technology" can be used in the "endurance racing in the future."
Ghosn also revealed that the technology used in this experimental project can be used in both road car and race cars in the upcoming future.
Nissan’s press conference regarding the current state and future of its in-house performance division, NISMO, was eye-opening for a multitude of reasons.
But the most important part of the whole thing, at least in our eyes, is the announcement made by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn regarding the possibility of a Nismo edition being built for the company’s flagship supercar, the GT-R.
Well, Ghosn put all the rumors to rest at the official opening of the new Nismo global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan. "It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of Nismo road cars without including the GT-R," Ghosn said during the press conference.
"The standard road car 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."
Well, there you have it, fellas. The Nissan GT-R will get a Nismo version and Carlos Ghosn, as well as the entire population we imagine, "can’t wait to drive it."
No details were released regarding any specs or figures, but the automaker did say that the model will be based on the 2014 GT-R and is scheduled to hit dealerships in a year’s time.
"We know that enthusiasts around the world will be itching to know more about the forthcoming GT-R Nismo," Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani explained.
"It’s too preliminary to share any details yet, but fans can be certain we’ll be applying all of our motorsport expertise to creating a GT-R Nismo worthy of the name."
And with that, expectations for the GT-R Nismo just went through the roof.
Nissan announced today that once its new factory is opened, Nismo motorsports — the Japanese automaker’s performance arm — will undergo some major changes. On February 26th, 2013 Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will reveal a new direction for Nismo’s core mission.
Nismo has a tradition of more than 30 years in motorsports expertise and tuning for road cars and during its impressive life it gained millions of global fans. Thanks to the new plant, which replaces the old one in Omori, Japan, Nismo will now benefit from a larger showroom for up to eight vehicles plus a retail outlet.
After the Juke Nismo, which is set to go on sale this spring, and the 370Z Nismo, which will go on sale later in 2013, Nissan is expected to announce more Nismo-badged performance versions of its road-car products. Also, on February 26th (February 25th in the U.S.), Nismo will reveal more about its future motorsport activities.
Do you remember that about a year ago Nissan asked you to help you design their Project 370Z? For those of you who do not remember Project 370Z is a project car based on the Nissan 370Z sports coupe, of course, that delivers an amazing 500 horsepower – a huge bump from the standard 332 horsepower on a stock 370Z), and features updates like a GReddy twin-turbo kit with Type RZ blow off valves and a GReddy Turbo Ti-C Exhaust.
The car also received new VOLK TE37SL custom-finished wheels and an interior dress-up that’s comprised of Recaro seats and plenty of suede.
Now Nissan is inviting you to find the perfect challenge for this impressive 370Z Project. Nissan is inviting social media followers to vote for a privately owned Nissan Z to compete against this project car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in mid-March.
So, all of you Z tuners can now hop online, head over to Nissan Performance’s Facebook page and show Nissan what your Z Car has. Check out the above video for all of the details.
Nissan DeltaWing is an amazing car that already scored great awards, like Popular Science’s "2012 Best of What’s New." The unique racecar is generally known as a Nissan project, but, in fact, Nissan is the company that offered the 1.6-liter engine and the body work only.
Today Nissan confirmed that it will not continue with the program, effective immediately. This leaves Don Panoz, the DeltaWings’ main man, loses one of the the most essential parts of his project: the engine. Don’t fret, however, as Panoz has announced that the DeltaWing will get more body and engine configurations.
The first change is a new 1.9-liter twin-turbo engine derived from Mazda’s MZR powerplant, which is set to be used in the DeltaWing used for next month’s Twelve Hours of Sebring. Additionally, a closed-top version will be unveiled in May at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Despite Nissan dropping the program, Don Panoz will continue with the car’s development and has hopes to produce three new units.
A few days after it was reported that Nissan’s in-house tuning firm, NISMO, was preparing a more powerful version of the NISMO Juke, the fine folks over at Sport Auto released a video of the said crossover during a recent test run of the prototype model in Spain.
As was earlier reported, this prototype model, which could take the name of Juke NISMO RC, is set to produce an output of 221 horsepower, a significant uptick from the 197-horsepower output of the NISMO Juke. More importantly, it’ll come with a host of other modifications, including a more aggressive body kit, a more in-tune suspension system, and a drivetrain option of either front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission or all-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission.
As far as the video goes, the prototypes - we saw at least three of them in there - were all being subjected to numerous testing activities, including handling, cornering, and straightaway speeds.
It’ll be interesting to see how NISMO offers the final package for the Juke NISMO RC. But the early returns seem to suggest that it’s going to make the Juke that much more of an attractive crossover. It still looks a little quirky, but if it runs the way it’s been hyped, then we’ll take the quirkiness as part of the overall package.
It goes without saying that Infiniti isn’t exactly what you’d call a mainstream brand. It’s lost in the shadows of parent automaker, Nissan, and hasn’t really established the kind of independent presence that Nissan had hoped.
So, it was pretty telling when Nissan Executive Vice President, Andy Palmer, told Wards Auto that Carlos Ghosn – CEO of Nissan – gave him the green light to cancel the brand altogether. However, instead of sending Infiniti to pasture, Palmer decided to not only keep the brand but also champion for more autonomy from Nissan.
Palmer cited the kind of relationship Audi has with its parent company, Volkswagen. Despite being owned by a largely mainstream, middle-market automaker, Audi has crafted its own premium identity that’s separate from the VW brand. This independence has allowed Audi to "create a series of professionals that understand the premium market in a very premium way.”
Nissan eventually hired former Audi USA chief, Johan de Nysschen, as Infiniti president and lead the efforts in bringing some structure to the luxury brand. Since assuming the position, de Nysschen has made it clear that one of his first edicts as president is to become a brand that’s "less about volume and more about becoming a ’proper’ luxury brand.”
Does Infiniti have to do the same thing Lexus did with Toyota to create autonomy from Nissan? Not necessarily, but in order for them to achieve that objective, they need to build their models separate from Nissan’s influence.
They’ll still share some platforms and underpinnings, like the Toyota/Lexus and VW/Audi teams, but if you’re a customer you need Infiniti to offer features — styling or mechanical — that separates itself from its parent company. Without those changes, they’ll always be treated as retouched Nissans with a different badge.
Last month, Nissan unveiled the Japanese specifications for the 2013 Nissan GT-R and announced that the 2014 U.S. model year will be making its world debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. As we expected, the 2014 U.S.-spec GT-R will be nearly identical to the 2013 JDM-spec GT-R, but American customers will enjoy a few more updates, thus avoiding completely disappointing us.
The updates are mostly limited to minor tweaks to the engine’s internals. Despite these minor adjustments, the 2014 GT-R will carry over the same output specifications as it had in 2013. AS we all know, horsepower is only a portion of the equation. You also need to reach the peak-output rpm in an efficient manner, and this is where Nissan made most of its changes – what most people simply refer to a “throttle response.”
So, are these improvements worthy of trading in your 2013 model year for?
Updated 01/24/2012: Nissan has just released the official prices for the 2014 GT-R, which is now on sale at the dealers nationwide. Bad news is that when compared last year’s model, the 2014 model year prices have been increased by $2,770. As a result, the 2014 GT-R Premium is priced at $99,590 and the GT-R Black Edition comes in at $109,300.
To find that out and more, hit the jump to read all about the 2014 Nissan GT-R.
The Nissan Juke is a pretty interesting car. On its face, the Juke doesn’t exude the kind of bravado and confidence you’d normally associate with a powerful crossover. For some reason, however, the quirky-looking crossover has been the subject of some of the most insane aftermarket programs we’ve seen in a while.
Nowhere was that more evident than when Nissan itself decided to drop the GT-R’s supercar-like powertrain in the crossover. The Japanese automaker’s in-house tuning firm, NISMO, also went to work on the Juke and as it turns out, they’re tinkering on the crossover is far from finished.
According to Autocar, NISMO is preparing for a more powerful version of the Juke NISMO, one that’s meant to be a step up from their current program that we saw at the Paris Motor Show. Whereas that version saw its output bump up to 197 horsepower from the 186 horsepower of the standard model, the hotter NISMO Juke is expected to generate 217 horsepower and 220 pounds per feet of torque.
In addition, NISMO will also revise the Juke’s suspension setup, lowering the crossover by 20 mm (0.78 inches), thus giving it equal handling improvements relative to the power bump it’s going to get.
Unfortunately, we are uncertain what name this new hot Juke will carry. There is a chance that it will be just a new-generation Juke NISMO, but we suspect it will carry a different designation that will set it apart from a standard Juke NISMO – possibly Juke NISMO R, or something to that effect.
It appears that the Juke’s popularity has given Nissan even more confidence to play around with it. We’re looking forward to seeing this hotter Juke in the coming months and more importantly, we’re not closing the possibility of seeing more Juke programs in the future.