Nissan revived the Pulsar nameplate in 2014, in an attempt to join the ever-growing compact hatchback segment with a brand-new vehicle. Nissan is mainly aiming at the European market, a place where compact hatchbacks are selling like hot cakes, and its intentions with the Pulsar are quite simple. The goal is to offer an affordable vehicle powered by small, fuel-efficient engines that will grow on consumers and steal some costumers from the likes of Ford and Volkswagen. With the Pulsar already launched in 2014, Nissan is now focusing on a performance version of the hatch. Naturally, the beefed-up compact will arrive with a Nismo badge.

Showcased as a concept car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the Pulsar Nismo previews what European buyers will find in showrooms starting 2016. The vehicle carries a traditional Nismo body kit and an updated interior, and although there are no official details surrounding its powerplant, we bet on a turbocharged unit delivering at least 250 horsepower will find a home under its hood. Although the actual details of this Nismo are still a long way off, the concept displayed in Paris is a good indication of what Nissan is currently up to.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept.


2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Nismo version looks aggressive enough to be considered a hot hatch

While the regular Pulsar is far from impressive in terms of styling, the Nismo version looks aggressive enough to be considered a hot hatch. As with most Nismo creations, the Pulsar received an aerodynamic body kit that dramatically changes its appearance. Up front, the new bumper features a larger air intake and massive brake-cooling vents, all complemented by a beautifully sculpted apron and splitter.

When viewed from the side, the hatch showcases new skirts and lightweight, 19-inch, five-spoke wheels wrapped in low-profile tires. The wheels hide red brake calipers, which join the red skirts and front splitter in providing a strong contrast to the car’s grey paint.

Around back, the Pulsar Nismo gets a diffuser-like rear bumper and a central twin exhaust system. Additionally, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler placed atop the tailgate enhances the Pulsar’s motorsport-inspired character. To round off the exterior, Nismo added a black-painted chrome trim around the side windows and a carbon finish to the side mirrors.


2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept Interior
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2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept Interior
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2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Interior
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The race-inspired theme continues inside, where Nismo added a red-colored speedometer and bolstered sports seats

The race-inspired theme continues inside, where Nismo added a red-colored speedometer, a three-spoke sports steering wheel with alloy paddles, and bolstered sports seats wrapped in leather and Alcantara. Aluminum and carbon-like inserts are also spread throughout the cabin to warn you that this Pulsar is no regular hatchback.

Granted, the cabin modifications aren’t dramatic, but they are noticeable and likely feasible for a vehicle that must cost less than €30,000 ($37,940 as of 10/02/2014) in Europe.


2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept Exterior
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We expect the Japanese manufacturer to use a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-banger

There’s no word on what engine will power the production version of the Pulsar Nismo, but we expect the Japanese manufacturer to use a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-banger. The Nismo-tweaked unit, the same to find its way into the Qashqai Nismo, should generate at least 250 horsepower, but no more than 300 ponies.

We also expect Nissan to join in the Nurburgring-record wars in the front-wheel-drive segment, aiming to steal the benchmark currently held by the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R and its 7:54.36 lap.


2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Pulsar Nismo isn’t just about hotter looks. The hatchback also received new underpinnings, including race-bred suspension parts, and revised springs and dampers for "agile and sporty responses that are synonymous with Nismo models."


2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Being a concept car, the Pulsar Nismo doesn’t come with a price tag. That will change as soon as Nissan launches the production version, but that won’t happen until late 2015. Unfortunately, it’s very likely that the beefed-up hatch won’t make it to the United States, remaining a vehicle only Europe and maybe other parts of the world will get to enjoy. European customers should be able to buy one for around €26,000, which means about $32,800 as of 10/02/2014.


Volkswagen Golf GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI High Resolution Exterior
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The Volkswagen Golf GTI is arguably the benchmark for hot hatches worldwide. As a result, Nissan needs to look at the German vehicle as the hatch to beat. A daunting task for the Nissan, which is new to this segment. Revised for the 2015 model year, the Golf GTI borrows the refreshed looks of the regular Golf and features a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. The updated, turbocharged mill now cranks out 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, a 10-pony and 51-pound-feet improvement over the 2014 model.

Mated to either a six-speed manual or a DSG transmission, the GTI needs 6.3 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph and reaches its top speed at an electronically limited 155 mph. Pricing starts from $24,395, but the GTI can quickly jump into the $30,000 range with the range-topping model and a few options.

Ford Focus ST

2015 Ford Focus ST High Resolution Exterior
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The Focus ST is also new for the 2015 model year, receiving the company’s trademark front grille, new headlamps, a bulged hood, and a new roof spoiler, among many other items. A new steering wheel, rearranged buttons and switches, and more standard features are among the new features added inside. Despite the many updates, the Focus ST’s drivetrain remains unchanged for the 2015 model year. The hatch continues on with its 2.0-liter, EcoBoost engine that delivers the same 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

The oomph is enough to push the ST from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, making it quicker than the Golf GTI, while top speed sits at 154 mph. Expect the 2015 Focus ST to retail from around $25,000 in its base trim, with the ST3 model to fetch more than $30,000.


2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Although the Pulsar Nismo showed up unexpectedly, it’s not really surprising that Nissan is developing such a production car. The hatchback segment is as crowded as it gets, especially in Europe, and a performance version is mandatory nowadays. However, that doesn’t mean Nissan will be able to match what the likes of Volkswagen and Ford had offer. Sure, it doesn’t mean the Pulsar Nismo is bound to fail, but it has to gain numerous credentials before becoming a top competitor for the Golf GTI and the Focus ST.

  • Leave it
    • Only a concept for now
    • Engine details still unknown
    • Not coming to the U.S.
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Passion, excitement and race-inspired maverick engineering are three core values that underpin every NISMO product – whether it be on the track or in the showroom. Nissan’s desire to bring the NISMO philosophy to the broadest possible audience takes another step forward at the 2014 Paris Motor Show with the global unveiling of the new Pulsar NISMO Concept. Shown in public for the first time, the dramatic design study explores the styling and engineering possibilities of a sporting flagship for the Pulsar range.

2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept Exterior
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Embedded with the same sporting DNA that runs throughout the brand’s NISMO product line, the Pulsar NISMO Concept brings an exciting new performance dimension to the Pulsar range. Although the concept is only a design study at this stage, Nissan is committed to developing its NISMO line-up with the ambition of delivering bold new performance models to a new generation of drivers.

The Pulsar NISMO Concept distils the essence of the brand into every panel, trim and styling element, setting itself apart from its standard grades. The Concept’s paintwork is finished in satin grey and surrounding the body is the NISMO’s trademark Layered Double-Wing accentuated in red. Its unique shape is designed by airflow analysis, and it improves aerodynamics performance even better as well as giving lower gravity appeal to the NISMO cars.

2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The dramatic front bumper features larger, optimised air intakes and striking brake cooling vents. Deeper side skirts, a lower ride height and 19-inch five arm alloy wheels with 235/35 R19 tyres emphasise the muscular form of the Pulsar’s design, while the diffuser-style rear bumper and the central twin exhaust pipes, further reinforce the Concept’s motorsport feel. Other elements include; a unique carbon fibre rear spoiler, side skirts and flared wheel arches. As opposed to the conventional white lamp reversing lamp, the Pulsar NISMO Concept’s light hosts a clear, dark finish.

Further design features on the Pulsar NISMO Concept is the addition of a chrome trim around the side windows painted in black as well as a carbon fibre finish and trademark NISMO red struck down the door mirrors to further amplify Nissan’s sporty C-hatch Concept.

Inside, the Pulsar NISMO Concept continues the race-inspired theme with a red coloured tachometer, deeply sculpted sports seats trimmed in Alcantara, a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and alloy pedals.

At NISMO, nothing is designed just to give a sporty appeal. Every single detail is backed by learnings from the real-world racing track, and that is the premium element that NISMO design delivers. So, even when the design looks aggressive, there lies intelligence behind the shape – progressive in its form, taking cues from latest technological learnings.

2015 Nissan Pulsar NISMO Concept High Resolution Exterior
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As with all NISMO models, the Pulsar NISMO Concept delivers much more than mere kerb appeal. NISMO engineers know that great performance comes from a combination of lateral thinking, intelligent engineering and a willingness to try new ideas – a combination that has paid dividends over on the race track for more than 30 years.

Under the skin, the Pulsar NISMO Concept features a revised suspension system that incorporates settings honed on the racetrack. In addition to a lower ride height, the Pulsar NISMO Concept incorporates revised spring and damper settings to provide drivers with the kind of agile and sporty responses that are synonymous with NISMO models. Further still, steering on the Pulsar NISMO Concept has been honed and modified for an even more direct response, gaining learnings from Pulsar road car and pushing for further focus and finesse on the driver experience.

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