Nissan will expand Nismo performance offerings
Nissan wants a bigger presence in the United States for vehicle sports packages and plans to expand the role of its Nismo performance brand.
The automaker rolled out two new Nismo models last week at the Chicago Auto Show -- a Juke Nismo and a 2014 370Z Nismo -- that executives say are the first of a new wave of models coming under the brand.
"We have plans for more models to come and more variations within those models," says Carl Phillips, Nismo marketing chief at Nissan North America. The company declined to say what other products in the Nissan portfolio might receive the Nismo treatment.
"We are compressing our normal vehicle development to try to get more Nismo products into the market sooner," Phillips says.
"We have approval at the highest level of the company to make this happen."
The Nismo Juke presented at the Chicago show contains about 100 components not found in a standard Juke. Drawing on its involvement in motorsports, Nissan has lowered the car's body slightly and created a 37 percent increase in downdraft to improve its aerodynamics.
The car contains more massive seats, different side mirrors, different wheels, a front spoiler and red tachometer gauge faces.
The Nismo brand is more popular in Japan than in the United States, but officials want to make U.S. consumers more aware of the offerings starting this year.
Last year's 370Z Nismo, with its added content, retailed for about $4,000 more than a non-Nismo version of the sports car.
The company declined to reveal pricing plans for the newly designed models.
The Nismo Juke, which has already been introduced in Europe, will reach U.S. retailers in March.
The 2014 Z package will come to market this summer.
You can reach Lindsay Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.