NISSAN JUKE TO BE THE FIRST NISMO MODEL
Nissan's genre-busting compact crossover is confirmed as the first production model to be given the Nismo treatment
GENEVA, Switzerland (6 March 2012) - Juke, the compact crossover that has single-handedly created an entirely new sector of the market, will be the first Nissan to be turned into a premium sports model. The Nissan Juke Nismo is bringing motorsport-inspired performance to the street.
Previewed as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show, the production version of the Juke Nismo promises more energy, more excitement and more innovation. The car will be built at Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK in Sunderland alongside other members of the Juke family with sales in Europe due to start towards the end of the year.
Detailed specification will be released closer to launch, but the Juke Nismo will combine edgy crossover styling with a choice of two technically advanced chassis, one with two-wheel drive and the other featuring four-wheel drive and torque vectoring. Both will have revised suspension settings.
A sporting attitude will be underscored by a tuned turbocharged petrol engine, while tougher looks inside and out will reflect the brand values of Nismo, Nissan's performance and motorsport division.
"The Juke Nismo Concept gives a strong indication of how the production model will look and showcases Juke's performance credentials. It combines the current Juke design, with its unique combination of sports coupé lines and SUV styling, with Nismo's aerodynamic know-how.
"Add enhanced performance and even sharper handling and Juke Nismo is a car that just begs to be driven. The result takes Juke to the next level - distinctive, energetic and highly desirable: it will continue the trail blazed by Juke since its launch a little over a year ago," said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan Juke Nismo Concept
Nissan Juke Nismo Concept, first seen at the Tokyo Motor Show in December 2011 and being given its European debut in Geneva, is finished in signature Nismo colours of pearl white with red highlights.
It wears a body kit created by Nismo's aerodynamic specialists whose skill has been honed perfecting racecar bodywork. As on a racecar, the Juke Nismo Concept body kit is designed not just to look good, but also to be dynamically highly efficient. New parts include revised lower bumpers front and rear, wider wings and sill side skirts.
The grille pattern has been changed while the tailgate spoiler has been modified by the addition of side elements to control airflow more efficiently. Even the shape of the door mirrors has been altered to enhance the car's aerodynamic performance and reduce front and rear lift without increasing drag. The contact patch of the tyres has been increased to improve grip, which is further enhanced by the arrival of stylish new 19-inch alloy wheels.
Nismo treatment extends to the chassis which has been lowered and stiffened using proprietary parts of the sort that will be available from the expanded Nismo's parts catalogue, while the 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine has been uprated to deliver more power and performance.
Nismo touches can also be found in the interior of the Concept, where parts that interact with the driver's sense of sight, sound, look and feel - such as the steering wheel, pedals, gauges, gear knob and door trims - have been redesigned to provide greater involvement when driving. Further underlining the performance aspects of the car, special leather-trimmed bucket seats have been added while the importance of the tachometer means the dial and needle are illuminated in red.
A feeling of enhanced sporting quality in the cockpit can be attributed to a matt effect applied to previously reflective surfaces, while the dramatic centre console - shaped to resemble a motorcycle fuel tank - has been given a metallic coating to enhance the purposeful feeling of the Concept.
Nismo: the future
The Nissan Juke Nismo Concept is a taster for a raft of highly focused Nismo versions of Nissan products promised for the future and beyond. Nissan will conduct an ambitious expansion programme where the Nismo name will become synonymous with performance and premium sports variants of production Nissan models.
"Nismo adds even more excitement and innovation to Nissan products. Following on from Nissan Juke Nismo, we plan to inject that style and excitement into other models in the Nissan range," says Shoichi Miyatani, President of Nismo.
"As well as performance and excitement, Nismo's product range will encapsulate core values of trust, safety and distinctiveness. As the Concept shows, Nismo brings new levels of individuality to mainstream Nissan cars like Juke," said Miyatani-san.
Another element of the expansion programme will see Nismo relocate to an all-new purpose designed global headquarters in Tsurumi, Yokohama at the start of 2013.
By bringing all Nismo's activities under one roof, the move will create a global centre of excellence for race and performance road car development. As well as a race shop, the centre will have a large maintenance area for service work, a heritage area where famous Nismo race and road cars will be displayed and a specialist store - the Omori Factory, named after Nismo's current base - where customers can buy performance parts and items from the Nismo Collection.
The larger site will also have ample space to hold more of the popular Nismo events for fans. The annual Nismo Festival, for example, attracts more than 30,000 fans ready to celebrate the company's racing heritage and achievements.
The arrival of the Nismo name as a mainstream production model in Europe builds upon a strong motorsport presence for the Nissan brand in 2012.
The biggest Nissan Motorsport news concerns the innovative GT Academy. Founded in 2009, the Academy is a unique driver training programme run by Nissan in conjunction with Sony PlayStation, which takes the top Gran Turismo computer gamers and turns then from virtual race drivers to real race winners.
Star of the 2011 GT Academy, 20-year-old Briton Jann Mardenborough, is moving up to the Blancpain Endurance Championship where he will be racing the exciting new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
"A year ago I was on a gap year and hadn't even applied to enter GT Academy and now I'm heading into my first full season as a racing driver," explained Mardenborough. "I have had an incredible six months on the GT Academy driver development programme where I have been thoroughly knocked into shape by a group of instructors who I am sure will be lifelong friends. I'm super excited about racing the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. There are no nerves, I just want to crack on and test the new car. Starting the season at Monza in April will be a big moment for me and I can't wait!" he added.
Jann will be following in the wheel tracks of past champions, Lucas Ordonez from Spain (2009) and Frenchman Jordan Tresson (2010), who also completed successful GT seasons before moving on to even greater things.
Both are still backed by Nissan. For 2012, Lucas will be taking part in the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Nissan-powered Zytek LMP2 Prototype with Greaves Motorsport. He will also be teaming up with former Grand Prix ace Martin Brundle and his 21-year-old racing driver son Alex in the car at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June).
He said: "The Le Mans 24 Hours will again be a big challenge for me and I'm very much looking forward to racing with Martin (Brundle) as I will learn a lot from him. With Martin, Alex and myself I think we will have one of the strongest line-ups in LMP2. It feels great to be able to say that!"
Jordan, too, moves up to the LMP2 class for a crack at Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Nissan-powered prototype. The GT Academy programme continues for 2012 in Europe and North America: make a note of the champions' names for the future.
Nissan's 2012 assault follows a hugely successful 2011 campaign. The Zytek Z11SN-Nissan not only won its class in the 2011 Le Mans, finishing an impressive 8th overall, but also took the 2011 Le Mans Series drivers' and teams titles while the Signatech Nissan team won the LMP2 title in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
Nissan's 370Z and GT-R also made their mark in GT championships around the world. Victories included the 370Z's overall GT4 title in the Blancpain Endurance Series while the drivers' title in the FIA GT1 World Championship was claimed by German pairing Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm in their GT-R.
The Nissan GT-R was also victorious in the Japanese Super GT Series while the new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 made its international debut ahead of a fuller campaign planned for 2012.
Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd (Nismo) was established in 1984 primarily to look after Nissan's motor sport activities. Nismo currently operates at the highest levels of GT and sports car racing, including Japan's domestic SUPER GT series as well as global campaigns in the FIA GT1 World Championship, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Le Mans series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).
In 2011, Nismo-developed Nissan GT-R racecars won the driver's and team titles in SUPER GT and the drivers' title in the FIA GT1 World Championship, while Nismo-developed engines won LMP2 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and took LMPS2 class titles in the ILMC and Le Mans Series. Nismo also won the driver and the team titles in the National class of the All-Japan Formula 3 championship.
the company has also developed the remarkable trail-blazing LEAF Nismo RC, the world's first all-electric racing car. Its arrival heralds a new era of eco-friendly motor sport.
Nismo connects with its supporters through the hugely-popular Nismo Festival, drawing upwards of 30,000 fans to its annual year-end extravaganza. The festival represents "Nissan Racing DNA" and features the cars and stars from Nissan's sporting past, as well as examples of its current racecars.