Sunday, 12 August 2012

NISMO To Bring Gran Turismo 5 Into Reality, Tune Nissans

Many car companies have what are known as a "Tuning Arm". No, not a big mechanical arm, silly. A tuning arm is what AMG is to Mercedes-Benz, or STI is to Subaru, or M is to BMW, or RenaultSport is to Renault, or - to some extent - what Mugen is to Honda. Nissan has had one for quite some time now, but only really in Japan. Called NISMO (NISsan MOtorsport) they've made a variety of racing cars from GT-class cars to Le Mans racers, and given Japan tuned Skyline GT-Rs, Silvias and Fairlady Zs of varying natures and power levels since the 1990s, but now that tuning arms are increasingly numerous and productive in Europe, Nissan has decided to share its racing magicians with the world. And unlike Renault's failed attempt to bring back Gordini, it won't just be a few expensive stripes and a few badges (although they will be doing a lot of that, with red highlights and other little things). No, it'll be a proper tuning arm, and that extends to engines. Thank goodness.

We've already seen the two different sides to this coin - Mugen have given us both an obscenely expensive 276bhp Civic and a bunch of meaningless styling upgrades for the CR-Z - but with their presence at Le Mans being felt and their domestic success and history long and illustrious, NISMO is being serious about being Nissan's AMG of sorts, saying there will be more than just the tweaked Juke we've already seen, with the Leaf, 370Z and GT-R all getting a makeover.

The Juke NISMO - previewed recently as a styling concept and not as extreme as the wonderfully daft Juke R - will have 215bhp from a 1.6 Turbo four and will thus be the closest thing the convention-dodging company has to a hot hatch, but according to WorldCarFans, the aforementioned models will all get 15% more power, styling touch-ups (which they're concentrating on more than they should, going by the wording) and suspension modifications to match the added poke, while at least one track-focused "RS" model will appear at some point. This all comes from Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer, so it must surely hold water.

Let's see what that 15% means in numbers:
GT-R: 542bhp ---> 623bhp
370Z: 323bhp ---> 372bhp
Juke: (see above)
Leaf: 108bhp ---> 125bhp (plus a big lump of instant torque, of course!)

Yup, those seem like healthy increases! An RS version of the R35 GT-R and the eventual "Z35" next-gen Fairlady Z may also appear, along with a lightened, 270bhp Juke. For a rough idea of what the R35 GT-R NISMO RS would be like, just play Gran Turismo 5. A Stage 1 weight reduction (at most), Stage 2 suspension and a turbo upgrade ought to do it. Oh, and a big wing. And Sports Soft tyres. I can't wait to see this kind of tuning in real life from the people who made my dream car (yeah, blame Gran Turismo for that too :D). Also, a fast Leaf would be electrifying. Hopefully the range won't be shocking after they amp up the power. Not that I'm trying to plug EVs or anything. I hope they sell it in Lighting Yellow.

Original news source: Auto Express

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