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Nissan confirms GT-R Nismo for Australia | video


Nissan's performance arm gets green light at long last for Australia, with $300k GT-R to launch in 2017.

Nissan Australia hopes to mimic the success of companies like Mercedes-Benz, with the launch of its own high-performance sub-brand under the famous Nismo (short for Nissan Motorsport) banner.

A Nismo-modified 350Z was first shown by Nissan at the 2006 Sydney motor show, but the brand has stalled ever since, despite worldwide renown with fans of the brand.

The outrageously fast Nissan GT-R NISMO will kick off proceedings for the sub-brand in February, with an unconfirmed second model to be released within 12 months.

The 441kW, 652Nm, sub 3.0-second 0-100km/h GT-R NISMO, complete with GT3 race car-spec turbos, Bilstein dampers and larger wings, will retail at a gob-smacking $299,000 before on-road costs, and it appears to already be sold out until 2018, with preferential treatment being given to established GT-R customers.

The addition of Nismo will tap into the brand's motorsport heritage in Australia.

Nissan Australia CEO Richard Emery – the man who convinced Nissan Japan to go Supercar racing in Australia with the Altima – says that the company is well aware of the success of sub-brands like Merc's AMG.

"I've had many chats with (Nismo chief) Takao Katagiri over a red wine about the success of AMG in Australia," he noted.

He also indicated that demand will exceed supply for the GT-R.

"We've got more than our fair share on a global scale," he said. "Is it going to be enough in the first year and a half? Probably not, but it won't be far off."

Emery says the addition of Nismo will tap into the brand's motorsport heritage in Australia, where the company has raced vehicles as diverse as the Pulsar, Bluebird and first-generation GT-R at a factory level over the last 40 years.

Nismo can't be around spoilers, alloy wheels and a stripe; it needs to be bedded in real performance offerings with the Nismo badge.

Nissan currently races in the Supercars championship with a bespoke rear-wheel-drive V8 version of its Altima sedan, and it will expand its Australian GT Championship program next year with the GT-R GT3 car once the 2017 racing plans of 2015 Sony PlayStation GT Academy winner – and Brisbane postie – Matthew Simmons are set.

"It'll add an emotional connection to the Nissan brand which has been missing for the last four or five years, and it's a brand that's well known to the PlayStation generation," he said.

"The products that will bring in with the Nismo brand will be genuine Nismo products. Nismo can't be around spoilers, alloy wheels and a stripe; it needs to be bedded in real performance offerings with the Nismo badge."

  • 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo. 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo.
  • 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo. 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo.
  • 2017 Nissan 370Z Nismo. 2017 Nissan 370Z Nismo.

He also says that he would have liked to launch the brand earlier, but a worldwide plan of attack was crucial for the parent company.

"I would have liked it to happen faster, but NISMO has been doing its homework on launching the Nismo brand on a global scale in terms of production capacity and R&D, to make sure that they can continue to broaden availability, making sure the timing was right, and not having a long gap between product offerings," he said.

Emery couldn't confirm the identity of the next Nismo model to be launched here. "We're not just doing this off the back of one car," he said. "There will be follow-up models with the Nismo branding available in Australia in the near future."

The two strongest candidates are models that are already built in the company's three-year-old state-of-the-art facility in Yokohama, Japan; the 370Z Nismo coupe and the crossover Juke Nismo.

Does Nismo's Australian future excite you? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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