Nissan is finally getting serious about its in-house tuner Nismo.
A week ago, Nissan announced the establishment of a new Nismo department focused specifically on road car development. The goal is to boost Nismo sales primarily through the expansion of the lineup.
Around 15,000 Nismo models were sold worldwide in 2016. Nissan wants this to grow to 100,000 by early next decade.
Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), Nismo boss Takao Katagiri said more body styles are coming, including possibly a pickup truck for the United States.
Nismo models based on the Nissan Micra, Note, GT-R, 370Z and Juke
The only Nissan pickups sold here are the Frontier and Titan. Considering the Frontier is on its last legs, the Titan is more likely to be the donor for any Nismo pickup.
As recently as the 2016 Detroit auto show, Nissan showed off a high-performance Titan concept. While the concept, dubbed the Titan Warrior, was based on the heavy-duty Titan XD, we could imagine some of its upgrades, such as the carbon fiber body panels and off-road suspension, being transferred to the lighter-duty Titan to turn it into an F-150 Raptor rival.
In his interview with Automotive News, Katagiri also said some dealers will receive dedicated Nismo showrooms. There are already 26 of these dealers in Japan but none yet overseas. Nismo will also look at offering more factory-approved upgrades for regular Nissan models as well as running performance driving schools, Katagiri said.