Nissan could add expand the Nismo sub-brand in the U.S. beyond performance cars to include pickup trucks and SUVs, the automaker's global CEO Takao Katagiri said in an interview with Automotive News (subscription required) published on Sunday.
The automaker is "having lots of discussions" about offering more Nismo-badged vehicles in the U.S., with a specific focus on the truck and crossover segments, Takao Katagiri said during the interview, which took place at the launch of the Japan-market Nissan Note Aura Nismo hybrid.
A portmanteau of "Nissan motorsports," the Nismo badged has only been applied to cars in the U.S. so far. The only Nismo model currently sold here is the GT-R Nismo; a 370Z Nismo was also offered but is sold out as production shifts to the 2023 Nissan Z. Nissan has also offered Nismo versions of the Juke and Sentra in the U.S.
Nissan Patrol Nismo
Expanding Nismo to trucks and SUVs could give Nissan a more direct answer to Toyota's TRD models. Nissan current uses Pro-4X badging for its off-road models, but as an umbrella performance brand, Nismo is closer to TRD in concept. It would also make sense given the U.S. market's general shift toward crossovers and pickups, which shows no signs of losing momentum.
Nissan has already launched a Nismo SUV, albeit not for the U.S.
The 2021 Nissan Patrol Nismo debuted earlier this year with more horsepower, a reinforced body structure, and visual mods like a body kit and carbon-fiber interior trim. While the Patrol is the global version of the Nissan Armada, Nissan hasn't discussed plans to give the Armada the same treatment. Perhaps that will change with the automaker's newfound interest in Nismo-badged trucks.