Nissan's Godzilla to get even angrier

STEPHEN OTTLEY
Last updated 10:45 27/02/2013
Nissan's The Dark Knight Rises Juke Nismo.
Nissan's The Dark Knight Rises Juke Nismo.
The Nissan 370Z Nismo at the Chicago Auto Show.
The Nissan 370Z Nismo at the Chicago Auto Show.

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Nissan's Godzilla supercar is about to get even angrier.

The Japanese car maker has confirmed a major overhaul for its high-performance Nismo division, that will include a faster, more powerful version of the GT-R.

The news was announced at the new global home of Nismo, a converted Nissan factory that will produce a range of cars from "small cars to flagship sports cars".

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced the re-born Nismo and explained it was his vision for the brand.

"Nismo will bring new excitement to the Nissan portfolio with a broader range of affordable and innovative performance models for more markets and more people," Ghosn said.

"Whether it's a small car or a sports car, if it's wearing the Nismo badge it offers something special – quality, functionality, and efficiency, with Nismo's distinctive styling, sporty handling and dynamic performance capabilities."

Nismo has already produced a high-performance version of the Juke small SUV and a hardcore 370Z coupe. The next major project for Nismo will be the new GT-R hero car.

But aside from announcing it will happen, Nismo and Nissan aren't revealing any details of how they'll make the GT-R faster.

"It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of Nismo road cars without including the GT-R," said Ghosn.

"The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the Nismo team. The GT-R Nismo will be special and I can't wait to drive it."

Nissan has previously indicated that it would like to add Nismo versions of all Nissan models and has strongly hinted that the new Pulsar small car could be an early addition.

But the Nismo announcements doesn't stop at road cars. Ghosn also revealed Nismo will lead Nissan's return to the Le Mans 24 Hours sports car race in 2014 with an experimental electric racing car.

Details were limited but Ghosn hinted that the car would rely heavily of electric power, but is likely to be some type of hybrid.

"We will return to Le Mans with a vehicle that will act as a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology," said Ghosn.

Nissan has already built a racing version of its Leaf electric car but only for demonstrations and it is yet to compete in a major motor race.

The decision follows the high-profile DeltaWing project that Nissan supported in 2012, which pioneered a radical narrow nosed racing car design.

The experimental racer could be a forerunner to an outright attack of the Le Mans race in 2015 which would see Nissan taking on Audi, Porsche and Toyota.

-Fairfax News Australia

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