Will there be a Nismo model through the range?
Not in every line-up. Some selected models are being considered for performance versions, like the Juke. It evokes our brand philosophy of Innovation and Excitement.
What models are you considering?
We are also considering the 370Z - there is already a Nismo version in Japan and the US. And an EV, based on the Leaf.
Would you consider a Nismo version of the Micra for instance?
Maybe. It is not in the plan right now, but maybe.
What consists of the Nismo package being offered?
We are considering two types - visual upgrades, and visual upgrades with a performance upgrade too. In my view only having the look of a performance car is not enough! It is important that all the components have a function. The Juke Nismo is only a concept car at the moment but we have worked on its aerodynamics with our Nismo race engineers, collaborating to make the airflow optimised and even giving us some downforce. Usually downforce and a low drag shape do not co-exist, but we have made that happen on the Juke. This is a good example of how we will work in future.
Will you build Nismo engines?
Possibly in the future, but we will not do bespoke engine. It will be more tuning work. The Juke's 1.6-litre turbo engine will be enhanced for example.
You've talked about ride and handling upgrades. What is the philosophy here?
We want a sporty but premium feel. A Nismo product needs to be used everyday but still sporty. Look a the GT-R – it is a 500bhp supercar but it is still usable. This is the approach we will take.
Will the new Juke Nismo be built on the same line as the standard car?
Probably, yes. It doesn't make sense for the engine to be sourced from a different place and then installed, especially given the current strength of the yen. We won't build the car in Japan and then ship it to Europe for example.
Will you offer Nismo components as an after-market package?
There is an internal debate going on about this. If you just sell aftermarket parts, I think you would jepardise the Nismo brand. You need to sell the complete car in order not to damage the brand.
How do you make the Nismo brand more recognisable?
In parts of the world, Nismo is well-known for motorsport. It is well-known in Japan, but outside of this it is not well-known. We need to improve our marketing and this will involve doing activities around motorsport events.
Have you had any contact with your colleagues at RenaultSport? Do you think you can learn from them?
Yes, I keep in touch with my colleagues but no we are not working with them.
Will there be any special motorsport to support Nismo?
We will not be involved in F1 I can tell you that! We periodically review our motorsports activity and we are currently meeting to decide this. World rally is not in the plan but that's not to say it's definitely out.
How successful do you expect Nismo to be?
It's a bit too early to say, but I want to have more than one NISMO product having a very high recognition with buyers.