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November 5, 2018

NISMO is All About Total Balance

It was quite a weird interview. Just as he sat down, NISMO Chief Product Specialist Hiroshi Tamura immediately said, “Do not ask me about the next GT-R—I cannot say when it will be launched!” He also added that despite murmurs of the future GT-R becoming an EV Concept, it may not necessarily be the case. In any case, the final product, should there be any, will be up to the “customer voice.”

And with that, he successfully segues to the topic at hand: NISMO’s current direction.

Tamura-san establishes that the “customer voice” is the root of all research and development within the Nissan family. This mindset, therefore, also applies to NISMO, the racing company under the Nissan corporate umbrella.

NISMO stands for Nissan Motorsport International, a result following the creation of Autech Japan, which was founded as a customized sportscar specialist. In order to avoid redundancy, Autech was folded as part of the NISMO business in 2017.

This unity between NISMO and Autech now allows Nissan to design and engineer high-performance cars that adhere to the customer voice. In that regard, NISMO cars deliver almost the same power levels as a specially-tuned one, albeit in a more practical and sophisticated package. Oh, and they have their warranties intact too.

Tamura-san goes further in saying that today’s customer voice means that every NISMO car is designed and engineered with “total balance” in mind.

For NISMO, total balance is achieved by making sure that every element that goes into the vehicle, whether it’s in the aesthetic or mechanic has to have perfect synergy. From an engineering perspective, that could mean the incorporation of a special bonding technique (like in the GT-R NISMO) or the application of special body dampers (like in the 370Z NISMO)—both of which can only be achieved at the factory level. When it comes to design, a car must maintain its motorsport quality while still maintaining its relevance of being “street-able.”

Two years ago, NISMO President and CEO Takao Katagiri already signaled his intention to expand their business beyond offering just performance, thereby increasing their contribution to Nissan’s overall business. It’s interesting how someone like Tamura-san, armed with NISMO’s engineering know-how will achieve this.

“Gone are the days when the GT-R, GT-R NISMO, and 370Z NISMO were made with only the racer in mind,” Tamura says. “Today, the NISMO customer is not simply a performance seeker craving the speed and tenacity of a sportscar, but one who wants to enjoy the translation of that performance to his or her every day. The modern-day NISMO car is one that is designed for everyone.”

Performance for the everyday drive? It sounds like a welcome proposition, indeed.

Words by Gen Tiu.

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