Back in May 2013, we told you to look out for a future Nissan rival to the Volkswagen Golf in 2014 – which materialised, exactly a year later, as the European Nissan Pulsar (pictured), replete with ‘V-Motion’ face.
Now, Autocar UK reports that the new kid on the block could be setting its sights on the very daddy of hot-hatches – is the spirit of the Nissan Pulsar GTi-R returning to haunt the Volkswagen Golf GTI?
Except it most likely won’t be called the GTi-R – Nissan executive VP Andy Palmer told the British publication that the carmaker’s Nismo performance arm is set to extend its product range across different price points.
Would a Nismo-tuned Pulsar be amongst that widened range? “It’s not something I’d like to confirm now, but would a C-segment hatch be the great place to have a Nismo? You might say so,” he told Autocar UK.
Palmer added that Nismo was working on two levels of performance. “You’ve got the Nismo S, which is more about exploiting the ride and handling of a car. Most of us can’t drive within the power of the engine we have anyway, even though we’d like to think we’re God-like in our abilities behind the wheel.
“Most of us basically just need the suspension and steering to do more. So the first step is a little bit of horsepower and a lot of improvements to the chassis dynamics.
“On top of that we come with the RS, which has got all the extra power. So as we go forward over time wherever you would expect there to be a GT or an S in a normal-grade line-up, there will be a Nismo S and a Nismo RS.”
Palmer also said that Nismo is keen on hot variants of ‘unlikely’ models, like the Juke, which has recently been facelifted. “Anyone can go out and buy a Juke Nismo, which is signed off by Nismo and is inclusive of race technology.
“We’ve redefined the brand of Nissan as ‘innovation and excitement for everyone’. It’s about democratisation of exotic sports cars – even the most expensive Nismo is only US$151k (RM483k), which isn’t a lot of money for the amount of performance you get.”