2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO

More from Nismo and its chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura, this time from TopGear. When asked if there is a possibility of a bespoke Nismo supercar – developed from the ground-up, as opposed to improving on a Nissan model – he had this to say.

“Nismo is still a baby brand. And the baby needs protection. So not yet. But someday… yes,” he told TG. The publication must have drew comparison with the performance divisions of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW when he elaborated. “RS, AMG and M have been around for years, so for them, they can diversify. Right now, for me, it’s important to get new customers – the high-life seeker,” Tamura san explained.

As explained in our earlier story from the Nissan 360 event, the “high-life seeker” is one who focuses on style and appearance, and this group includes women. To cater, Nismo branded cars will feature aesthetic enhancements in and out, with function to match. The other group is the traditional performance seeker who desires more power, better brakes and improved sound, among other things.

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“There’s too much motorsport and performance orientation, which means [some customers] cannot enjoy this very narrow scope,” Tamura told TopGear.

Not satisfied with the far from concrete response by Tamura, TG tried its luck with Bob Laishley, Nismo’s programme director. The example quoted was AMG, and how it started out tuning Mercedes models before graduating into a factory outfit and rolling out supercars like the SLS.

“AMG are a good benchmark for us. It’s an interesting road and journey that they’ve been on. AMG started in a shed 20 years ago. They started very small, with a small group of guys outside of the business. We’re a small group of guys inside the business, and we’re going to build on that,” he said.

It’s something nice for Nismo to aim for, he admits. “I would like to aspire to that. Whether we can, or whether that’s what the next GT-R should be, it’s a question of where we take it,” he added. So there you go, safe and non-committal responses from Nismo bosses, keeping the question alive for another day.

Not sure about you, but this writer doesn’t see the need for a ground-up performance halo car when the Nissan GT-R already serves that purpose to great effect.

With today’s R35, Nismo gets to tune the GT-R and put its name on the Godzilla, something that didn’t happen before. Performance wise, the 600 hp GT-R Nismo is 10 seconds quicker than the regular car around Nurburgring, and can comfortably dispatch exotics costing much more in the Green Hell.