So what has EngageSportMode’s local car manufacturer been up to at the Paris Motor Show? Seemingly sticking bits of red trim to everything it can get its hands on, in order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NISMO brand.
Chiefly known to anyone who has played Gran Turismo in the last 15 years as the tuner of Skyline GT-Rs, NISMO was formed thirty years ago by Nissan, to lead on the development of race cars and performance parts. Up until relatively recently, Nissan had seemingly been content to keep the NISMO name tag reserved for Japanese-market only products. However, the company now seems determined to use the Nissan Motorsport badge on pretty much the entire model range, with four models on display at the Paris Motor Show.
We’ve seen some of that quartet already, but the Pulsar NISMO is a new twist on the only recently released c-segment hatchback. It’s Nissan’s first real attempt at a hot-hatch since the Almera GTI; yes, the one with the advert, but is sadly only a styling concept for the time being. It certainly adds some much-needed visual clout to the standard Pulsar which, if we’re being completely honest, looks a little ordinary.
Most obvious is the bright red splitter elements at the front of the car, with the red trim continuing through the side skirts and round to the rear diffuser. Rouge even makes a slivering appearance on the carbon fibre wing mirrors and there’s even red trim inside the mid-mounted twin-exhaust tailpipes. The Pulsar NISMO also gains carbon fibre wheel arches, a substantial carbon rear spoiler and lowered ride height to wrap the car around unique 19″ alloy wheels. Most importantly, the reversing light now has a clear, darkened, finish compared to normal white. Sporty indeed. What you can’t see inside is a red (obviously) rev-counter, Alcantara trimmed sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and aluminium pedals.
Next to the regular Pulsar it’s a far more striking; whether we’ll see a full production version remains to be seen; we’ve contacted our sources to find out. Until then, Nissan did at least release technical details of what will be the “hottest” Pulsar available at launch; the 190 PS (187 bhp) 1.6 DIG-T petrol turbo. No performance figures yet for the 190 DIG-T, but we do know it’ll have CO2 emissions from just 138g/km.
Also on show in Paris is the recently updated 370Z NISMO, featuring a 339 bhp version of that glorious sounding 3.7 litre V6 engine, which makes it capable of 0-62 mph in just 5.2 seconds. This latest NISMO variant features obvious styling additions, with red trim of course, along with a redesigned rear spoiler that works with the front bumper to create more downforce. With 19″ RAYS alloy wheels on the outside, and Alcantara/leather Recaro bucket seats inside, the NISMO 370Z is a fairly comprehensive overhaul.
Accompanying the 370Z and Pulsar, is the Juke NISMO RS, which we covered extensively following its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show earlier in the year, along with the GT-R NISMO supercar/rocketship. Rumour has it that next on Nissan’s NISMO list will be a performance version of the ever popular Qashqai, but we’re currently placing bets on a tuned Leaf. Perhaps not; we’re sure even NISMO has limitations.