CONFIRMED! Ultimate Nissan GT-R Nismo version with a 441kW/652Nm version of the VR38DETT engine is coming to Australia next February.
CONFIRMED! Ultimate Nissan GT-R Nismo version with a 441kW/652Nm version of the VR38DETT engine is coming to Australia next February. Daniel Kalisz Photographer

Nissan confirms GT-R Nismo for Australia next February

HEAR that sound? It's the collective dropping of thousands of Gran Turismo gamers' controllers around Australia.

No longer will Aussies need to drive a Nissan GT-R Nismo in virtual reality, as come February 2017 the performance brand will be officially introduced here.

The halo GT-R Nismo supercar will land first, priced at $299,000 before on-roads, and will be followed by another Nismo vehicle in the following 12 months, strongly believed to be the 370Z Nismo.

Nissan 370Z Nismo should be the next Nismo product sold in Australia after the GT-R Nismo.Photo: Contributed
Nissan 370Z Nismo should be the next Nismo product sold in Australia after the GT-R Nismo.Photo: Contributed

Nissan Australia's MD and CEO Richard Emery said this second Nismo product would be introduced to offer more volume and exposure to the Nismo brand than the GT-R, suggesting it will be a more mainstream proposition like the Nissan 370Z Roadster.

Mr Emery could not confirm exactly what other Nismo products Australia could expect in coming years, but markets such as the USA and UK already receive a 160kW/280Nm Nissan Juke Nismo RS and the aforementioned 253kW/371Nm 370Z Nismo.

Mr Emery also didn't rule out the Nismo name being attached to commercial vehicles, so a Navara Nismo ute? Stranger things have happened.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS. Photo: Contributed
Nissan Juke Nismo RS. Photo: Contributed DAVID L F SMITH

It was made clear however that Nismo would not land in Australia to flog aftermarket parts, nor would Nismo option packs be available at this stage.

"Nismo can't be about spoilers, alloy wheels and a stripe," Mr Emery said. "It needs to be embedded in pure performance offerings."

Nismo is a short form of NISsan MOtorpsorts, founded in 1984 to offer products featuring innovative technonlogy and high performance for street cars.

And as any "PlayStation Generation" member will tell you, Nismo cars feature increased power, enhanced handling characteristics and motorsport-inspired aerodynamics and styling.

Away from racing gaming, Australians are also familiar with Nismo through its GT and sports car racing pursuits, not least with its 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour-winning Nissan GT-R NISMO GT-3.

Two factory-entered Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 entries will compete in the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour GT3 sportscar race, coinciding with the national launch of the road-going mad dog GT-R Nismo.

The road car features a 441kW/652Nm version of the VR38DETT engine, and uses the same pair of high-flow, large diameter turbochargers as the GT3 race car.

The Nissan GT-R Nismo has been confirmed for Australia, arriving in February 2017.Photo: Contributed
The Nissan GT-R Nismo has been confirmed for Australia, arriving in February 2017.Photo: Contributed Daniel Kalisz Photographer

Nismo's Australian arrival has been eagerly anticipated, and Mr Emery acknowledged that it had been a long time coming and much needed to give the Nissan brand added kudos.

"We believe Nismo has a significant opportunity to provide an emotional connection to our brand that has perhaps been missing," he said.

"We wanted to ensure we had a Nismo product plan not just for one model (the GT-R)…(so) there will be follow up models in Australia in the near future."

Despite the $300k price tag before on-roads, Mr Emery expected the first tranche of GT-R Nismos to sell out. In expectation of this, Nissan will give first refusal on cars to its "most loyal" current GT-R customers, with these contacted over coming months to discover their potential interest.

The Nissan GT-R Nismo has been confirmed for Australia, arriving in February 2017.Photo: Contributed
The Nissan GT-R Nismo has been confirmed for Australia, arriving in February 2017.Photo: Contributed Daniel Kalisz Photographer

"We knew we'd be restricted on supply, that's the case globally," he said. "We have probably got more than our fair share on a global scale in terms of what we're being given. Is it enough for the first couple of years? Probably not.

"Our loyal customers with the (current MY2017) R35 GT-R should swallow up the first year of allocation."

The "normal" GT-Rs (still a sub-three seconds 0-100kmh car) start from $189,000, topping out at the Track Edition - which is engineered by Nismo - for $227,000.

It makes the leap to the full fat GT-R Nismo at $299,000 quite marked, but it's clearly a car for those not parked on Struggle Street.

Mr Emery said the price hike was justified over a normal GT-R because "the car is somewhat hand-built, makes extensive use of carbon fibre, and the construct of the vehicle in terms of upgrades. The performance, specification and race componentry from the GT3 car more than covers its price point."

The GT-R Nismos will be sold alongside the other GT-Rs in Nissan Australia's twelve High Performance Dealers, and Nissan says the first stage will be around Nismo branding and marketing rather than any specific target volumes.

2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Photo: Contributed
2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Photo: Contributed

The second Nismo car, most likely a 370Z Nismo, would pave the way for more volume and exposure to the brand than the very unique GT-R supercars.

"It's all about establishing Nismo as a real performance offering, not spoilers and alloy wheels," Mr Emery emphasised.

So no joy for Australians scoring OEM Nismo accessories for their standard Nissan cars; you're stuck with the current N-Sport bits in that regard.

The arrival of Nismo (finally!) to Australia is cause for celebration however, as our market once again displays its insatiable desire for the highest performance road cars a brand can offer.

Nissan 370Z Nismo should be the next Nismo product sold in Australia after the GT-R Nismo.Photo: Contributed
Nissan 370Z Nismo should be the next Nismo product sold in Australia after the GT-R Nismo.Photo: Contributed


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