High-performance, electric Nismos could be among the 15 new EVs Nissan is set to introduce by 2030 as part of its electrification strategy, according to a new report from Top Gear magazine.
Speaking with Nissan’s European chairman Guillaume Cartier at Formula E’s recent Monaco ePrix, Top Gear reports that the Japanese brand is actively considering which – if any – of its new EVs would most suitably fit the more dynamic ‘Nismo’ treatment.
“Nismo is an asset that we have,” explained Cartier, “and that’s something we want to revitalise. And will we have some, let’s say, cars with the derivative Nismo? The answer is yes.
“…It’s not a gimmick. To use an English expression, it’s not lipstick on a pig. So that requires some investment to make sure that you bring performance.”
Were a production become a reality, this would not be the first time a Nissan electric vehicle has received the ‘Nismo’ treatment. In late 2018, Nissan pulled the silks from the Leaf Nismo RC, a pure-electric race car concept that boasted lightweight race-spec aerodynamics – including an adjustable rear wing for added downforce – a carbon fibre monocoque that kept the weight to just 1,220 kg, and an electric motor powering each axle. Power and torque was a combined 240 kW (around 322 hp) and 640 Nm (472 lb ft), enough for a 0-100 km/h sprint in just 3.4 seconds. Unveiled in Tokyo, the electric racer later made its first-ever motor show appearance at Toronto’s Canadian International Auto Show in February 2019.
Alongside the topic of electrified Nismos, Cartier also discussed the high probability of an all-electric GT-R joining Nissan’s line-up once advanced battery-electric technology makes it feasible to do so.
Sales of the most recent ICE GT-R have now been discontinued in Europe and the United States, though units are still being delivered in Japan. According to Nissan however, heavy investment in solid-state battery technology, including a new gigafactory in the UK, plus the componentry development that comes with Nissan’s factory-backed all-electric Formula E single seater program, means it’s a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ for an EV GT-R. Provided the model’s definitive character shines through.
“The challenge is GT-R created a reference,” Cartier continues. “So you cannot disappoint … this name is strong. ‘Beast’ is good, it’s iconic. So you need to be top of the top.
“At present, when we do all the simulations to the electrification on these cars, we don’t find the right technology to define what is ‘Z” – the nomenclature for Nissan’s sports car line-up – “and what is ‘GT-R’. And at the end, these two are not cars, these are our culture.”
So committed is Nissan to its electrification transition, Mr Cartier reconfirmed that the Japanese marque has now ended its investment in internal combustion technology.