Nissan performance division Nismo is readying a new flagship model for the UK, expected to be a stand-alone sports car.
Speaking to Autocar, Nissan Nismo CEO Takao Katagiri confirmed the unnamed model will be sold in the UK as well as mainland Europe and the US, following its release in the car maker’s home country of Japan. He hinted it will arrive this decade.
“[There] is a very, very important vision [in Europe] for Nissan. It’s around the heart of this [new car],” said Katagiri, adding that Nissan’s Sunderland factory also makes the UK an “essential” market for the firm.
“This region [the UK] is very, very special for us, especially [for] performance cars. So one thing I can say is please wait. We are going to introduce a very exciting model to the UK market under the Nismo brand.”
It is likely to arrive as an indirect successor to the Nissan GT-R, which was axed in early 2022 after 13 years. Tight European emissions rules have also kept Nismo’s other tuned model, the Z sports coupé, out of the continent.
This new car is likely to be powered by a hybrid powertrain and Katagiri confirmed a “combination” of hybrid and EV models will be launched.
Company executives have previously told Autocar that any performance EVs will need to be powered by solid-state batteries – which Richard Moore, strategy boss of the West Midlands Gigafactory, has said are still 10 years away from making it into mainstream production cars. So if the new car is to be viable in Europe, a hybrid option will be the most likely starting point.
However, a fully electric powertrain could be the next move for Nissan, with FranÃ§ois Bailly, senior vice president and chief planning officer for the AMEIO region (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania), previously telling Autocar: “I would love to have an EV sports car, but we need to organise. We’re not ready to announce the sequence, but it’s clearly on the table.”