Nissan has been a known force in the automotive world with respect to tuning and extreme performance through a special division called Nismo (Nissan Motorsports). This is what brought together the beast that is the Skyline GT-R. Now Nissan has taken a step further and initiated the Nismo Performance Academy.
This is Nissan’s way of showing its hardcore customers how to drive their machines to the limits from professional instructors. Carpower360 had the privilege of participating in this program and we took some interesting notes.
The current Nismo lineup available for the program includes the Nissan GT-R, the Nissan 370Z Nismo and the new Juke Nismo.
The GT-R is more commonly known as Godzilla, and rightly so. This monster has a 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which is mated to a 6 speed dual clutch transmission. The power comes in at 542 horsepower and the torque figure is 466 lb-ft. This means that 0-60mph is achieved in 3 seconds flat. The power is fed to all four wheels making this one of the best handling cars in the world. All this means that the GT-R can clock a time of 7 minutes 24 seconds at Nürburgring. This truly is a supercar killer at a price of $96,820.
The GT-R is the premium automobile of Nissan however if budget is an issue then the next best option is the 370Z. This is a sports car for true enthusiasts and is available for $43,020. This agile machine has a 3.7-liter V6 producing 350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque. This engine unit along with a six speed manual gearbox propels the 370Z from 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds. Everything about this car screams performance. All major parts have been revamped and improved from the regular 370Z, which included racing-strength dampers and extra tough brake lines for a more enhanced feel of handling and speed.
This gives the car a real sense of track day qualities and gives the driver the confidence to go round corners at extremely high speeds. This could easily be the best car in its class.
However, the most interesting car in the Nissan Nismo current lineup would have to be the Juke Nismo. This seemed like an underground project that was kept behind closed doors. The Juke Nismo is based on the standard Juke that Nissan produces as a 5-door hatchback yet it is nothing like the base model. The engine used in this model turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection.
The transmission consists of a 6-speed manual, continuously variable automatic with manual shifting mode. Power and torque figures for the Juke Nismo are 197 horsepower and 184 lb-ft respectively. This power is transferred to all four wheels thus giving the ultimate handling capabilities and ensuring that traction is available throughout the car. Carpower360 had the privilege of testing this first hand in an autocross test. The video below can clearly show the seriousness of this car. Nissan currently is selling the Juke Nismo for $23,780. Furthermore, this puts down the claims that Nissan only produces boring and unexciting cars. The Juke Nismo is a clear example of what Nissan can do if allowed to flex its muscles and really show off the engineering skills it possesses. This car redefines what compact and sporty is.
Nissan really does want its customers to race, responsibly that is, and is being extremely helpful with the Nismo Performance Academy. The only thing left is to buy one of the cars and go have fun thrashing it round a track.