A peek inside Nismo HQ – Nissan’s motorsport and performance division

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Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (3)

During a recent media trip to Japan, courtesy Nissan and Datsun, we had the privilege to visit the headquarters of the company’s motorsport and performance division – NISMO. The name is synonymous with performance and motorsport for the enthusiasts, as Nismo tuned cars sit at the very top of the automotive performance food chain, and are an equivalent of the M division for BMW and AMG for Mercedes. A Nismo GT-R would be amongst the most powerful, the most dynamically capable and the most track ready cars anywhere in the world.

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan

We checked into the sharply styled headquarters of the performance tuner in Yokohama one fine morning to have a closer look at the set-up and activities of the performance brand. One look at the building, followed by a glance at the interior and the racing oriented, enthusiast specific character of the label is evident.

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (5)The main entrance for the building

The edgy building gets a sporty black exterior with red highlights suggestive of racing and performance. The top of the building gets a contrasting hue of grey – a colour combo which has been duly carried over inside the building as well. The entire setup has taken inspiration from Katana, a traditional Japanese sword to look sharp, edgy and decidedly lethal. The purpose built facilities inside the building are focused at innovations in performance.

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NISMO – short for Nissan Motorsport International Co. Ltd was established in September 1984, and is a 100% subsidiary of Nissan. Nismo originally had its HQ in Omori, Tokyo, from where it was shifted to the current location in Yokohama in 2012. WHQ in OmorWhile the company sells only a small fraction of the number of cars sold by Nissan, its mission is to contribute to Nissan’s brand through motorsport activities. Nismo earns its revenues through a variety of activities. The company primarily works towards development and sales of competition cars, engines and parts meant primarily for race and rally participation.  Nismo also develops and sells performance packages, tuning packages and street parts with its branding. Helping enthusiasts with technical assistance on tuning, modification and repair of their performance oriented Nissan cars is another focus area. The restoration and maintenance of cars at Nissan Heritage Collection is also the responsibility of Nismo.

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Inside the HQ, we were given a detailed presentation about the brand by the brand’s Global Chief Marketing Manager, Keita Matsui. Howe ever, before we delve deeper into Nismo’s motorsport activities, we would like to take you through the brand’s public gallery, offering automotive eye candy by the truckloads for the enthusiasts. Check out the images below to be amazed by some beautiful race cars, as well as some quirky touches given to the building, which only the HQ of a performance tuner can accommodate

 

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The entrance to the gallery witnesses this 2014 Super GT Champion Motul Rutech GT-R on the wall. Sets the expectations high for what awaits inside

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (8) You know you are entering a performance oriented car maker / modifier when the door handles are made of connecting rods

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And camshafts too! 

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Heck, even the door handles and walls of the toilets feature camshafts and a variety of other engine components

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (6) No ordinary parts, these.  These are components from NISMO cars which have won their class in one race or another

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (62) The customer gallery also includes a brand store with the name Omori Factory – featuring Nismo branded merchadise

 

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (61)... with walls featuring full length exhausts and racecar-spec bucket seats for visitors

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (64)..and high performance engines as showpieces

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (65)..and performance tuning boxes for a variety of Nissan models!

 

 

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (43) Attached to the customer gallery is a secured area where the modification, tuning and detailing of customer cars is carried out. 

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Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (39)The Fairlady 240Z has to be one of the coolest cars from the Nissan stable, and it doesn’t seem to have aged a day even after so many years

 

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (47) Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (48)A few images of the NISMO workshop area

 

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (33) Badges from a variety of races and rallies the brand has participated in

 

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (35)From lightweight alloys to stiffer springs – each one of those Nismo bits will make your Nissan go that wee bit faster. If you have the money to buy them that is. 

 

Nissan Nismo headquarters Yokohama Japan (29)While we couldn’t lay our hands on the real GT-R this time around, we raced these toy cars to try and not feel too sad.

As of 2015, Nismo’s participation in motorsports includes Le Mans 24 hour race with the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo. The brand internationally participates in the Blancpain Endurance Series, ADAC GT Masters, and the Pirelli World Challenge to name a few. Within Japan, Nismo participates in the Super GT and Super Taikyu Championships with various race tuned versions of the Nismo GT-Rs and 370Zs. Nismo is a dominant force in GT500 class of the premiere SuperGT racing series, with 10 championship titles out of its 21 years on participation in the race. The brand is equally dominant in the relatively lower spec GT300 class.

Nismo’s expertise in performance emanates from its expertise in racing, which is duly converted into street legal performance kits and delivered to willing customers. Apart from creating revenues for the company, the exercise helps the brand innovate and underline Nissan’s racing DNA prominently.  The company also has racing programs for its customers featuring the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.

Offerings for customers extend to streets parts from Nismo cars such as extended bumpers, race suspension, exterior paint jobs and interior enhancements, along with performance focused parts such as lighter alloys, exhausts and engine mods.

Here we have some examples of production Nissan cars embellished with Nismo performance packages – Almero Nismo (malaysia), Elgrand Nismo Jaoan

In order to keep the enthusiasts engaged, even those who are not actively participating in racing, the company organizes its annual Nismo Festival since 1997. The annual auto fest, which was attended by more than 35,000 enthusiasts, is a demonstration of the Nismo brand, technologies and racing DNA

Another important aspect of Nissan – Nismo’s global racing programme is the one of its kind Nissan GT Academy. The initiative allows virtual racers on the Playstation platform from across the world to participate in digital racing, eventually making them compete for the coveted opportunity of becoming a real world race driver. The programme has been a major success worldwide, with Lucas Ordonez, the inaugural winner of the GT Academy delivering excellent results in a variety of high-competition races. India’s very own Abhinay Bikkane has also participated and finished on podium in several races.

With its race derived expertise, Nismo has given Nissan the GT-R, a car which has absolutely demolished the most highly respected performance cars across the world in terms of performance and dynamic ability. The GT-R, among many other race inspired models is a shining example of why Nismo is so important for Nissan.

Check out the images of the brand’s HQ from inside and out in the gallery below

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