Intent on stepping up its go-faster game across the board, Nissan Motor Company has formally elevated the status of its already highly-regarded Nismo organization, officially confirming it as the automaker's exclusive global performance car and motorsports brand. The announcement was made by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at the dedication of Nismo's new global headquarters and development center in Yokohama, Japan.

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Nismo's newly expanded role will cover loads of ground, both on track on and on the street. In addition to an even more intense involvement with Nissan's entries in various national and international GT and V8 Supercar events, the operation will be in charge of spearheading the automaker's official return to Le Mans in 2014 with an all-electric prototype that Ghosn promises will be "a high-speed test bed in the harshest of environments for both our road car and race car electric vehicle technology." While offering no further details on the entry -- which like the revolutionary Nissan DeltaWing will occupy Garage 56 for innovative concepts -- he noted that data generated from its zero-emissions powertrain will help the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) evaluate the best way to incorporate of this breakthrough technology into the motorsport realm.

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The news was equally encouraging for fans of Nismo-spec street cars. In addition to the new 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo that arrives this spring and the 370Z Nismo due this summer, the organization is now charged with creating a Nissan GT-R Nismo. Due to launch sometime in 2014, the new Nissan GT-R Nismo is expected to appear here as a 2015 model.

"It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of Nismo road cars without including the GT-R," said Ghosn. "The standard production model is a global supercar and the GT-R's performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the Nismo team. The GT-R Nismo will be special and I can't wait to drive it." Tech specs and performance figures for the GT-R Nismo will be released closer to its on-sale date, but given that the standard-issue GT-R can snap off 0-60 mph runs in about 3.0 seconds and hit 100 mph in about seven ticks, the upcoming Nismo-enhanced version should be quite the stunner.


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