Meet Shoichi Miyatani — The Man Who Turns Nissans Into Nismos

Shoichi Miyatani has probably the best job at Nissan. He’s president of Nismo, the division of the company that takes fast cars and make them faster. From the GT-R to the 370Z and even the lowly Juke; each one got the Nismo treatment courtesy of Miyatani. While some Nismo-branded cars like the Juke seem more like a gimmick, Nissan announced the new 370Z Nismo Roadster Concept in Chicago. Add that to vehicles like the Nissan GT-R Nismo and Miyatani definitely has our attention. RELATED: See More Photos of the 370Z Nismo Roadster Concept Before we get too deep into the interview with Miyatani, lets take a quick look at what is in store for the 370Z Nismo Roadster Concept and the previously announced GT-R upgrade. The Nissan GT-R Nismo had its horsepower bumped from 550 in the stock version to 600. The 370 Z Nismo coupe goes from 330 to 350. Both get the full-on treatment in terms of aerodynamics, suspension and other improvements like rigidity and body styling. Nismo, which stands for Nissan Motorsport Limited, was established 30 years ago and has raced all over the world. “It is positioned as Nissan’s performance brand,” Miyatani said from the floor of the Chicago Auto Show. Its focus is on aerodynamics, performance, suspension tuning and maneuvering when applied to the passenger vehicles let loose on North America. RELATED: See More Photos of the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo “It’s not just aftermarket sales. We have expanded our lineup and we want to expand more. The goal is to cover a wider audience of enthusiasts,” Miyatani said, stressing that these are not just cosmetic improvements. Miyatani is probably uniquely poised to have the biggest impact on Nismo as president of Autech— the Nissan subsidiary in Japan that focuses on customization of Nissan products for the Japanese domestic market. It’s been tasked with growing the import side with an eye on the USA. The global Nissan overlords want to see Autech grow because of its impact on the Japanese market where it represents 5 percent of sales. Miyatani could see pressure to expand the Nismo brand to help the bottom line. Right now its global sales of 20,000 are a sliver-like slice of Nissan’s global sales of 5.3 million. Bump that number to 100,000 or more and it helps Nissan globally. RELATED: See More of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo But how much is too much? Is such a thing possible? Case in point might be the Nissan Sentra NISMO concept. Does it dilute the brand to apply it to every sedan? “We are carefully selecting the models not to jeopardize the brand,” Miyataini said. [While we dread the thought of an Altima version, we do hope a Maxima Nismo is in the cards.] Miyatani seemed to suggest the Sentra NISMO concept might be pushing the envelope. “The next model we’re talking about is the Sentra but the Sentra is one of the largest volume models to receive Nismo treatment,” he acknowledged. He stressed that it will not just be a cosmetic upgrade. The engine will be different as well as improved aerodynamics, suspension and body rigidity. Each model also gets unique Recaro seats. RELATED: See Photos of the Nissan Juke RS NISMO Snow Concept There will be no wholesale expansion of Nismo across the Nissan brand in North America. “Our expertise in aerodynamics is a good fit to [certain] cars … not so much for the trucks,” he said. That seems to suggest no possibility of a return to a pickup version like the Nissan Frontier NISMO from 2005. For shame. _____________________________________ Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

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