RAC Cars News


Nismo and Williams Join Forces

By raccars Published

Nissan's high performance brand, Nismo, has teamed up with British sports specialist, Williams Advanced Engineering, to develop some seriously racy road cars. The Nismo branded cars should be available from next year but details are scarce so far.

Williams has a great history of alliances with fast production cars, such as 1993-1997's Renault Clio Williams or the sadly defunct 900bhp Jaguar C-X75 concept. The company will bring its expertise in aerodynamics, material science and simulation to the party, along with its Formula One technology and experience. The company's F1 alliance with Renault led to recent rumours that the Clio Williams could be revived for the modern market, but Williams then signed a contract to receive engines from Mercedes, which seemed to quash that idea. With Williams now sating its appetite on Nismo a new Clio Williams seems very unlikely.

Nismo itself is no slouch in the performance stakes, but it seems hot versions of the Juke and 370Z are only a starting point for the company. With input from Williams, Nismo will be able to graduate from the mainstream and join some very racy competition. Nissan is planning to Nismo up pretty much its entire range to the tune of a model per year, with Nismo GT-R and Leaf versions next up, but the extent of Williams' involvement in these projects is unknown. The hope here is really for a specific Nismo-Williams branded project, to break new ground in road going sportscars.

Nismo can also take advantage of Williams Advanced Engineering's hybrid know how, which the company has used to great effect already in the Audi R18 E-Tron for Le Mans and Porsche's GT3 R. With hybrid technology fast becoming the norm in the high performance arena – see the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 or Porsche 918 – Nismo would be wise to capitalise on its partner's experience.

Despite its apparently racy ambitions, Nismo seems determined to remain focused on solidly road going, volume production cars. Williams will be complementing the brand's own product. Nismo already has a number of independent projects on the go for the coming year, but is planning to start working with Williams straightaway, so each can benefit from an exchange of ideas before knuckling down to their first official joint project.

Given that Nismo stands for Nissan Motorsports and the fine heritage of fast cars from both companies, the final result has the potential to be quite special.

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