Nissan teams up with Williams for sporty Nismo cars from 2014

Published: 27 June 2013

Nissan’s performance car skunkworks arm Nismo (short for Nissan Motorsports) has agreed a deal with Williams Advanced Engineering to co-develop faster versions of Nissan’s road cars from 2014.

It doesn’t mean the Williams F1 team will be developing the forthcoming Nismo version of the GT-R, but the Formula One team and Williams Advanced Engineering are part of the same group founded by Sir Frank Williams. Sir Frank said: ‘Williams Advanced Engineering has a history of developing world class, high-performance products and this agreement is particularly exciting because of the ambition and potential of the Nismo brand.

What can we expect from the Nismo-Williams tie-up?

Nissan plans to launch at least one new Nismo model each year, encompassing most of its road car range. In 2013 we’ve driven the Nismo Juke and European markets have finally been offered the Nismo 370Z that’s been on sale in the US for a few years. A Nismo GT-R will go on sale in 2014 too, and a Nismo Leaf concept has been shown as well.

‘Williams have a proven history of making racing technology benefit road cars,’ said Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani. ‘We look forward to starting this relationship during such a period of intensive product development for Nismo.’

What’s Williams’s history in developing road-legal, sporty cars?

Ironically the most famous Williams-branded road car, the 1993-1997 Renault Clio Williams hot hatch, had no design or engineering input from the F1 team – it simply played on the fact Renault powerplants powered the contemporary Williams F1 cars. In fact, it was go-faster division Renaultsport that developed the hot Clio’s dynamics.

More recently, Williams helped to develop the 900bhp Jaguar C-X75– click here to read CAR’s full review of the sadly canned hybrid supercar. Williams also supplied the battery-hybrid propulsion system for the Le Mans-winning Audi R18 E-tron Quattro, and the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid racing car.

Could we be set for a new wave of high-powered Nismo hybrids? If Williams’ CV is anything to go by, part-electric performance could be the future of fast Nissans.

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