Nissan has been planning to expand its Nismo moniker from a few special edition sports cars to a full-blown performance lineup to rival Audi. Nismo — short for Nissan Motorsport, the Japanese automaker’s racing division – now has its own dedicated factory for these fast cars, and this Sentra will join Nismo’s 370Z and GT-R supercar down the production line. This is officially a concept, but count on it arriving next year. A Maxima Nismo will come later.
Why should you care?
While Nissan will likely tone down the carbon fiber trim and curb-scraping front spoiler on this concept, the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder should survive when it arrives in dealerships (and we hope every last of its 240 horses does, too). The paint scheme – white with black RAYS rims, grille, mirrors, window trim and roof, plus red splashes on the lower sills and carbon fiber valences – really makes the Sentra sing. Olympic track star Usain Bolt was but a few feet away on the Nissan stand, posing for pictures next to the GT-R Nismo, but that combo wasn’t as cool as this Sentra. Inside, hip-hugging race seats and a thick steering wheel are trimmed in suede-like Alcantara. There’s a six-speed manual and a limited-slip differential, too.
What’s not to like?
Considering how well these modifications wipe off the regular Sentra’s sleepy character, there’s not much to dislike. The only thing that could pose a problem is 240 horsepower lighting up the front axle. Even with a limited-slip differential, the Nismo Sentra may prove difficult to control without some more sophisticated software on board to manage the power.
It’s not happening, at least not yet. Consider that a loaded Sentra SV stickers under $22,000, and it’s fair to guess that a Nismo model could go for $25,000. Even without all-wheel-drive, this could be a WRX competitor in no time.
Photos by the author.