New GTR will lead resurgent Nissan
By Philip King
IT'S more than fours years away, but the Nissan GTR is on its way back to Australia.
Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn confirmed the icon car would be sold globally in its next version, due in 2007, and Australian CEO Leon Daphne said the local outfit would import about 50 a year when they became available.
Priced less than a Porsche 911, Nissan's performance pinnacle would trade on legendary Bathurst wins two years running, in 1991-92, during a brief period of official imports to Australia.
With much speculation surrounding its likely powerplant, Nissan executives would only say they were working on a unique solution.
The 1992 model came with a turbocharged 2.6-litre six-cylinder.
The GTR is just one of a raft of new products expected to come down under from a resurgent Nissan.
Daphne said the luxury Skyline Coupe, sold in the Japan with a 3.5-litre V6, was also on his shopping list as a range leader, after the arrival of the 350Z coupe "did better for us in creating interest in the brand than we thought".
Although it would hinge on the business case, the acclaimed Skyline Coupe could be here in 15 months. Before that, the Murano luxury soft-roader will arrive after right-hand drive production begins for Japan next October.
The all-wheel-drive crossover wagon, which was designed for the US market, will probably come with a 3.5-litre V6, the option of continuously variable transmission, and pricing between $50,000 and $60,000.
Its natural rivals will be the recently arrived Honda MDX and Lexus RX330.
A new Pathfinder, possibly with seven seats and a V8, is also on the way although Daphne refused to give details.
Nissan Australia's immediate focus is a replacement for the Maxima large sedan, displayed recently at the Sydney motor show and on sale before the end of the year.
Buyers lower down the product line-up fare less well, with Daphne ruling out a return of the Pulsar SSS or Micra small car.
The Pulsar itself will be replaced in two or three years by a model based on the C-Note concept at the Tokyo show.
The five-door hatchback uses the same platform as the Renault Megane, which goes on sale here soon and marks one of the first visible collaborations between the French and Japanese companies.
Although the two have clear similarities in design, Daphne denied there would be problems with the Pulsar arriving at least two years after the Megane.
Roumors are it will be only NA to comply with the ever restrictive emissions laws, those bloody laws have already claimed the old skylines, supras and rx-7's, soon there will be no hi-po jap cars left. Anyway should be some v6 or v8 powerplant in the 3.5-4.5l capacity range, expect all of nissans vvt dohc technology to be in it, because this car has a reputation to keep up with or without turbo's. (most of that info was from pf)
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