Nismo Altima S-Tune & R-Tune
NISMO, which stands for Nissan Motorsports International, continues to expand both its lineup of parts and its sales in the United States. Originally founded in Japan in 1984, NISMO has established itself as the premier supplier of high-performance aftermarket parts and accessories for Nissan vehicles. A wholly owned subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., NISMO also supports Nissan racers with parts and technical assistance.
In its first two years of sales in the United States, total sales have topped $15 million. Sales in 2004 increased 47 percent over 2003 and continue to expand in 2005. The lineup of NISMO parts and accessories now includes over 230 products covering 10 different models, both current Nissan vehicles and vintage vehicles going back to 1984.
The NISMO catalogue was recently expanded to include a range of products for the popular 2002 – 2006 Nissan Altima. NISMO Altima components include 18-inch lightweight aluminum-alloy forged one-piece wheels (available in bronze or silver finish), a suspension kit, front and rear sway bars, shift knobs, and front and rear spoilers.
“NISMO’s philosophy is to provide products that actually enhance the driving experience for the customer,” said Kenneth Zapp, senior manager, Specialty Vehicle Group, Nissan Marketing.
“Currently, components for the Nissan 350Z have been the best sellers, which we expect to continue. But with as great a base platform as the Altima is, and with so many Altimas sold every year, we expect NISMO Altima bits to also be very popular,” he continued.
NISMO components are now available in the U.S. exclusively through Nissan dealers nationwide, making them available to a wider performance enthusiast audience beyond just racers.
The array of NISMO components designed for the 350Z, Altima, Sentra, Maxima, Titan, Frontier and Xterra includes suspensions, wheels, cold-air intakes, camshafts, performance exhausts, floor mats and shift knobs, body kits, driveline parts and lifestyle accessories.
Nissan dealers also provide NISMO parts for enthusiasts with older Nissans. A wide selection of NISMO Legacy components is available for vehicles such as the 300ZX, 240SX and the previous-generation Sentra SE-R.
NISMO parts in the U.S. are available in three categories - NISMO “S-tune,” which are intended for street driving and are backed by Nissan’s Parts and Accessory Limited Warranty, and up to 36 months/36,000 miles if installed at the time of vehicle purchase (see warranty and dealer for details); “R-tune” components, which are designed for high-performance off-highway applications and suited for the weekend racer (these parts are destined for racing or track days and do not carry a warranty); and NISMO apparel and lifestyle items, including hats, T-shirts, jackets and more. All Legacy components are designated for off-highway use and are not warranted.
NISMO also has made available recommended equipment packages for the 350Z and Sentra SE-R in S-tune and R-tune Stage I and Stage II configurations, as well as NISMO Appearance Packages for both vehicles.
In the 2005 model year, Nissan launched its first factory equipped NISMO vehicle, the Nissan NISMO Frontier. In addition to the advanced technology and solid performance found on every new 2005 Frontier, the NISMO Frontier model offers an extensive list of performance-oriented off-road parts, including an electronic locking rear differential and traction assistance controls, NISMO-tuned Bilstein® performance shocks, skid plates and unique 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with aggressive BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A P265/75R16 off-road tires.
NISMO Vehicles Showcase What’s Possible
Nissan and NISMO have joined together to build a number of unique NISMO vehicles, which have been displayed at various performance enthusiast venues, including the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) and auto shows.
The latest additions to the NISMO garage are a pair of modified 2005 Nissan Altimas. The stunning black Altima 2.5 S with manual transmission has been modified to R-tune spec and includes a cold air intake, 18-inch bronze aluminum-alloy forged one-piece wheels hold 235/45-18 Michelin Pilot Sports tires, front and rear sway bars, rear spoiler, shocks and springs, header, cat-back exhaust, camshafts, front brake pads, exterior graphics and charcoal floor mats.
“The NISMO performance and handling enhancements of this R-tune spec Altima have been specifically tuned for the chassis using the various ride and handling road courses at Nissan’s Arizona Test Center test track,” said Zapp. “The result is nothing short of amazing when compared to a stock Altima 2.5 S, which by itself starts at a very high level.”
The new silver Altima 3.5 SE with automatic transmission has been modified to S-tune spec and includes 18-inch silver aluminum-alloy forged one-piece wheels mounting 245/45-18 Michelin Pilot Sports tires, front and rear sway bars, rear spoiler, front struts and springs, rear shocks and springs, cat-back exhaust, exterior graphics and frost floor mats.
The NISMO S-tune 350Z represents the ultimate Z® street car, enhancing the already incredible performance of the 350Z while remaining civil and reliable in daily driving.
For improved engine performance, it utilizes a NISMO stainless steel cat-back exhaust system, which adds approximately six horsepower to the wheels and provides a high-pitch throaty sound that is unmistakably NISMO.
Handling is enhanced with an S-tune 36mm front sway bar and 22mm rear sway bar for increased roll stiffness and less body lean, while NISMO S-tune shock and spring kit lowers the Z® by 20mm to give it a tough stance, but also provides improved steering response, reduces body lean, pitch and dive and gives the Z® more neutral handling. Silver 18x8.5-inch (front) and 18x9.5-inch (rear) 5-spoke NISMO wheels reduce unsprung weight and provide a more racy look than production models. The NISMO Z®’s appearance modifications include a NISMO shift knob and floor mats and a NISMO graphics kit.
The NISMO R-tune 350Z represents the pinnacle of NISMO performance. As the moniker “R-tune” suggests, it is ready for the weekend racer to run hot laps on the track – with an ideal combination of race-ready performance, style and reliability. Powering the Z® is a NISMO-enhanced Nissan VQ35 3.5-liter V6 producing approximately 305 horsepower through use of NISMO R-tune billet camshafts, NISMO R-tune cold-air intake, NISMO R-tune headers and the NISMO S-tune stainless steel cat-back exhaust system.
Backing the powerplant is a 6-speed manual featuring a NISMO R-tune lightweight flywheel and a NISMO R-tune single disk clutch and clutch cover, and NISMO shift knob, all for increased efficiency and shift feel. A NISMO R-tune clutch-type adjustable limited-slip differential with four pinion gears assists in reliable launches.
This special Z®’s handling prowess is improved with the S-tune suspension system, designed for increased roll stiffness, less body lean, less pitch and dive and more neutral handling. It features a 36mm front sway bar, 22mm rear sway bar, special shocks and springs.
Braking power is increased with NISMO R-tune brake pads and steering power remains reliable thanks to an R-tune power steering oil cooler kit.
The R-tune Z® achieves a track-ready look with an S-tune aero kit with front and rear spoilers and side sills, 18x8.5-inch (front) and 18x9.5-inch (rear) 5-spoke NISMO lightweight forged alloy wheels and a NISMO graphics kit.
“The purpose of these vehicles is to show what NISMO components are for – enthusiastic driving; taking a vehicle that is already fun to drive and amplifying that to the ultimate level,” said Zapp. “They were built to show how NISMO products were designed to work individually and in combinations or stages of components that the typical performance enthusiast would select.”
NISMO Continues Strong Presence in Japan
NISMO’s expanded activities in the U.S. have not diminished its involvement in the Japanese performance community one bit. NISMO continues its dominance of Super GT (formerly JGTC) racing. NISMO has won four drivers’ championships and four team championships since the series started in 1994 (the most by any group). NISMO is currently leading both championship divisions after three rounds in 2005 and is on track to win its third consecutive series title.
In Japan, Nissan offers the ultimate complete NISMO model, the NISMO R34 GT-R Z-tune, a special edition of the legendary Nissan GT-R. It is the latest in a series of potent NISMO models, following the NISMO 270R (S14) and NISMO 400R (R33 GT-R).
In D1GP, the professional drifting series, many top competitors use NISMO powertrain parts, including the NISMO Copper Mix clutch and GT-LSD (limited-slip differential) – which are available for the 350Z in the U.S.
In December 2005, NISMO will host its 9th annual Nissan Motorsports fan gathering, the NISMO Festival, at Fiji Speedway. The event includes a swap meet, vendor displays, drifting and tuner races, vehicle ride-alongs, a Gran Tourismo challenge and a running of vintage Nissan sports prototype race cars from the late 1960s.
Also actively involved with NISMO in Japan is Yutaka Katayama, the legendary “Mr. K,” often considered the “father of the Z®,” Mr. K, now 95 years old, is an honorary member of NISMO and drives a pair of NISMO-equipped vehicles, a 350Z and Nissan March. He maintains an office at NISMO headquarters.
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