Nissan Pulsar Nismo Being Considered, but It Needs a 250 HP Engine

Late last week, we showed you this very rendering of a Nismo C-segment hot hatch based on Nissan's brand new Pulsar. Little did we know that the automaker is actually looking into a Golf GTI rival.
Nissan Pulsar Nismo 1 photo
Photo: X-Tomi Design
Speaking to Dutch magazine Autovisie, a Nissan official by the name Ponz Pandikuthira said the following: "It depends on the business case. We are seriously looking into the idea, but when we do, we would like a car that does well. With 200 hp you are simply no match for the competition. You have to come up with at least 250 hp to seriously come across. The car must be good, otherwise we do not."

That 200 horsepower output the company official is referring to belongs to the Juke Nismo, which uses a 1.6-liter turbo engine. This could be considered too small for a hot hatch in the compact segment, as basically all its rivals offer 2-liter mills.

Ponz Pandikuthira is Nissan's general manager and chief marketing manager for crossovers and C-segment products. His main focus right now is the Qashqai, which is the most important car Nissan sells its European customers. Before that, he worked at Kia Europe our of Frankfurt and was also the product manager for the Chrysler 300C & Chrysler Crossfire between 2001 and 2004.

Back in January during the launch event of the second generation crossover, he said there should be a Nismo version of the Qashqai as well. Ponz said he believes the 200-and-a-bit hp of a Juke Nismo engine simply isn't enough and about 300 hp would be needed.

Put 2 and 2 together and you end up with the clear and logical conclusion that Nissan needs a 2-liter turbo. Maybe they can ask the hot hatch masters at Renault to lend them one.

Nissan's move into Golf GTI territory will probably not happen until the next generation Megane comes out. Until then, the Japanese brand will offer a 190 hp version of the Pulsar, which should be enough for most people, offering comparable performance to VW Group's 1.8-liter TSI.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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