Nissan Live reporting: The latest news direct from the Nissan Juke Nismo Live Event in Barcelona, Spain, where Nissan’s performance arm is being officially launched in Europe.
Barcelona, Spain 05 February, 2013 – Nismo is bringing Nissan’s vast motorsport experience from the race track to the road – and what better way to illustrate that than by inviting two of the brand’s superstar GT Academy drivers to take a turn behind the wheel of the all-new Nissan Juke Nismo.
Both Lucas Ordoñez and Wolfgang Reip have recently returned from the Dubai 24-Hour Race, where their Nissan 370Z finished in an impressive second place.
It’s doubly appropriate they are attending the launch of the Juke Nismo, because they are both graduates of Nissan’s innovative GT Academy driver development programme. It helps the best of the best in the world of online driving simulation games live their dreams in the real world.
Ordoñez and Reip both put the Juke Nismo through its paces on twisty Spanish roads, and were full of praise for its style and dynamics.
“It’s powerful – in first and second gear there’s lots of torque,” commented Ordoñez. “The throttle pedal is very reactive, it feels fast and the engine note is cool. The steering feels more precise – you turn less and you feel the reaction of the car – yet it’s not jumping around the bumps in the road. The suspension is between daily driving and a race car, stiffer but still comfortable.”
Ordoñez and Reip became racing drivers through GT Academy, an online competition created by Nissan and Playstation which unites the worlds of virtual and real life racing to discover future racing champions. It was established in 2008, originally as a pan-European event, but phenomenal success has led organisers to turn GT Academy into a global talent search.
Last year there were 830,000 entries from Europe alone, battling on the virtual track over eight qualification rounds. Six finalists go head-to-head at Silverstone Race Camp, UK, in August hoping to be selected for the coveted prize – a seat in the Dubai 24 Hour International race in January 2014.
About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 695,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.