Last Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to join Nissan in Barcelona and get up and close with the Nismo experience, the massive name in virtual and real racing. Right from the airport (after the safety briefing and greetings) we got straight into the Nissan Juke Nismo. Once away from the airport and over towards the mountain passes the Nissan Juke Nismo really showed it’s worth, providing an entertaining and great drive.
On the Friday we got the opportunity to engage with motorsport on the track. Firstly drifting the standard Juke called “easy drifting”. Seeing as the Juke is a front wheel drive car the rear wheels were fitted with plastic outer rims that gave the sensation of running on ice. Using a flat speed of around 20-25 kph it was possible to drift, but was reliably informed it is completely different to rear wheel drifting where throttle modulation is a big factor. This was followed by running in a prototype Nissan Juke with 220bhp round a coned mini track, which did wonders to show of the control and acceleration even when throwing the car through the corners. Finally I experienced laps round the track with the Nissan GT-academy winners in a GTR and the Nismo Electric Leaf RC. The lap in the GTR really showed the blistering pace and petrol head’s best dream of adrenaline fuelled racing. The GTR definitely had the legs over the Leaf RC on the straights but in the corners the sheer torque of the Leaf RC came into it’s own. The Leaf RC makes an incredible eerie turbine like whoosh as it goes, and even if today it can only do 20 minutes on a full charge and flat out I really think that this is a vision of what the future of motorsport and general driving could be in the future.
In the evening we had a chance to talk with the GT-Academy winners and ask them questions of their experiences. It was also an opportunity for the unveiling of the next Nismo addition the 370Z, which aside from looking gorgeous had brilliant specs. This was followed by a racing contest on PS3 driven gaming pods, which demonstrated the pro racers really work on another level once with all of their experience. This really rounded off a terrific day of motorsport and driving.
Now is a good time to look at the innovation and technologies going into the Nissan Nismo lines and I am impressed. Looking at the Juke Nismo that we used on the roads some had an iPad mini mounted on the dash with a bluetooth connection into the telemetry of the car. The iPad then displayed, the speed, g-force and other stats as you drive. It really does extend the user experience of the car and opens up the possibilities of working with information from the car in potentially even third party apps, which could help you drive better, drive more economically, know more about the world around you as you drive, instantaneously know where and how friends are driving and much more. One thing that struck me is the merge between the digital and real world experiences with Nismo has the unique position to capitalise on. This is all before I bring up the technology in the other cars like the Nismo Electric Leaf RC.
Overall it was a brilliant experience and opens up the possibilities of what is possible with cars. Nismo really puts it to the forefront of the development. I have ideas of applications and hardware that would be great to integrate with and hope to bring this ideas to life.