Nissan heats up
A Pulsar SSS hot hatch rival to the Golf GTI is on the cards
soon as six months later. It is likely to be based on the hatchback if history is any guide.
Nissan Australia sold a Pulsar SSS hatch from 1991 to 2001 with sports suspension and bodykit, and a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine good for the thenimpressive output of 110kw.
Nissan sales chief Ian Moreillon says the Pulsar SSS is definitely on Nissan Australia’s wish list.
‘‘ There’s a lot of heritage for the [Pulsar] SSS in Australia. If we can find a way to do that, we will. We recognise that the appeal of the Pulsar is not just as a base model,’’ he says.
‘‘ If we can do something (special) with it, that would be good. Certainly, if we can attract the SSS buyers of the N15 and N16 days (the 1990s) back into our brand then that would be good.’’
To have the street cred for a performance hot hatch to rival the GTI, a reborn Pulsar SSS would need a turbocharged engine producing somewhere between 160kw and 190kw, sports tuned suspension and a bodykit to match its abilities.
‘‘ All of those ways of making a car perform are good,’’ Moreillon says. ‘‘ There’s capacity, there’s turbocharging, supercharging— those things could give a car the presence in the market to replace what the SSS 2.0-litre represented.’’
Nissan Australia has other plans beyond a hot Pulsar.
A 200kw V6 is also in the works for the Altima— the medium sedan rival to the Toyota Camry and Mazda6— revealed at the New York auto show this week. ‘‘ Look, we mentioned that we’d like to have a sporting edge to our brand going forward that matches what we are doing with V8 Supercars,’’ Moreillon says.
‘‘ We’re considering that for all appropriate Nissan models and if Pulsar can leverage off that, fantastic.’’
Moreillon draws the line only at tipping all-wheel drive to take on the Subaru Impreza WRX.
Wish list: The newpulsar (above) and a 1998 Pulsar SSS five-door