A few weeks ago a friend sent me this image, it was the idea of a new Nissan Pulsar GTI-R. Being in western Canada I haven't seen a pulsar in production and available since the early 90's, let alone a GTI-R. At first I thought it was real, but further investigation lead me to the fact that the shared image was actually an artist's rendition of what a new GTI-R would look like. I was a bit disappointed, I thought it was a new concept and I damn near had my local Nissan dealer on the phone telling them I wanted the first one.
But it opened the idea, what would a new Pulsar be like. I doubt Nissan would make one for rally competition as the original was for WRC homologation purposes. But I was curious, started looking around, and found that the Pulsar is still in production. And there is a Nismo variant of it, it's a 275 horsepower hot hatch beauty. Its front wheel drive, but that's ok. Its out there, and I don't understand why Nissan doesn't sell it globally.
Honestly, Nissan is better today than it used to be for a global brand. At least we get a GTR now. But what I don't understand is why cars like the pulsar aren't sold globally. Doesn't it actually cost more to make a car for select markets than it does to make it for all markets?
Ford realized this recently, saw that their american products (with the exception of the F-Series pickups and the Mustang) were quite honestly shit. The north american Focus and Fusion were boring and bland, and yet the European focus and Mondeo (same underpinnings as the fusion) were selling brilliantly. They corrected these issues by bringing the European variants of these cars to North America, where they are now selling as good as they really should.
I am using Nissan as an example for this but all brands do this. In North America BMW and Mercedes are known as high end luxury cars yet in Europe, especially Germany, they make a bit of everything. Mercedes makes a large number of industrial work vehicles, such as their line of offroad and farm use vehicles known as Unimog. My last car was a BMW 1 Series, in Canada this came as a coupe and convertible, and two engines both being performance oriented. However, in Europe the 1 series is available how we have it, plus a 3 and five door hatchback, and a range of engines that make the 1 Series an economical little car. What I really wanted was the 1 Series 3 door hatch with the N54 twin turbo 3L six cylinder that I had in my coupe, a 300 horsepower rear wheel drive hatchback would be really cool.
But that furthers my point that, even though North America is one of the biggest car markets in the world, why is it that we only get a fraction of what most of these manufacturers make? I feel like if it is considered to be a “cool” car they are even less likely to sell them in North America. Why can't we have the cool cars?!