AFTER what seems like an eternity of speculation, Nissan Australia has at last confirmed that the Nismo variant of its Juke compact crossover will arrive in local showrooms, rounding out a performance-focused range already headed by the 370Z Nismo and the mighty GT-R Nismo.
And true to Nissan Australia’s promise that locally-delivered Nismo vehicles would be about more than just wheels and bodykits, the Juke Nismo will feature genuine lifts in performance relative to its garden-variety siblings.
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Set to launch in October, the Juke Nismo will be offered in both manual and automatic forms, with the former taking power to the front wheels exclusively and the latter offering all-paw traction. Power will top out at 160kW in manual form or 157kW with the CVT auto, and both powerplants will generate a total of 280Nm of torque from their 1.6-litre turbocharged inline fours.
Those are handy increases over the current Juke Ti-S, which uses a lower-output version of the same MR16DDT engine to make just 140kW and 240Nm. In fact, the Juke Nismo’s 20kW advantage over the Ti-S grade equates to a 14.2 percent bump in power, easily eclipsing the GT-R Nismo’s 5.2 percent (22kW) and 370Z Nismo’s 3.2 percent (8kW) performance boosts.
It also makes it Nissan’s most powerful non-coupe performance car in a long time. The long-departed Pulsar SSS only made 140kW and 240Nm, and Nissan hasn’t had a fast-mover below the $49,990 370Z since.
The Juke Nismo will also feature significant styling differences to set it apart from the rest of the Juke range, with a 10mm lower suspension, unique 18-inch alloys and a Nismo bodykit gifting it a sportier stance. It will also wear bigger brakes on the front, with 320mm rotors bringing more stopping power.
If overseas versions of the Juke Nismo are any clue, we can also expect body-hugging front bucket seats and plenty of Alcantara trim on the inside of Nissan’s fast n’ funky crossover.
Pricing and precise specifications have yet to be announced, though expect the Nismo to start somewhere in the low-to-mid $30K region, giving it plenty of clearance to the current Ti-S variant that tops out at $33,490 in automatic form.