Every manufacturer wants a bit of head turning magic in their range; car makers have learned from the past – Empi gave Volkswagen the sense of cool and increased power that the company themselves shied away from and now, of course, all manufacturers have their own in-house performance brands. Nissan were once perceived (probably rightly so, remember the Almera?) as reliable yet dull, but those days are long gone.
Helping Nissan add the extra magic to their established vehicles is NISMO – Nissan Motorsport International Ltd. NISMO was formed when the company’s racing and customer departments were merged in 1984. NISMO has given some classy upgrades to models like the GT-R and the 350Z in the past.
The current model to get the NISMO treatment is the Juke with the introduction of the Juke NISMO RS. You could see such branding as simply ‘bolt-ons’ and criticism has been levied at NISMO variants in the past of being a bit all talk, no trousers, but such criticism of this model would be doing the Juke NISMO RS a massive injustice.
With tasteful red and black Recaro hard-back seats and a leather/Alcantara steering wheel, Nissan have got all the contact points covered nicely and an equally tasteful red and black dash compliments these seats perfectly; but the transformation goes much further than this.
The exterior features newly reshaped sills and continues the red theme with a subtle red piping around the base of the body. The RS also features some body strengthening over the standard model.
The current NISMO Juke offers up 197bhp, but add RS to the end of that moniker and the front wheel drive version gets you 215bhp with 280Nm of torque. All this power comes from a tuned Nissan 1.6 petrol DIG-T engine with a 6-speed close ratio transmission. That engine/transmission combo will get the Juke NISMO RS from 0-62 in 7 seconds flat.
The suspension has also been tweaked as you might expect with increased torsional stiffness, while stopping has also been improved with larger, upgraded brakes (finished in red of course), which connect with 18” x 7” ten-spoke alloys.
The Juke has come a long way since its launch concept which featured a wipe clean interior (including the seats – for all those surfers) and this RS model is sure to boost it’s popularity even further. Price starts at a pretty reasonable £21,995.
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