Nissan’s local office has finally announced the arrival of the tarted-up, hotter-running Juke Nismo, bringing with it a leaner turbocharged engine supported by significantly-upgraded chassis components to offer the most engaging Juke experience yet. With prices starting at $37,790 the Juke Nismo is certainly not an affordable toy to buy, and considering that it’s based on an 8-year old car that’s coming towards the end of its life cycle, you’d have to be pretty committed to the Nismo experience to weigh one up.
“The Nismo brand and its range of cars are admired all over the world, and we’re delighted to offer small SUV buyers a Nismo option. The Juke Nismo RS has the increased power and torque expected of a Nismo model, and a design consistent with its Nismo siblings. With a devoted following and only 240 units available, we expect the Juke Nismo RS to attract a dedicated group of buyers.” — Stephen Lester, Managing Director, Nissan Australia
The Juke Nismo RS, like Lester suggests, isn’t just an aesthetic upgrade. The Nismo RS treatment begins under the bonnet, where the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine has been remapped, turbo boost increased, and 98RON fuel demanded to produce 160kW/280Nm in the manual car (AWD-CVT auto produces 157kW/250Nm to protect the gearbox). There’s also a Nismo exhaust system to let the car exhale better.
There’s stiffer suspension, upgraded brakes, returned steering and an altogether more rigid chassis in order to allow drivers to fully exploit the agility of the Juke Nismo RS, though the manual and auto cars continue to run different rear suspension setups (semi-independent torsion beam for the 6-speed manual, and a fully-independent multi-link setup for the CVT-auto).
As per demanded with a model that promises performance, the Juke Nismo RS features an extensive bodykit. There are unique bumpers on either end, and a Nismo spoiler out back. There’s also a standard set of 10-spoke Nismo alloys, and a Nismo grille. There’s also a rear diffuser and signature red mirror caps, plus red accent lines all over the place and RS badges.
And inside the Nismo RS treatment continues, with suede upholstery throughout, black plastic trim on the centre console, doors, and air vents, while carbon-like stuff is used on the infotainment- and gear shift-surrounds. There’s also a unique starter button, tachometer, and kick-plates, as well as branded carpets to complete the look.
All Nissan Juke Nismo RS cars get standard kit from the Juke Ti-S model. So that means you get things like all-round airbags, two ISOFIX childseat points, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, 360º surround-view monitor, that features ‘Moving Object Detection.’ You also get the 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen as standard, which throws in satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, and bluetooth connectivity.
All this small-SUV nuttiness can be yours for just $37,790 (before ORCs) for the manual model with front wheel drive. If you prefer an automatic then you’re getting the all-wheel drive system whether you like it or not, and that’ll set you back $41,490 (before ORCs). But frankly, unless you fall hard for the way it drives, there are better cars to buy for the money, like the updated Mazda MX-5, or even the Renault Megane RS. If you do want a Juke Nismo RS you’d better work fast, because there are only 240 set to arrive on our shores.