Friday 15th June 2012


Nismo tweaks for engine and chassis, plus a bold new look for Nissan's crossover hatch off-roader thingy

As you've probably gathered by now, the Nissan DeltaWing 'halve-everything' strategy includes its engine - which is a 1.6-litre turbo petrol. Since this is the motorsport version of the 1.6-litre DIG-T unit available in the Juke (and shortly the next gen Renaultsport Clio), Nissan has chosen Le Mans to unveil the production Nismo version of its dinky crossover.

This is stage one of bringing the Nismo high performance brand to a wider European audience. Sitting on the big Nissan show stand at the end of the Le Mans village, it's pulling in a fair amount of attention - which is especially impressive given it's parked right next to the left-hand drive Juke R (its RHD brother is taking part in the parade later), in among a collection of other Nissans that includes the DeltaWing show car, an LMP2 racer and GT racing versions of the GT-R and 370Z.

Probably the colour scheme helps - pearl white with plenty of red pinstriping, just like the concept - but it sports beefed-up looks and bigger wheels, too; the body kit apparently improves downforce without increasing drag. The exact performance enhancements remain TBC, but it will include Nismo tweaks under the bonnet as well as to the suspension. "Steering modifications" are also promised, and there's a full Nismo interior makeover, including red stitching and chunky sports seats.

The car on the stand appears to be fitted with a CVT gearbox, which is a bit of worry. But then that's what you get with the 190hp, four-wheel drive package that's already in showrooms. Expect at least 200hp from the Nismo, and a dealership debut early in 2013.

No word on the price, but compared with the R it'll obviously be a bargain. The crossover assault on the traditional hot hatch has begun.




Author: cjhubbard
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