PARIS 2012: NISSAN JUKE NISMO AND 370Z
Mid-term refresh for an old stager - and NISMO arrives in Europe officially
In amongst it all however we sniffed out two PH-worthy contenders: the Juke NISMO and a new 370Z.
Well, itís the first accessible performance variant of this big-selling crossover. More significantly, itís the first official Nissan in Europe to bear the name of Nissanís performance brand.
Cynics might see this as a low-key start for NISMO, a brand probably best known to PHers for the classic Skyline racers of the late 1980s, Japanese Super GTs and of course the mighty GT-R GT1. But this is more than a quick Halfords tart-up.
The 200hp produced by the Jukeís 1.6-litre direct injection turbo engine (previously seen in the DIG-T model) runs through either a 2WD manual transmission or a 4WD CVT. In the 2WD car youíll get 0-62 in 7.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 134mph. Knock 0.4secs and 9mph off that for the 4WD.
Sheís well-specced on the inside too, with redesigned seats, pedals, gauges, and gearknob, plus suede-trimmed NISMO sports seats with red stitching and an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel.
Best thing of all about the Juke NISMO, surely, is that itís being built in Sunderland, way-aye, when the boot comes in etc. Surely that makes it a Juke NISMERRH, though?
Anyway, itíll be there Ė and in other parts of the UK Ė early next year. Final prices and specs will be announced then.
You donít see too many new 370Zs about the place. To alter that perception, Nissan has given the brawny RWD coop a mid-term injection of sales Viagra in the form of some detail enhancement work on both Coupe and Roadster.
Besides a new front bumper, red brake calipers and the dreaded (now mandatory) Daytime Running Lights, thereís a swirly new 19-inch alloy wheel on the options list.
Completing the refresh are two new body colours, Midnight Blue and the enigmatic-sounding Meguma Red - an enigma that will no doubt be solved by at least one of the accompanying pics.†
First deliveries of the detailishly embiggened 370Z are expected, well, now.