Paris 2012: Nissan Juke NISMO and 370Z

If there's such a thing as a low-profile splash, Nissan made it in Paris. Its show metal had a 'back every horse' feel about it, with a zero emissions car, a Ministry of Sound car, an off-road concept, the DeltaWing Le Mans racer, and a Micra tie-up with an upmarket ladies' mag.

In amongst it all however we sniffed out two PH-worthy contenders: the Juke NISMO and a new 370Z.

NISMO badge - it's there - arrives in Europe
NISMO badge - it's there - arrives in Europe
What to say about the Juke NISMO, apart from the obvious fact that spoonerising it produces an excellent porn star name?

Well, it’s the first accessible performance variant of this big-selling crossover. More significantly, it’s the first official Nissan in Europe to bear the name of Nissan’s 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 Juke’s 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 you’ll get 0-62 in 7.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 134mph. Knock 0.4secs and 9mph off that for the 4WD.

It's been facelifted ... no, really!
It's been facelifted ... no, really!
Keeping it all tidy on the road is a revised chassis, with spring rates increased by 10 per cent, modified damping and steering, a driver-configurable Nissan Dynamic Control System, 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 R18 tyres and a comprehensive aero package.

She’s 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 it’s being built in Sunderland, way-aye, when the boot comes in etc. Surely that makes it a Juke NISMERRH, though?

Anyway, it’ll be there – and in other parts of the UK – early next year. Final prices and specs will be announced then.

Defanged but now boasting DRLs
Defanged but now boasting DRLs
Enpimp my 370Z
You don’t 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, there’s 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.

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