Nissan’s two-strong Nismo family is about to get a new member in Australia, with the performance-focused Juke Nismo to hit dealerships in October.
There have long been rumours about the Nismo version of Nissan’s crossover SUV making an Australian debut, but given the brand has now issued invites for the car’s media launch, the cat is well and truly out of the bag.
Details are a little scarce, but we do at least know the Juke Nismo, which has been pottering around international markets since 2014, will join the 370Z Nismo and GT-R Nismo in a new trifecta of performance for the Japanese brand.
Australian specifications are yet to be confirmed, but the European version (called the Nismo RS) makes 160kW and 280Nm from a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine, and is available with a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic, with the latter gearbox option marginally less powerful.
If that’s not enough motivation to opt for the manual, the fact that the CVT version also misses out on a mechanical limited slip differential should be enough to convince you. Nissan says it actually doesn’t need one, because it has AWD with torque vectoring.
Either way, that’s a tempting upgrade from the 140kW and 240Nm offered in the current top-spec Juke, the $33,490 Ti-S AWD. Elsewhere, the Nismo version offers bigger sport brakes, a louder exhaust and a zero-to-60mph (just under 100km/h) time of 7.0secs wth the manual gearbox, or 8.0secs with the automatic.
Visually, the Nismo cars are lower, and have a new wing, side skirts and spoiler, as well a dark-chrome grille. Inside, there are new Recaro chairs up front, too.