Just in case you haven’t heard about it yet, NISMO is derived from NISsan MOtorsports and the company is developing sports-oriented vehicles all across its product line and tagging them with the moniker. One of the latest is the new 2013 JUKE NISMO model.
The JUKE NISMO has a racetrack-derived design, enhanced performance and road-hugging handling. It gives JUKE buyers a distinct choice in a crossover lineup that includes the affordable S, the well equipped SV and the premium SL. Two configurations — front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive with sport-tuned Xtronic CVT — are available and there are almost 100 separate performance, exterior and interior modifications available for the JUKE.
The modifications to the JUKE exterior are designed to enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamics, resulting in a 37-percent improvement in downforce (versus non-NISMO models). Many of the aggressive sports-cross styling elements were influenced by NISMO’s motorsport expertise, in particular using lessons learned from the styling and engineering of the Nissan GT-R racers that compete in the Super GT series in Japan.
Compared to the standard Nissan JUKE, the most obvious visual change is to the front fascia and grille, which have been modified to better control airflow to the engine. The new front end has a lower and more aggressive design, while the integrated fog lights have been replaced by thin-strip LED accent lights positioned at the top edge of new small vents to the side of the larger grille.
On front-wheel drive versions these are blanked, but on all-wheel drive models the left-hand side vent allows air into the engine bay for the CVT oil cooler, and the righthand vent is styled to match.
The prominent upper edge of the large lower grille features a red pinstripe that curves around the smaller vents and continues to the front wheel arches. This distinctive NISMO cue gives the nose a visual width and presence while emphasizing the athletic stance. The signature Nissan V-strut grille is finished in a darker shade and the distinctive JUKE combination lights are smoked as part of the NISMO appearance treatment.
Also part of the JUKE NISMO exterior look are new 18-inch lightweight aluminumalloy wheels with 225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact5 summer tires, which help give additional grip during cornering. One inch larger than the standard JUKE wheels, the diamond-cut alloys have a 10 twin-spoke design and are finished in dark anthracite.
The JUKE NISMO is available in three exterior colors — Sapphire Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White. All come equipped with red outside door mirrors and the matching pinstripe around base of the vehicle.
The MSRP on the Nissan JUKE NISMO is $23,780 and $26,080 with the CVT.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com