The production release of the high-performance Juke Nismo crossover signals a move to reach a wider audience by expanding the Nismo lineup of vehicles.
“Since 1984, Nismo has enhanced the Nissan brand through excellence in motorsports and performance parts for Nissan vehicles. This expansion for Nismo beyond the Nismo Z represents a big step,” Rob Warren, Senior Manager for the Nissan Model Line, told SAE Magazines prior to the vehicle's North American debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
Built off Nissan’s global B-platform, both the standard Juke and the amped up version are powered by a four-cylinder engine. The 2013 Juke’s 1.6-L direct-injection gasoline turbocharged engine produces 188 hp (140 kW) at 5600 rpm and 177 lb·ft (240 N·m) between 2000 and 5200 rpm, but the Nismo’s engine is tuned for 197 hp (147 kW) and 184 lb·ft (249 N·m).
In AWD trim, Nismo’s engine is mated to a Xtronic CVT with a close-ratio seven-speed manual mode. Front-wheel-drive variants are offered with a six-speed manual only.
A Nismo-tuned suspension improves body response and roll control and is complemented by Nismo-tuned vehicle speed sensing electric power-assisted steering, 18-in aluminum wheels, and 225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact3 summer tires.
The front bumper on the Nismo was reshaped to better control airflow to the engine and redirect airflow around the front tires. In addition, the front spoiler’s center portion was redesigned to increase downforce. New side skirts reduce lift by reducing airflow to the car’s underbelly. The roof spoiler was extended and repositioned at an angle that decreases drag and adds downforce at the vehicle’s rear.
Nismo’s engineers have had considerable experience with aerodynamic techniques and technologies via the company’s lengthy racing tenure including the Super GT Series in Japan and the World Endurance Championships. That aerodynamic experience is one reason why the Juke Nismo’s body kit adds up to a 37% improvement in downforce compared to the stock model.
Interior elements of the Juke Nismo include a new leather- and Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel; suede-trimmed and side bolster-enhanced front seats with Nismo logos and red stitching, as well as a special dark smoke finish on the instrument cluster, vents, gear shift knob, base of shifter, power window switches, and front of center console.
Nearly 100 components on the Juke Nismo are unique from the stock model Juke.
“With Juke Nismo, Nissan engineers wanted to develop the vehicle on roadways that are quite different from Japan, so this vehicle was developed in Europe where a driver experiences everything from narrow, twisty mountain roads to the autobahn and everything in between,” according to Warren.