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Nismo-fettled Nissan Juke locked in for Oz

Juke box: The third model in Nissan Australia’s high-performance Nismo line-up will be the Juke small SUV to be launched in October.

October launch mooted for Nissan’s Juke Nismo performance small SUV


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13 Jul 2018

NISSAN Australia’s third high-performance Nismo model has finally been confirmed as the Juke small SUV, which will sit alongside the tuned 370Z and GT-R sportscars from October.


Set to become the flagship of the facelifted Juke range that is also scheduled to launch in the second half of this year, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol Nismo version should, according to Australian Design Rule documentation seen by GoAuto, be available in both 160kW six-speed manual and 157kW CVT auto guise.


With power outputs matching the overseas Juke Nismo RS, maximum torque is expected to be 285Nm for both manual and auto variants, making the incoming performance model 17-20kW and 45Nm more potent that the current Ti-S range-topper that uses a detuned version of the same 1.6-litre force-fed engine.


It appears Nissan Australia will forego the introduction of the lower-powered 147kW/249Nm Juke Nismo available in some international markets.


Local specification is yet to be revealed, but the international-market Juke Nismo first launched five years ago with a number of aesthetic and performance upgrades.


A more aggressively styled bodykit will be fitted, while other upgrades include tweaked suspension and steering, 18-inch wheels, front sport bucket seats, a larger exhaust outlet and red accents throughout.


Sitting atop the standard Juke range that currently kicks off at $23,490 plus on-road costs and tops out $10,000 further upstream, the Nismo-tuned SUV could wear a pricetag of around $40,000, putting it in contention with similarly priced hot hatches such as the Hyundai i30 N and Volkswagen Golf GTI.


Although Nissan Australia’s former chief Richard Emery had ruled out a local introduction of the Juke Nismo – at least in this ageing current generation – the company’s new managing director Stephen Lester, who took the reins in August last year, has clearly found the business case to be strong enough to warrant its introduction.


Mr Emery told GoAuto at the launch of the GT-R Nismo in February last year that the hotted-up Juke was “certainly not imminent”.


“If we were to make it available, Juke, if it only had 18 months’ life, and then the new one arrived but it didn’t have a Nismo version, then the car kind of becomes an orphan,” he told GoAuto at the time.


“And, of course, if there’s work (homologation) to be done on the car, that’s investment we have to get a return on, and we might look at the price and say, ‘Well, everybody’s going to laugh at us if we don’t get it right.


“So all of those things are in consideration, but Juke is difficult.”


Juke first went on sale in 2010, making it one of the first small SUVs available in Australia.


The latest facelift, which was revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, indicates that there is some life left in the current model before a new generation is released.


Changes include dark-themed exterior modifications centring on the ‘V-Motion’ grille, headlight surrounds and mirror indicators, along with LED foglights on higher-spec models and various new alloy wheel trim options (up to 18 inches).


Buyers of top-tier variants will also be given the option of personalising the wheel design with coloured inserts, while cabin revisions include new customisation colours (orange/blue) for the centre console, air vents, door inserts and seat upholstery.


A new Bose personal audio system was also heralded in Geneva, piping through six speakers – including two built into the driver’s headrest.

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