Next-Gen Nissan Juke NISMO has its work cut out?
It needs to look, drive and feel really excitingby Andrei Nedelea, on
Nissan has only just pulled the veil away from its all-new second-generation Juke crossover and we’re already wondering what the hot Juke NISMO variant might be like. The automaker will probably go quite crazy with it if it does get made, but until we get official confirmation of the production model, this rendering is all we have to go by.
Whenever Nissan makes a NISMO model, the automaker applies a unique visual treatment. The car is fitted with sportier bumpers that have red blade accents and these accents might also be carried over to the side skirts, mirrors and/or the grille.
That’s exactly what I did to the regular Juke for the purpose of this rendering. Aside from this, I also widened the car (made its wheel arches more bulging and increased the track width).
The grille now has a different pattern mesh to it (borrowed from another recent NISMO-branded product) and the opening has been enlarged slightly.
The rims on NISMO vehicles are also usually unique to that vehicle (or shared among other NISMO models) and the (bigger) brake calipers are also finished in red to match the rest of the red accents.
To finish off the look, Nissan usually adds NISMO badges on the left side of the grille, as well as on the right side of the trunk lid. As a personal touch, which I thought would reflect the era when this car was made, I added a (fake) vent behind the front wheel (on the door), in order to accentuate the widened fender - this is common practice among automakers nowadays, and it looked suitable here.
Inside, Nissan usually gives its NISMO cars heavily bolstered sports seats, covered in suede and red leather.
The suede is also present on the steering wheel and sometimes the dashboard, as well as on the door panels and in order to continue the red on black theme used for the exterior, the stitching used inside is bright red.
Under the Nissan Juke NISMO’s hood, we could expect to see a development of the original Juke NISMO’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It made 188 to 216 horsepower (190 to 218 PS) and as much as 280 Nm (206.5 pound-feet) of torque and it could be hooked up to either a standard six-speed manual, or an optional continuously-variable transmission. It’s essentially the same engine that powered the fourth-generation Renault Clio RS.
There was the option of all-wheel drive too.
It was only available paired with the CVT transmission, though, so you couldn’t buy what is probably the perfect version of the Juke NISMO - an all-wheel drive vehicle with the six-speed manual box.
Maybe Nissan would have spent too much making the torque-vectoring AWD compatible with the manual transmission, but opinions of those who have driven it seem to point to the fact that the added traction of the all-wheel drive makes the car better.
None of this is important any more, because Nissan is unlikely to offer the Juke NISMO with all-wheel drive. The second-generation car no longer relies on the old car’s platform - it rides on the common Renault-Nissan B platform that is the basis for many other model like the Nissan Micra, the fourth-generation Renault Clio or the Renault Captur.
It is also worth pointing out that the first-gen Nissan Juke NISMO wasn’t a resounding success. It was criticized for its woolly handling which ruined the rest of the tall hot hatch experience that you got driving it. The continuously-variable transmission further diminished driving fun and, in the end, it was just not that appealing as a performance car - a proper hot hatch is what many people who considered getting a Juke NISMO ended up buying instead.
And back in the day the Juke NISMO was the only vehicle of its kind on sale - now it will have to face up against the likes of the SEAT Arona Cupra (or Cupra Arona as it will come to be known). It is powered by a 2.0-liter engine with 200 horsepower and it needs just 6.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph); it’s a serious adversary that Nissan now has to consider.
Now, even the most powerful version of the Hyundai Kona, with its 177 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo engine, might pose a threat to the Juke NISMO.
And besides, let’s not forget it’s not just on the performance from that Nissan has to ward off competitors - its Juke is no longer the funkiest looking small crossover on the market; that distinction now goes to the Toyota C-HR, but while that may look like a performance vehicle, it’s actually not that fast or exciting to drive.
What I’m trying to say is that the next Nissan Juke NISMO has to be really good in order to stand out. It needs to look the part, drive better than the old one (and its rivals) and feel like a genuine performance car.
Read our full review on the 2019 Nissan Juke.
Read our full driven review on the 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO.