The Nismo-inspired Kicks you can’t have but definitely deserve

The 2019 Nissan Kicks Street Sport is a concept car developed by Nissan Motorsports and MA Motorsports for the 2019 SEMA Show. A more aggressive version of the small crossover, it looks a lot like a Nismo-built model thanks to its sportier stance and race-inspired upgrades inside the cabin. It even features a more powerful engine, although specific performance information is not available. Sadly, this beefed-up Kicks won’t come to a dealerships near you anytime soon. Here’s why you should be upset about it.

Nissan Kicks Street Sport Concept Exterior

  • Nismo-inspired design
  • Big splitter
  • Blacked-out trim
  • Race-inspired wheel arches
  • 17-inch Volk Racing wheels
  • Two-piece wing
  • Red accents
  • Aggressive look overall
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Street Sport concept takes the Kicks' exterior to a new level with upgrades that make it worthy of the Nismo badge

As a replacement for the Juke in the U.S., the Kicks is far from spectacular. Its design is rather mundane compared to newer Nissan products, and is the kind of vehicle that takes you from A to B in decent comfort. But the Street Sport concept takes the Kicks’ exterior to a new level with upgrades that make it worthy of the Nismo badge.

The front fascia boasts two new important elements. There’s a large splitter at the bottom of the bumper and black trim for the bumper vents and the main grille. The profile was enhanced as well through race-inspired upgrades, including:

  • Wheel arch extensions
  • Red accents on the mirror caps and side skirts
  • Sportier side skirts
  • Volk Racing 17-inch wheels finished in dark gold

The crossover also sits lower thanks to a custom suspension built by Nismo.

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Around back, Nissan added a big two-piece wing on the tailgate and a red stripe at the bottom. A black badge and a custom exhaust pipe round off the rear end. The roof is finished in gray to provide a strong contrast to the white body and the black and red accents. This is actually a layout you can order on the production Kicks through the Color Studio configurator.

Nissan Kicks Street Sport Concept Interior

  • Carbon bucket seats
  • Alcantara upholstery
  • Red accents
  • Carbon-look trim
2019 Nissan Kicks Street Sport Concept Interior
- image 869835

The interior features unique touches as well, starting with carbon bucket seats made by Sparco. These have Alcantara center sections and leather sides. Other highlights include red accents on the A/C vents and floor mats, and carbon-look elements on the dashboard and the door panels. The steering wheel features a flat bottom, but this is a production feature, while the instrument cluster doesn’t seem to have a sportier design, as it usually happens in beefed-up vehicles.

Nissan Kicks Street Sport Concept Drivetrain

  • turbocharged engine
  • likely more than 200 horsepower
  • custom diverter valve
  • Nismo exhaust system
  • quicker than standard model
  • no official specs
2019 Nissan Kicks Street Sport Concept Drivetrain
- image 869837
The engine was upgraded with a Garrett GT2255 turbocharger and a Turbosmart diverter valve

The Kicks Street Sport isn’t just about styling. The folks over at MA Motorsports took the standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine out to install a custom turbocharger kit. The drivetrain now includes a Garrett GT2255 turbocharger, a Turbosmart diverter valve, and an UPREV ECU. A custom exhaust system from Nismo enables the engine to exhale better and produce a more aggressive note.

Nissan didn’t say how much power it generates, but it’s safe to say that it cranks out more oomph than the standard model. The stock 1.6-liter four-banger, shared with the Versa, delivers 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque.

With a high-performance turbo attached to it, the small four-pot should generates well in excess of 200 horsepower. Torque figures should also blow past the 200-pound-foot mark.

While the stock Kicks is rather lazy to 60 mph, needing 9.7 seconds to run the benchmark, the modified crossover should be able to get there in less than eight seconds.

Nissan Kicks specifications
Engine 4-cylinder / inline
Block / head composition Aluminum / aluminum
Displacement (liters) 1.6 (1,598 cc)
Horsepower 125 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 115 @ 4,000 rpm

Conclusion

2019 Nissan Kicks Street Sport Concept Exterior
- image 869838

Well, this is another case of a cool production-ready concept that we won’t get to enjoy.

Nissan doesn't have any plans to put such a model into production, and even if it does, it will be a Nismo only on the outside and the drivetrain will remain stock.

Yes, it’s a cool take on the Kicks and it makes me think that Nissan is considering more powerful Nismo-badged versions of its compact vehicles, but it won’t happen anytime soon. This concept proves that the Japanese firm has what it takes to add power and coolness to its more mundane vehicles.

  • Leave it
    • No plans for production
    • No performance specs
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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