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Last 7 Days

by Tim Beissmann

The racy Nissan Juke Nismo has been revealed ahead of its public debut at Le Mans this weekend.

The production car comes hot on the heels of the Juke Nismo performance crossover concept that debuted at November’s 2011 Tokyo motor show.

While the Juke Nismo may take some of its design cues from the ballistic Juke-R, it will not share that car’s Nissan GT-R-sourced 407kW twin-turbocharged V6 or its $600,000 price tag.

Instead, the Nissan Juke Nismo will be considerably tamer and much more accessible, priced closer to the standard crossover range when it goes on sale in Europe in January 2013 and the US and Japan later next year.

Nissan is yet to reveal the precise details of the Juke Nismo’s powertrain, confirming only that it features a “tuned-up version” of the standard car’s 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 140kW of power and 240Nm of torque in its base tune.

The Nismo crossover gets a dramatic and more efficient aerodynamics package with lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and side skirts and a modified grille and rear spoiler to control airflow.

New 18-inch alloy wheels with wider, lower-profile tyres promise improved grip, while stiffened suspension and steering tweaks have created a sportier ride and more direct handling. A torque vectoring system will also be available to further enhance the Juke Nismo’s grip and cornering ability.

Inside, the hot crossover sports uniquely styled pedals, gauges, steering wheel, gear knob and door trims, and scores suede-trimmed, red-stitched Nismo sports seats.

Prices and specific performance details will be revealed closer to next year’s launch of the Nissan Juke Nismo.

Although the Nissan Juke is not sold down under, Nissan Australia’s new managing director Bill Peffer last month confirmed he was working hard to get the car into local showrooms, telling fans of the quirky crossover to “watch this space”.