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The Nissan Pulsar SSS hatch is coming back in mid-2013 with a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine and a lot of attitude.

Nissan confirmed the sporty model’s return today ahead of the local unveiling of the all-new Pulsar at this week’s 2012 Sydney motor show.

The Pulsar SSS made a name for itself as a cult classic for offering honest motoring enjoyment at a reasonable price during the 1990s.

Under the hood is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 140kW of power and 240Nm of torque. Transmission options include a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

No performance credentials have been provided, with Nissan holding back further details until closer to the SSS’s launch, but given the same engine results in a 0-100km/h time of around eight seconds in the heavier Nissan Juke compact SUV (not currently sold in Australia), we suspect the new Pulsar SSS will be around the low 7s depending on gearing.

In even better news for Nissan fans, Nismo has already tuned this engine in the Juke, so we suspect there’s a good chance a Nismo variant of the Pulsar SSS with a more powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged engine may also be on the way. At the very least, a Nismo suspension and bodykit package will be on the cards.

Australia will become the second market after China to get the Pulsar SSS with Australian models having their suspension specifically tuned for local conditions.

Pricing remains a mystery but we suspect, given the range-topping Pulsar Ti tops out at $28,990, the Pulsar SSS should come in at around $32,000-$35,000, putting it head-to-head with other ‘warm-hatches’, such as the Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Mazda3 SP25, a car which was heavily benchmarked for the SSS’s development.

Nissan Australia boss William Peffer says the Pulsar SSS will be top of its class when it launches in around nine months’ time.

“The way we see it, the Pulsar SSS will easily be the best performer in this category of vehicles,” Peffer said.

“The SSS name returns with the same energised styling and performance credentials that made it a hit with a generation of Australian drivers and enthusiasts and I promise you this car is worth the wait.”

The Nissan Pulsar SSS will make its official Australian debut at this week’s Sydney motor show.