The Nissan Juke Nismo RS has been unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show, pushing the subcompact crossover into new performance territory with more power, exclusive equipment and the promise of better handling.
A significantly more hardcore step up from the mostly aesthetically modified Juke Nismo seen in June, the Nissan Juke Nismo RS uses a retuned engine control unit (ECU), a revised exhaust system and body and chassis reinforcements to ensure genuine performance gains.
All manual Juke Nismo RS models gain enhanced connecting rods, a strengthened clutch cover, a dual mass flywheel and an exclusive new six-speed gearbox with lower first to third ratios for faster acceleration. Manuals also feature a helical-geared limited-slip front differential.
All-paw RS models aren’t forgotten about either, coming with a Nismo-revised torque vectoring system, new steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters and an eight-step CVT manual mode (the Juke Nismo offers seven, the base Juke six).
Claiming racecar-inspired design, the Juke Nismo RS has reworked steering, springs and dampers for claimed enhanced feel and response. Like the standard Nismo version, the RS also sits lower to the ground on 18-inch lightweight aluminium-alloy wheels.
Inside the latter are uprated brakes comprising higher-spec pads, larger ventilated discs up front, ventilated discs in the rear and red-painted calipers.
Matching the Juke Nismo, the Juke Nismo RS is fitted with new front and rear bumpers and side skirts, LED lower lights, a darker grille, pumped wheel arches, gloss black B-pillars, red wing mirrors and Nismo-themed red stripe accents. Nismo 'RS' badging, a tailgate spoiler and a rear diffuser complete the exterior look.
The cabin scores unique Recaro front seats with red leather-appointed side bolsters and black suede centre inserts, an Alcantara–trimmed steering wheel, exclusive RS-stamped speedo, red-stitched charcoal grey suede instrument cluster cover and carbonfibre-look trim finishers.
A Navigation Package is also optional, comprising sat-nav, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a Rockford Fosgate audio system, NissanConnect apps, voice recognition capability and a reversing camera.
Nissan North America vice president of product and advanced planning and strategy Pierre Loing describes the new Nissan Juke Nismo RS as "the real deal".
"It's the Juke enthusiasts have been asking for," Loing said.
Available in three exterior colours – Sapphire Black, Brilliant Silver, and Pearl White – the Juke Nismo RS will be available in the US from early 2014. At this stage, however, the performance variant joins the normal Juke Nismo and recently revealed 441kW/652Nm Nissan GT-R Nismo as remaining “under consideration” for our market.