Nissan Unveils Production Juke Nismo at Le Mans; Will Be Sold In U.S.

Following through on its promise to introduce more Nismo-branded production cars, Nissan will introduce the Juke Nismo crossover at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend. Whereas the model was previously shown as a concept, it's now official confirmed for production. The Juke Nismo will be shown alongside the DeltaWing racer and limited-run Nissan Juke-R.

The Juke Nismo was previewed as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show; while it's not as radical as the Juke-R, the upgraded compact crossover packs more performance and improved styling. Nissan announced last fall that it planned to produce more Nismo-branded vehicles, so that the tuning wing's name might eventually become as well-known as Ford's SVT/ST, Toyota's TRD, and so on. The only other Nismo-fettled car currently available in the U.S. is a special version of the 370Z sports coupe.

Key changes for the Juke Nismo include a new body kit, wider fenders, a new rear diffuser, and 18-inch wheels with wider tires than stock. The interior receives suede-trimmed sports seats, new pedals, a sportier shifter, and new gauges. The suspension and steering have reportedly been re-engineered for sportier performance, and Nismo even promises a form of torque-vectoring for the upgraded Juke. Nismo also has upgraded the turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine, although exact specifications won't be released until later. The regular Nissan Juke produces 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.

The Juke Nismo will be produced at Nissan's factory in the U.K., and goes on sale in Europe in January 2013. Nissan promises that the unique model will also be made available in Japan and the U.S.

Source: Nissan

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