By Jennifer Geiger on February 7, 2013
Nissan's compact crossover is joining the brand's performance-oriented NISMO club. We got our first look at the 2013 Juke NISMO (derived from the words Nissan Motorsports) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France last June; it met the North American press at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.More 2013 Chicago Auto Show Coverage
Nissan says the NISMO Juke got around 100 performance modifications compared with the regular version. Outside, the normally frog-eyed crossover takes on a more menacing look with LED-accented fog lights, smoked headlights, red pinstriping and matching red side mirrors. It also wears a body kit with lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and side skirts, a unique grille and a new tailgate spoiler. Wider 18-inch alloy wheels complete the attitude. Inside, the Juke is trimmed in gray and red suede and features sports seats and NISMO badges.
It's not all just for show: The Juke NISMO uses a version of the regular model’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. It makes 197 horsepower in this application, up from 188 in regular Jukes. Front-drive versions come equipped with a six-speed manual transmission; all-wheel-drive models use a continuously variable automatic transmission. NISMO models get stiffened suspension tuning and steering modifications for sportier handling. It will also get a torque vectoring system for better cornering ability, according to Nissan.
The NISMO version joins the base S, SV and uplevel SL versions of the Juke and goes on sale this March. Check back with us for pricing updates. Check out the gallery below.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer