Nissan reveals next chapter in Nismo story

Nissan has unveiled the next models in its hot Nismo performance range - and we can reveal the future looks molten indeed.

At the press launch of the Juke Nismo in Barcelona, the Japanese manufacturer let journalists get behind the wheel of a camouflaged, high-powered version of the popular SUV.
> The Juke Nismo already has its output hiked to 197bhp from its 1.6-litre DIG-T unit as well as handling and steering modifications, but the new model - exclusively revealed by AOL Cars - will have even more punch.

The Japanese manufacturer remained tight-lipped on the more potent Juke's name - there was no mention of the RS moniker we unveiled at the Paris Motor Show - but we did learn it would get a further 18bhp as well as an even sportier set up.

We had a short spin in a disguised car on an auto test course and can report it sounds meaner and pulls harder than the standard Juke Nismo - which is already an impressive package in itself.

Nissan engineering maestro Jerry Hardcastle said: "The high powered version is still under debate. It's clear as you increase power the chances owners will want to take it onto a track increases too, so it will be a difficult balance to set up, but we are working on it."

Some may wonder why the brand's iconic Nismo performance arm's attentions have been turned towards the Juke before anything else in the model line up - there are, after all, more sporty models already in the firm's arsenal.

Nissan reveals next chapter in Nismo story

However, Miyatani San - the president of Nismo - said it was because the maker wanted to build a global brand. Although hugely respected and revered in Japan, Nismo is little known outside of the country - unless you happen to be a fan of PlayStation's Gran Turismo game.

"That's why we had to focus on a volume model first," Miyatani San said. "Nismo needs to be accessible for everyone. Yes, we are a motorsport brand, but Nissan is about innovation and excitement for everyone."

However, the high-powered Juke wasn't the only surprise Nissan had up its sleeve at the event.

The manufacturer also pulled the wraps off the next car to get the Nismo treatment - the sporty 370Z. With a new spoiler and front splitter, the new car certainly looks the part and we can reveal under the bonnet it packs a fiery 337bhp (11bhp more than the standard model).

Nismo engineers revealed it had been tweaked for better handling and steering with throttle response tweaked to "make it easier to catch a drift".

It's likely to arrive in the summer.