The Juke is already a well-known fixture on UK roads, but now Nissan have transformed it into a special edition Nismo version, aiming to offer affordable performance combined with race inspired styling. Although Nissan’s motorsport and tuning division Nismo (from Nissan Motorsport) has been around for about 30 years and is well respected in Japan, it’s only just starting to feature on road models in other countries, with the Juke being the first Nismo road car in Europe.
Nismo are headquartered in Yokohama and produce a wide range of motorsport vehicles, including electric race cars, GT Championship cars and Le Mans 24 hour race competitors. There are maybe more obvious places in the Nissan range to start making performance versions, but we were keen to see if they could work their magic on the Juke and get the formula right with their first offering.
The performance and overall equipment package is great value for money, with some tempting manufacturer finance deals currently available. Maybe the styling on the test car is a little brash for some: the combination of black wheels, bright white paint, red mirrors and sports seats is not all that subtle. Plus there’s a body kit, roof spoiler and shouty exhaust added into the package, but remember opting for the black paintwork is a tad more subtle. I’m guessing that if you’re attracted to a Nismo edition, you’re not going to be that bothered about what people think of a body kit or a spoiler. Plus, by the time someone who takes life a bit too seriously has finished tutting, you’ll be miles away.
The fact that Nissan are introducing Nismo editions to different models across their range is something to be celebrated, and I for one am itching to get in some more of these editions as the positive aspects of enhanced performance and specification strongly outweigh any negatives such as some slightly brash styling and overly firm suspension, all at a great price.
I’m pleased the Juke exists, just in normal guise and especially so as a Nismo edition. A reasonably practical, performance focused vehicle, at just over £20,000 on the road equals a lot of car in a lot of different ways. I really do think a lot of people would imagine it costs more than it actually does, and how often does that happen?