Nissan introduced the mildly sportier Juke Nismo earlier this year, and now the brand is giving buyers an even more potent option in the Juke Nismo RS, which makes its debut at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show along with the Sentra Nismo concept.
The 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS cranks up power from the turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6-liter I-4 to 215 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque for front-drive models, and 211 hp and 184 lb-ft for all-wheel-drive models. That represents a slight gain over the Juke Nismo's 197 hp and 184 lb-ft, and a significant increase over the standard Juke's 188 hp and 177 lb-ft. The extra power comes from a retuned ECU and a unique exhaust system with a larger-diameter main tube and revised baffling. Nissan's vice president of product planning Pierre Loing said in a release that the exhaust has been "tuned to create a highly visceral sound worthy of its racing-inspired roots."
Front-drive models come paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission specific to the Nismo RS, which includes a dual-mass flywheel and enhanced strength to handle the added torque. Gear ratios for first and second are lower than those found in the non-RS manual for improved acceleration. Manual-equipped Juke Nismo RS models also receive a standard helical-gear limited-slip differential. As we learned in our quick drive of the Juke Nismo, no manual gearbox can currently mate up with the Juke's all-wheel-drive system. Thus, the Juke Nismo RS AWD features a beefed-up CVT featuring technology borrowed from the Maxima. With the Juke RS' CVT, the model finally gets a set of paddle shifters, which offer eight stepped ratios to simulate gear changes -- one more ratio than the Juke Nismo's seven, and two more than the standard Juke's six faux gears.
The Juke Nismo RS AWD retains the system's torque vectoring ability, which can reduce understeer by increasing torque to the outside rear wheel. The system can split torque evenly front and rear, and adjusts based on data gathered from wheel speed, steering angle, yaw rate, and lateral G-forces. All Nismo RS models employ special body and chassis reinforcements to increase overall rigidity, along with tuned suspension and steering. The model rides on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45 Continental ContiSportContact5 summer tires, and gets red-painted brake calipers and upgraded brake pads.
The main interior difference between the Juke Nismo and the RS version include new Recaro Sportster seats with leather-covered bolsters and suede center inserts. The Nismo RS also gets an Alcantara-trimmed Nismo steering wheel and exclusive RS logo in the speedometer. The trim surrounding the center stack and shifter is made to look like carbon fiber. The only option available on the Juke Nismo RS will be the Navigation package with NissanConnect, which includes a 5.8-inch touch-screen, navigation system, voice recognition, NissanConnect apps, Rockford Fosgate EcoPunch audio system, USB port, and rearview camera.
The 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS is set to arrive at Nissan dealerships early next year.