Nissan has given the Juke baby crossover a serious performance boost with the Nismo RS version revealed at Los Angeles motor show. It follows the styling cues of the Nismo sold overseas, but gets a slightly more aggressive body kit with red and black accents, with those colours continuing into the leather and Alcantara interior set off by carbon-look trims.
But the more welcome news is that the Juke's 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine has been poked to now put out 160kW of power and 285Nm of torque -- a respectable lift from the current standard Juke top-spec Ti-S's 140kW/240Nm (and the 147kW/250Nm of the slightly warmer Nismo in overseas markets).
The poking largely took the form of a reprogrammed CPU and larger-breather exhaust, but the transmissions weren't left out. The six-speed manual gearbox also gets shorter lower ratios and a limited-slip differential to better deliver the outputs to the front wheels.
Paddle-shifters have been added to the all-wheel drive version's continuously variable transmission, but the downside to the auto is reduced outputs of 158kW and 250Nm. The good news is that handling is sharpened by reprogramming for the torque-vectoring system.
The RS sits lower than the standard Juke and gets a stiffer chassis with extra bracing, with other underpinning tweaks including more responsive electric power steering, and larger front and vented rear brakes -- all wearing red calipers.
Nissan hasn't announced which markets it will roll out to -- or when -- but with the standard Juke having only recently arrived here, and the current Nismo still a 'business case in progress' for Nissan Australia, it could be a while before we can get our hopes up of seeing the Nismo RS here.
Watch the desktop version of the Nissan Juke Nismo RS official video here.
This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott