NEW FOR 2014:

– New NISMO RS model
– New colour: Bordeaux Black

One would think that the wizards at Nissan’s NISMO division had their fun sprucing up the Juke, but no. They’ve kicked the subcompact crossover up another level with the new RS trim level that offers even more performance.

The upgrade to the RS over the standard NISMO read like a tuner’s Christmas wish list: close-ratio manual transmission with triple-cone synchros on first and second gear, stronger clutch cover, bigger brakes and pads with more bite, higher-rate springs, increased structural rigidity, pared-down Recaro race-style seats, and a helical limited-slip differential. There’s more power too, thanks to a freer-flowing exhaust and a re-tuned engine management system — total power is 215 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. It’s the sort of stuff that tuned Scion xB owners will find themselves fawning over. Unlike the standard Juke NISMO, the RS is a manual-only affair, which also dictates front-wheel drive.

Otherwise, the Juke carries along by and large unchanged. The SV and SL are powered by a direct-injected 1.6-litre four-cylinder that develops 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive models can be had with either a six-speed manual or a CVT. All-wheel drive models are solely equipped with the CVT and feature a torque vectoring system that splits torque 50/50 between the front-rear and side-to-side. An available “integrated control” system sets the throttle, transmission and steering response settings to Normal, Sport or Eco modes. The Juke NISMO receives a more powerful version of the engine with 197 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, and can be had with front and a six-speed manual or all-wheel drive and a CVT.

Features on the SV include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, heated mirrors, privacy glass, Bluetooth connectivity, trip computer, outside temperature display, cruise control, driver’s auto up/down window, keyless entry, tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, variable intermittent wipers, intermittent rear wiper, cargo cover, dual vanity mirrors, six-way manual driver’s seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, floor mats, CD/MP3 stereo, auxiliary input, iPod interface, and anti-theft alarm.

The SL adds automatic climate control, fog lights, power sunroof, Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition, and heated seats.

The SL can be further optioned with a Navigation Package that adds navigation system, rearview camera, leather seats, Rockford Fosgate stereo system, XM satellite radio and USB port.

NISMO models add a more powerful NISMO-tuned DIG turbocharged engine, NISMO-tuned vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering, NISMO-tuned suspension with increased spring and dampening rates, 18-inch NISMO aluminum alloy wheels, smoke headlights, LED daytime running lights, NISMO red mirror covers, body-colour fender lip mouldings, high-gloss B-pillar finish, NISMO aerodynamic body kit, NISMO front grille, NISMO chrome exhaust finisher, NISMO sport bucket seats with embossed logo, suede seat trim, NISMO red stitching, NISMO Alcantara/leather wrapped steering wheel, NISMO shift knob, NISMO carpeted floor mats, black headliner, NISMO tachometer, and NISMO centre console badge.

The NISMO RS adds an even more powerful NISMO-tuned DIG turbocharged engine with RS-specific drivetrain upgrades, RS-specific steering and suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels, Recaro seats upholstered in NISMO RS sport synthetic suede.

The RS can be had with an optional Navigation package which adds a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen display, satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, Rockford Fosgate EcoPUNCH sound system, reverse camera, and USB jack.

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