What is it?
An early taster of Nissan's new Juke Nismo RS, which is due to reach Europe early next year.
Sampled here in pre-facelift form in Canada, Nissan's performance arm has tuned the Juke Nismo's 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine to 212bhp and 210lb ft of torque – increases of 18bhp and 26lb ft respectively.
That’s achieved thanks to a retuned ECU and a larger diameter exhaust, as well as stronger connecting rods used in the engine.
To help put that extra power to the ground, the gearbox receives shorter gearing, as well as a more durable clutch and flywheel. Perhaps the most important addition to the RS is the helical limited slip differential.
Ride height is unchanged from the standard Nismo, but spring and damping rates are up slightly, and the electric power steering is retuned for a slightly more sporting response.
Clamped by red calipers, the RS’ front brake discs are 12.6-inches versus 11.7 inches in the Nismo, and rear discs are vented rather than the Nismo’s solid rears. Pad material is also unique to the RS.
Body changes from the Juke Nismo carry over, save for the addition of RS badges, and, for what it’s worth, Nissan says the more aggressive Nismo fascia and grille improve downforce by 37 per cent.
The addition of a pair of Recaro-supplied bucket seats inside is the notable change. As found in other cars fitted with similar Recaros, they rank high on support with moderate comfort, but if you enjoy a good sport seat, you’ll be pleased with these.
Although the RS sits lower than the regular Juke, it still sits higher than your average hot hatch, so those on the shorter end of the height spectrum will find themselves climbing over the very pronounced seat cushion bolster.