If you thought that the Nissan Juke Nismo would be something of a half measure in terms of sheer punch, think again.
The Juke Nismo would comfortably hold its own in most traffic light grands prix, running nip and tuck with our new hot supermini class leader, the Fiesta ST, right up to 100mph. It’s a genuine sub-7.0sec prospect to 60mph, and our time makes a mockery of Nissan’s 7.8sec official 0-62mph claim. It’s also more than a second quicker into three figures than the previous Renault Clio Cup.
No damp squib, then. Once you select Sport mode on the NDCS, the Juke’s turbocharged four-pot develops sharper throttle response – provided you’ve got the turbo spinning.
That turbo takes a little bit of rousing at low revs, as our in-gear acceleration numbers show, but it has a predictably large swell of mid-range torque in all driving modes. More than enough, often, to trouble the maximum traction levels of the front wheels.
There’s a real edge to the engine’s voice, which becomes harder and more metallic as the revs rise although never bothersome in its harshness. You’ll like listening to this motor, which can’t always be said of engines of its kind. And its willingness to pile on speed above 4000rpm is also impressive for a small-capacity turbo. The limiter doesn’t chime in until 6750rpm, and you can get quite close to that threshold before its lungs begin to run short of air.