What is it?
Remember the Micra 160 SR? A gold star and extra nerd points if you do. Launched back in 2005, it was Nissan’s first and (until today) only attempt to push its supermini into the 'warm hatch' sphere in Europe.
To say it was unsuccessful is an understatement. Contemporary reviews suggest it was actually pretty competitive. But it seemed that car’s cutesy styling combined with the Micra’s driving school image did it no favours for enthusiasts on a budget.
But perhaps the latest generation is a better fit, with its more grown up, angular design and slightly more upmarket positioning. Nissan clearly reckons so, which is why it’s launched the N-Sport onto the market.
Far from just a cynical trim level, the firm is using it as the basis to introduce a new 1.0-litre engine, also available in other higher-end trims. All cars with the new engine get a bespoke chassis tune, lowered suspension and a new steering rack, while the N-Sport model gets subtle exterior styling tweaks and and natty Alcantara trim on the dash and seats.
Alongside this, model year upgrades include a newly designed infotainment system with additional connectivity, and a new smartphone app that allows some limited operation of vehicle features.