Sprightly as it is, the Nissan Juke manages to straddle the line between hatchback and crossover with aplomb. As such, it's one of the most suitable cute-utes for tuning, and that point hasn't lost on Nissan itself. The UK-based racing division of the Japanese automaker transformed the controversially-styled mini-CUV into the tarmac-munching Juke-R. But if that elite vehicle's stratospheric price tag turns you on and away at the same time, another Nissan division might have the answer for you.

What we're talking about is the new Juke Nismo. Having showcased a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show show last year, the company's performance arm is unveiling the production-spec performance crossover this coming weekend at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – an event with an unprecedented number of Nissan-powered vehicles on the grid, including the experimental DeltaWing prototype.

The enhancements to the Nismo model over the stock Juke include a more aggressive aero package complete with new front and rear bumpers, wider wheel arches, side skirts, a tailgate spoiler and a new grille. The flared fenders house wider 18-inch alloys, while the interior has been retrofitted with sportier control surfaces and red-stitched, suede-covered sport buckets with greater lateral support.

Just like the standard Juke, the engine is quoted as a 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four, though output figures have not been released (the North American spec Juke rings up 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque). The Nismo is enhanced, however, by a stiffer suspension, revised steering geometry and performance-tuned traction control with torque vectoring.

While the Juke Nismo will be available in Europe from the start of the new year – about six and a half months from now – Nissan has confirmed that the vehicle will be made available in its own Japanese Domestic Market and (most importantly) in the United States at an as-yet undisclosed later date. In the meantime, you can admire from afar in the high-res image gallery above and the press release below.
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- First public unveiling of Nissan Juke Nismo production model will be on the Nissan stand at Le Mans from 13th to 17th June
- Nissan Juke Nismo is the first in a series of new Nismo models - inspired by Nissan's Japanese motorsport heritage and performance expertise
- Enhanced styling, more performance and sportier handling
- European sales to start January 2013

The production version of Nissan Juke Nismo will make its global debut at the world's most famous race, the Le Mans 24 hour this weekend alongside the pioneering Nissan DeltaWing and Juke-R. Previously revealed as a concept at the Tokyo and Geneva international Motor Shows, this is the first glimpse of Nismo's legendary performance DNA which will make the eagerly awaited transition from racetrack to road in early 2013.

Nissan was a pioneer of the compact crossover segment in the automotive market with the launch of Juke in 2010; and is set to continue its leadership with the launch of its first radical performance crossover model - the Nissan Juke Nismo.

Nissan's Nismo product range, developed by the brand's motorsport and personalisation division in Japan, offers distinctiveness and individuality as well as sports orientated handling, performance and excitement to standard Nissan cars starting with the Juke.

The Nissan Juke Nismo combines the current radical Nissan Juke design, with a unique blend of sports coupé lines and SUV styling, influenced by Nismo's motor sport expertise. Nismo specialists have engineered a new aerodynamics kit, giving the Juke an even more efficient, dynamic and powerful design. The new model features lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and sill side skirts, and a modified grille and tailgate spoiler which control airflow. These aerodynamic enhancements reduce front and rear lift without increasing drag enhancing the Juke Nismo's driving performance. Stylish new 18-inch alloy wheels with wider tyres offer improved grip, and further boost the Juke's on-road presence.

The Juke Nismo is enhanced with a tuned-up version of its 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, inspired by the one installed in Nissan's revolutionary DeltaWing Le Mans race car. As well as featuring stiffened suspension settings and new steering modifications for sportier direct handling and improved traction control, the new model will also be available with torque vectoring, a technology offering better grip and cornering capacity.

The Nismo treatment continues inside the cabin, where the steering wheel, pedals, gauges, gear knob and door trims have been redesigned to boost the sporty feeling when driving. To further underline the performance personality of the car, special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching have been added for increased holding while cornering.

Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President Global Product Planning, says "The introduction of Juke Nismo further cements our dedication to provide innovation and excitement for everyone. The Juke, with its radical design and pioneering attitude, is the natural choice to be one of the first Nissan models to receive the mythical performance and distinctive design treatment from our Nismo specialists."

The Nissan Juke performance story began late last year with the creation of the Juke-R - which, intended initially as a one-off concept, has now been put into limited production due to demand.
This weekend the new Juke Nismo will sit alongside the Juke-R, starting the next thrilling chapter for the compact sports crossover, as the Nismo badge begins its journey from race track to road.

The Juke Nismo will be built at Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK in Sunderland, alongside other members of the Juke family and sales in Europe are due to start early January 2013. Further details and specifications will be announced closer to launch. Juke Nismo will be available in Japan and USA at a later date.

About Nismo
Nismo is the exclusive performance brand of Nissan. The brand is derived from Nissan's vast motor sport activities spearheaded by Nissan Motorsports International Co. Ltd (Nismo) which was established in 1984.

Today Nismo also offers drivers a unique combination of performance and technical innovation. Anyone can enjoy the excitement of driving a Nismo tuned car supported by Nismo's race proven technology.

Nismo currently operates at the highest levels of GT and sports car racing, including Japan's domestic SUPER GT series as well as World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Le Mans series in Europe and USA.

In 2011, Nismo-developed Nissan GT-R racecars won the driver's and team titles in SUPER GT and the drivers' title in the FIA GT1 World Championship, while Nismo-developed engines won LMP2 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and took LMP2 class titles in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) and Le Mans Series. In 2012, Nissan is supplying 14 engines to competitors in the LMP2 class. Nismo also won the driver and the team titles in the National class of the All-Japan Formula 3 championship.

Nismo now offers Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 which is globally eligible for various championships.
Nismo has also developed the remarkable trail-blazing LEAF Nismo RC, the world's first all-electric racing car which made the first run in front of the public at last year's Le Mans 24h event. Its arrival heralds a new era of technologically advanced motor sport, expanding the boundaries of what is possible.

Nismo connects with its supporters through the hugely-popular Nismo Festival in Japan, drawing upwards of 30,000 fans to its annual year-end extravaganza. The festival represents "Nissan Racing DNA" and features the cars and stars from Nissan's sporting past, as well as examples of its current racecars.

About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced 677,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this thing is ugly as hell, but people like it. If they have fun driving this, who am I to judge?
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they will finally mate the 6MT to the AWD, I will be in line right now.
      Ejvind Andersen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't like it? Don't buy it! Really simple. I think it's a bit to sensible styled compared to The -R though.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really like it, if only because it's different. I'm so tired of cookie-cutter, Bangle inspired, jellybean looking piles of crap. GM, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BME, Merc, are you listening?
        • 3 Years Ago
        ...yes, it is 'different', but i don't want to be seen driving an ugly car'.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This sounds like fun. looks like they lowered it also.
        • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thats the "more aggressive aero package complete with new front and rear bumpers, wider wheel arches, side skirts, a tailgate spoiler and a new grille" giving the effect of a lowered ride height.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really hope they add at least some power. Given how much OOOMPH is readily and reliably available in a 2.0, I don't think 200-210p is out of range for a DI 1.6. If they do that and add a manual trans with AWD.... I suspect I may be tempted to trade in...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the car - they need to get about 240hp into it and it will be a nice little Focus RS/Mazdaspeed3 competitor. The car is much lighter than those 2 so it wouldn't need the full 250-280hp. It could be potentially slotted against a WRX if they lower it and include the awd. The 2.5 motor from the SER and Altima have had aftermarket turbos for about 8 years now and many people running closer to 280whp. Nissan could possibly make a case for this car. It would also compete head to head with the R32 GTI but be cheaper.
      • 3 Years Ago
      There are things I'd like to see Nissan change/update in current Juke... 1) Replace CVT with 6AT (It would be much sportier) 2) Fuel tank is really small, especially in AWD model (too frequent stops at gas station) 3) Allowing Navigation to be used during Drive (So passenger could enter the destination) 4) Add Door Lock Button for thenpassenger side or out it in the center. 5) Add a center storage unit or armrest, please.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I fail to see how a 6 speed automatic would be sportier. That CVT is the best in the business. I believe an armrest is optional, or at least the aftermarket makes one.
      The Wasp
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought the Juke was sporty all the time -- that's certainly how it was advertised. Does this mean they can now kill off the base model (or at least please stop advertising it like a sporty CUV)?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        No, because it really is a sporty CUV. Depending on the power they give this model, it will be a racey CUV.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is the NISMO getting the CVT? If so what's the point?
      Dylan KidKodai Sheph
      • 3 Years Ago
      This does not make sense. A Nismo juke. Body kit and stiffer suspension? Who cares if you don't have the power. Great concept Nissan, bad follow through.
      Wicked Bad!
      • 3 Years Ago
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