Nissan Qashqai

Nismo is on a bit of a rampage lately. Once consigned to the fringes, Nissan has taken its performance sub-brand into the mainstream and let it loose on a whole mess of its products. The Juke Nismo was followed by a 370Z Nismo, and in Los Angeles, we saw the GT-R Nismo, Sentra Nismo concept and Juke Nismo RS.

So what's next from Nismo? According to the latest intel from across the pond, Nissan is working on a tuned version of its new Qashqai. Car magazine is reporting that the larger crossover will get the same 1.6-liter turbo four as the Juke Nismo, but with the RS model's 212-horsepower out and not the "base" model's 197. Expect all the other bells and whistles applied to transform a Nissan model into a Nismo one to apply as well.

If the Qashqai name doesn't ring any proverbial bells for you, that's alright, because it's only sold overseas, where it's one of Nissan's most popular models. The crossover (which looks like the new Rogue but is a substantially different model) was recently completely replaced, with engine options ranging up to 150 horsepower – so the jump to over 200 should make for quite a different beast altogether. Whether a parallel or subsequent program to give the Rogue a similar treatment is another matter, but given the pace at which Nismo seems to be running, that may only be a matter of time.