We’re going to take umbrage at the Nissan Pulsar Nismo concept – just a little bit, but umbrage all the same.
It’s not because we don’t want to see Nissan take on the Golf GTI with it’s new family hatchback challenger, but rather because Nismo – which is short for Nissan Motorsport – has a 40-year history of being a hardcore performance brand, and all we’ve got at Paris 2014 is a styling concept.
Nissan Pulsar Nismo concept at Paris 2014
So while it’s pretty hot to look at – love the way the red splitter carries round into the side skirts, not so sure about the twin bazooka exhausts – we have absolutely no idea what’s planning for under the bonnet. Literally the only engineering details so far revealed are that it’s got 19-inch wheels and tuned suspension.
The new Juke Nismo RS’s engine is an obvious candidate, but with only 215bhp that’s not going to present much of a challenge to the current crop of established hot hatches – let alone the likes of the Honda Civic Type R that’s also surfaces as a concept (again) at Paris. Ho hum.
Still, it could be worse. It could be Nissan is only planning to offer the Nismo Pulsar as an M-Sport type trim level. You wouldn't do that to us, would you Nissan?
This just in: Nissan has also announced a 187bhp version of the regular Pulsar, badged 1.6 DIG-T. This gets a slightly milder version of the Juke Nismo engine, plus it's own bespoke styling enhancements inside and out. Still doesn't tell us much about the Nismo, though...
Nissan Juke Nismo RS at Paris 2014
So what about that Juke Nismo RS, then? Happily it’s more than just the previous Juke Nismo with the latest Juke visual upgrades (notably the new, edgier headlights and dark chrome ‘V-motion’ grille).
Instead the 1.6-litre turbo petrol – a close relation of that in the Clio Renaultsport – gets a boost to 215bhp to 207lb ft (up 18bhp and 23lb ft), the bodyshell is stronger, the chassis sharper, the brakes bigger and the front-wheel drive manual version benefits from a mechanical limited slip differential. The four-wheel drive model retains the CVT transmission and torque vectoring capability.
A fruitier exhaust adds extra excitement and an optional set of Recaro seats helps you hold it all in. No update on pricing yet, but expect a slight rise over the last car. It won't be a limited edition run this time around but a full production model.
Nissan 370Z Nismo at Paris 2014
Nissan is also showing the revised 370Z Nismo in public for the first time at Paris. No more power for the gnarly V6, but lots of work has been done on refinement and ride comfort, apparently. You also get a slightly more integrated look and a set of shellback Recaro seats.