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2014 Juke NISMO RS unveiled in LA, our predictions were close

We made some predictions about the 2014 Juke NISMO RS to be unveiled at the LA Auto Show and now that it's here, we can see that we were close on many counts. Even had we been wrong, though, this little powerhouse of awesomeness is jaw-dropping.

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Here are few fast facts about the 2014 Juke NISMO RS, as unveiled, to wet your whistle and get the juices flowing:

  • 215 horsepower, 210 lb-ft of torque
  • Helical Limited-Slip Differential on the manual transmission
  • Higher structural rigidity and larger brakes
  • New NISMO RS interior treatments featuring Recaro front seating.

How's that for awesome? Put all together into the fun little Juke package with all-wheel drive and the NISMO signature Alcantara leather interior and Rockford Fosgate sound and you've got some of the most fun you'll have in a sport crossover. The photo gallery attached (click any thumbnail above) is of our drive in the 2013 Juke NISMO, so we can imagine that adding all of these bonuses makes it even better.

"The concept behind the development of the new JUKE NISMO RS is giving the customers exactly what they have been asking for – more power, handling and exclusive equipment like Recaro seats and Alcantara®-wrapped steering wheel," said Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan North America, Inc. "And the best part is, it does it in a very balanced way, delivering up to 215 horsepower in combination with unique body and suspension upgrades."

Last month, our predictions were pretty straight forward. We predicted that the 2014 Juke NISMO RS would push horsepower to the 210 range (they got it to 215!) while keeping the little 1.6-liter inline-four engine. This boost was made with updates to the engine control unit (ECU) and a revised exhaust and baffling to help it breathe better. This likely also boosts the great sound the exhaust already made with a throatier, more muscular tone.

To go with this boosted engine power, the six-speed manual transmission has been modified to allow for more torque at lower gears by changing gear ratios and strengthening the clutch cover and flywheel. Lower ratios in first through third give it better off-the-line performance and (as we found in the standard Juke NISMO), will mean better dirt rally performance as well. This is coupled to a Limited-Slip Differential with helical gears. All of this means a longer peak torque range and better control.

Shifting is offered through the gearshift and paddle shifting (in the AWD). The great continuously-variable transmission (CVT) Nissan has is also available on the NISMO RS model of the Juke. The AWD's torque vectoring has been tuned to the higher outputs of the RS model as well.

A significant bolster to JUKE NISMO RS's engaging driving dynamics is a series of special body and chassis reinforcements designed to help increase overall rigidity. "The additional reinforcements and fixing points, used primarily for the higher torque front-wheel drive model, contribute to the increased steering precision and quicker response of the NISMO RS versus the JUKE NISMO," said Loing.

Finally, in order to bring all of this power to a stop, the little Juke NISMO RS features larger brake surfaces with nearly a full inch of rotor being added at front (now 12.6 inches versus 11.7), new vented rotors for the rear (non-RS models are not vented at rear), and calipers to match.

The exterior is basically the same as the Juke NISMO models with added "RS" badging. The color touches, NISMO red highlights, and improved downforce aerodynamics are all there. Inside, however, the NISMO RS is very different from the standard Juke NISMO with beautiful and highly race-functional Recaro front seats. The seating in the standard Juke NISMO is very comfortable and grips the driver and front passenger well, so these will only improve on that.

The Juke NISMO RS hits showrooms early next year. Nissan promises to release pricing and other information closer to that time. Watch video of the NISMO unveils at the LA Auto Show here:

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