Hot hatchback or sporty crossover? The Nissan Juke Nismo isn't an easy car to pigeonhole but its curious appeal hasn't diminished with the launch of an updated RS model.
Launched at the Paris motor show earlier in 2014, the Nismo RS is now on sale in the UK. Prices start at £21,995 for the two-wheel drive car with a manual gearbox.
Subscribe to evo magazine
Nismo's engineers have boosted power and tweaked the suspension, helping to turn the high-riding Juke into a more focused hot hatch.
As before, the Juke Nismo RS features a tweaked version of the Juke's standard 1.6 DIG-T 190 power unit. Here, power is massaged to 215bhp - up from the previous Nismo's 197bhp output - and torque rises from 184lb ft to 206lb ft.
That could have spelled disaster for the Juke's handling, already rendered moderately unruly thanks to its tall stance. To counter further wheel-scrabbling, Nismo has equipped two-wheel drive, six-speed manual RS models with a limited-slip differential.
Four-wheel drive Juke Nismos carry on as before, with Nissan's Torque Vectoring System and a continuously variable transmission badged Xtronic, with eight virtual ratios and steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Nismo has addressed one of the Nismo's previous shortcomings, its dull exhaust note, with a retuned system and larger-diameter silencer. Brakes have grown too, with 320mm discs up front (previously 296mm) and ventilated discs at the rear. Revised spring and damper settings should ensure a sharper drive.
Visually, the Juke Nismo RS is as crazy as any Juke Nismo (or indeed, any Juke). Storm White, Pearl Black and Blade Silver paintwork complements a full body kit, tailgate spoiler, 18in alloy wheels and new daytime running lights.
A red pinstripe runs around the bottom of the car, colouring echoed on the door mirror caps, brake calipers, RS badging and inside, a red tachometer.
Other Nismo-specific interior features include suede-trimmed sports seats with red stitching, a similarly-trimmed steering wheel, metal-finished pedals and carbonfibre-style dashboard trim. Options include Recaro seats, a safety pack with Xenon headlamps, Around View Monitor and Safety Shield, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Moving Object Detection.