You can pretty much ‘pimp up’ anything these days. Britain, along with pretty much the rest of the world is becoming obsessed with the American preoccupation with making everything bigger and louder.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the modern day use of the word pimp, I’m very much using it as a verb, so that’s ‘making something more showy or impressive as opposed to ‘a man who controls prostitutes and arranges clients for them, taking a percentage of their earnings in return’.
Yeah, it’s everywhere you look. Pimped up coffees in every coffee shop, Man Vs Food burgers the size of your head and even Gangster’s Paradise rapper Coolio ‘pimping shrimps’ in his new cook book, Cooking with Coolio. (I hear his Yabba-Dabba-Snapper and I’m Gonna Slap You with My Whisk Tomato Bisque are to die for).
Some things work better than others of course. One of them being the Nissan Juke Nismo, which is the first of two Juke’s that are set to shake up the hot hatch sector, with the twin turbo V6 Nissan Juke-R 2.0 waiting in the wings.
Not that the Juke Nismo isn’t enough of a badass, in fact if it was a person it would probably be Chuck Norris, on a Harley Davidson, driving through a shopping mall (possibly the Bridges in Sunderland) buying a cigar, lighting it and just driving off while flipping the bird to the security guards.
The Juke Nismo, here in its RS guise, has certainly attracted attention as the first in a series of models to be introduced by Nissan’s dedicated motorsport arm, thanks largely to its 1.6 litre turbo-charged 197bhp engine, capable of producing a sub 7 seconds 0-60mph. Ooosh. Even in ‘Normal Mode’ it feels like a huge step up from the regular Juke.
There was an instant sense of urgency as soon as I put my foot down on the accelerator, with the manual gearbox here begging to be put quickly through its paces. It may look like a funky hatchback, but don’t be fooled into a false sense of security. This car wants you to have fun, lots of fun, with lowered suspension and bucket seats placing you immediately on the race track. The response you get from the pedals and driving position means that you might as well be taking on the corkscrew at Laguna Seca instead of turning around a roundabout to go to the local Co-op for bread and milk (other local bread and milk purveyors are available of course).
When you do get the chance to open up the engine in Sports mode the results are impressive. It has to be said that it takes a bit of time to get the turbos going, with Sports mode making little difference at lower speeds. But get over 60mph and things get a little feistier, with throttle response becoming as sharp as a Kanye Cactus (what you didn’t read my lost blog, where were you?) and the noise from the engine turning from a bark into a growl.
One thing this car doesn’t suit however is taller drivers. While your backseat passengers will be comfy, the high chassis, lower roofline and bucket seats can make it slightly more difficult to enter and exit as a driver than you might be used to and could make it a bit awkward when you’re trying to make that quick getaway from a bank robbery. You’ll still have enough boot space for all your ill-gotten loot though as the cross-over stylings of the Juke means you get a deep boot for a relatively small car, though you might struggle to take any hostages with you.
As you would expect from a model that is trying to reassert itself as a car for the cool kids, styling is of upmost importance, with Recaro front seats swathed in leather and suede, while the dashboard comes complete with a dual screen infotainment system that allows you scroll through radio stations or use your sat-nav while at the same time keeping tabs on your MPG or, more importantly with this car, how much torque you’re giving out.
The Juke Nismo is a fantastic addition to the growing Juke range and is an attractive proposition for those that want to mix city car cruising with track day thrills.
Until my next blog, I’ll be seeing you. I’m off to help Chuck Norris out with a house move, after which we’ll probably relax by barbequing a crocodile in his new back garden, weather permitting.