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Designed for Canada, Nissan’s limited-edition Micra Cup is a race car in appearance only

Canadians have access to a cheap, tiny Nissan city car dubbed Micra. They can race it, too, because Nissan launched a one-make race series for Micra owners last year. And now, our friends up north can order a limited-edition version of the Micra — Canada’s cheapest new car — that’s loosely inspired by the cup cars.

At first glance, the Micra Cup Limited Edition is instantly recognizable thanks to a white paint job accented by red Nissan decals on both sides. The hatchback rides on 15-inch eight-spoke alloy wheels, and it receives a shield-shaped Micra Cup emblem on the trunk lid. The cabin merely gains a numbered plaque that reminds the occupants they’re not riding in a run-of-the-mill econobox.

Nissan hasn’t made any mechanical modifications. The Cup carries on with a stock, Micra-sourced 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Front-wheel drive is the only configuration available, but Nissan hasn’t revealed if the four-banger is bolted to a five-speed manual transmission or to a four-speed automatic unit.

The Micra Cup built to hit the track uses the same 109-horsepower engine as the street-legal model, but it gains bigger brakes, a specific exhaust, and a suspension that has been made firmer. Surprisingly, the limited-edition Cup eschews all of these upgrades.

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Nissan’s Canadian division will begin selling the Micra Cup Limited Edition in the spring, and production will be capped at 250 examples. The company still isn’t planning on selling the Micra on our side of the border, so we’ll have to settle for looking at the limited-edition Cup model from afar. Enthusiasts who want to see the cup car in action can trek out to the Calabogie Motorsports Park on May 14 to attend the inaugural event of the 2016 Micra Cup.