The Nissan Juke NISMO RS is the perfect car for the penny-pinching, unhinged driver

I have never really gotten the Nissan Juke.

It’s a confusing vehicle, from its market segment to its styling. But I think I have cracked it with the brand new NISMO Juke RS that just debuted at the 2013 LA Auto Show.

The Juke is a car for crazy people. 

The thing is, I mean that in a good way. Nissan has built a car that is so unhinged it actually makes sense. All it took was aggressive sport styling and 30 more horsepower.

The engine is the same basic 1.6-liter set up that you get in the standard car, and the ‘normal’ NISMO Juke. For the RS, though, the turbo has been turned up to eleven. The front-wheel drive version will chuck out 215 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Oddly, the all-drive version of the RS has been detuned to 211 hp and 184 torques.

See what I mean about the Juke being unhinged? Normally, when you give a car more traction; you add power, not take it away. Practically speaking, this has to do with the transmission options. The AWD version is saddled with a CVT that can’t handle quite the same power.

The good old-fashioned six-speed manual that comes with the FWD version can handle the power. But with all that power going through the front wheels things are going to be a bit twitchy, even with the tricked-out helical differential.

Like the normal NISMO Juke, the suspension has been lowered and stiffened. The RS’s suspension may not be that different, but it does get a reinforced sub-frame that adds structural rigidity. The brakes have also been enlarged, so the car should stop at least as fast as it goes.

All these performance tweaks are sure to make a difference, but what really makes the Juke NISMO RS work are the styling changes.  

The best word to describe the normal Juke’s styling is funky. You are not going to confuse it for anything else on the road, but to achieve this unique look Nissan’s designers resorted to lines that can only be called ‘ugly’.  

By lowering it, adding a front splitter, and adding some sporting touches like red side view mirrors Nissan’s designers have pulled the Juke together. The changes certainly don’t make the Juke NISMO RS a pretty car, but they make all that funkiness seem intentional. 

I like the effect. The Juke RS looks cool and unique, almost as if it came out of an especially well crafted manga.

I still think you would have to be crazy to buy the Juke NISMO RS over something like a Golf GTI or a MINI Cooper Countryman JCW. But, if you were that crazy, you would be getting a car that stands out and sets you apart from the people in practical, restrained hatchbacks and crossovers. In short, you would be crazy, but the kind of crazy I respect. 

Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.
Cars

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.