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.

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.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…