Nissan sets sights on front wheel-drive Nurburgring record, announces 275-horsepower Pulsar Nismo RS

The Nissan Pulsar may be a small hatchback, but its goals are anything but.

Auto Express is reporting that Nissan has announced a 275-horsepower Pulsar Nismo RS, a range-topping version of the upcoming 247-hp Nismo S. The new car is setting its sights on the front-wheel drive production lap record at the famed Nurburging race track.

The current record of 7:54 was set by the RenaultSport Megane Trophy-R. Like the Nissan, the Trophy-R is a hot hatch with over 270 hp, but it tips the scales at a svelte 2,821 pounds. The Pulsar’s curb weight will likely have to fall somewhere beneath that to compete.

The exact powertrain layout of the suped-up Pulsar is unknown, but it’s probably down to two candidates: the 1.6-liter turbo four from the Juke Nismo RS or a version of the 1.8-liter four-cylinder from the Sentra Nismo concept that surfaced last November.

The Juke’s 1.6-liter put out 215 hp and 210 pound-feet of torque, but considering the Japanese automaker’s penchant for high horsepower-per-liter figures, there’s surely room to grow there.

A simpler solution may be to use the Sentra Nismo’s 1.8, which itself is just a larger version of the Juke’s powerplant. The boosted four-banger produced 240 hp and 240 lb/ft when it was shown in 2013.

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In a world full of hot hatches, it may be tough for Nissan to emerge on top with the ‘Ring’s FWD lap record, but Nismo knows a thing or two about the famed German racetrack. The 2015 GT-R Nismo currently holds the fourth-fastest lap time for a production vehicle, and the manufacturer tests nearly every Nismo vehicle there.

If the Pulsar does wrestle the title from the Megane, however, it may not rein for long: a 280-hp Honda Civic Type R is in the works for the 2015 model year.

The Pulsar Nismo S and Pulsar Nismo RS are expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

(Photos via Auto Express)