You'll have to take the good with the bad here. The good is that Nissan improved upon the Juke Nismo and gave us the Juke Nismo RS. But the one configuration you'll want — a manual with all-wheel-drive — isn't available.
Nissan took the wraps off a few things this week, including the 2015 GT-R, the GT-R Nismo, the IDx Nismo Concept and the Sentra Nismo. And here's the Juke Nismo RS, which we knew was coming to the LA Auto Show, but we didn't have specifics. They're here.
Along with the Subuaru WRX, it's the latest performance car to also offer a CVT gearbox, which seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Fear not! There is a 6-speed manual. Both options have some odd configurations, though: The CVT option only mates to an all-wheel-drive version, while the six-speed only goes to a front-wheel-drive.
Barring the super-fast Juke-R, the Juke Nismo was the most powerful at 197 hp. Now it's the Juke Nismo RS with the six-speed is 215 hp (211 hp with the CVT/AWD combo). Both have the same 1.6L turbo four-cylinder, but the Nismo RS tweaks its exhaust system for more roar off the line.
The Nismo RS ups its torque numbers to 210 lb.-ft. with the manual and 184 lb.-ft. with the CVT. With the manual, you get a helical-geared limited-slip diff. With the CVT, you get paddle shifters. Both have updated suspensions over the Nismo, but the AWD gets revised steering dynamics to prevent understeer.
There isn't much exterior difference between the Nismo and Nismo RS except for some subtle badging, though you do get Recaro seats and an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel on the inside.
Can you afford it? Nissan hasn't told us yet. But the Nismo starts at $22,900, so expect more than that.