Nissan Juke Nismo: U R OK

What better place to introduce a new car than at the 24 Hours of Le Mans? For better or worse, that was Nissan's PR schtick for the Juke Nismo, which ran beside the racy Juke-R as one of the marque's compact performance dynamos.

Nissan announced today that the Juke Nismo will be available in Europe by January 2013, making its way to Japan and the U.S. at some point later in the year.

Of course, Juke Nismo won't have anywhere near the performance characteristics of the fire-breathing 545 hp Juke-R, being instead endowed with tuned version of the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine available in the base Juke. The little mill, which Nissan said is based on the turbocharged 1.6 they're using in the company's DeltaWing LeMans racer, will crank out a bit more power.

Nismo is, of course, an acronym for Nissan Motorsports International Co. Ltd, and the Juke Nismo includes body styling cues designed to evoke a rakish, sporty stance. It's not quite as alien-fighter-spaceship crazy looking as the Juke-R, but it still looks mildly mean with lower than normal bumpers and bulgy bodywork that somehow makes the funny-looking but capable little car look muscular. It aslo wears a set of 18-inch rims and performance tires, lending to what we're sure is a fun ride.

Nissan Juke Nismo: U R OK

Even with it's peppy little four banger and sporty trim, the stubby, bulbous car beneath reminds me less of Nismo than it does Nemo. That aside, it does have a rather sleek profile.