After the GT-R, the 370Z and the JUKE, there’s now a fourth model in Nissan’s lineup that received the NISMO treatment. For the 2017 model year, the Sentra NISMO is being added to the catalogue, spiritual successor to the original Sentra SE-R as well as the Datsun 510 that saw the light of day almost 50 years ago.
Under the hood, we find an aluminum 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with turbocharging and direct injection. It develops 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, thanks in part to a 10.5:1 compression ratio, variable valve timing and a variable-pressure oil pump. The engine is matched either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic.
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The car’s handling is taken care of by its independent strut front and torsion beam rear suspension setup, recalibrated for NISMO duty. At the rear, we find monotube shocks as well as revised front struts with separate gas and oil chambers, resulting in faster damping response under hard driving.
The 18-inch alloy wheels are unique to the Sentra NISMO, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 215/45ZR18 tires. The electric-assist steering has been recalibrated for sportier driving, reducing effort at the wheel and enhancing road feel, according to Nissan.
As for the car’s look, we immediately notice that it’s much sportier than the conventional Sentra, with red or chromed trim up front, and the sides and at the rear. Three paint colours are offered on this special-edition sedan, including Gun Metallic, Super Black and Aspen White. In addition, aerodynamic add-ons provide a 30% reduction in lift force, compared to the regular Sentra.
Inside, one colour is available and that’s grey, although red accenting is featured on the Alcantara-wrapped wheel, the engine start button, the instrument panel and the shift lever.
The 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO will be assembled in the company’s Mexican plant, in Aguascalientes, while engines will come from the brand’s Yokohama plant in Japan.