Some five years after the last factory-backed Nissan effort took to the Targa Newfoundland—and won the 1,200-mile rally/"high-end automotive adventure" across the Canadian island of Newfoundland—the company is out to reclaim its title with a 2015 Nissan Juke NISMO RS. The vehicle actually will be part of a three-car team from the brand, but since the other two entries will be micro-sized, Canada-only Nissan Micras, the smart money is on the 2015 Nissan JUKE NISMO RS as the pace-setter for the team.
And that's even with the 2015 Nissan JUKE NISMO RS running the race in a "virtually stock" configuration. Of course, in the case of the NISMO-fied JUKE, "stock" means complete with a turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that can produce 215 hp and 210 lb.-ft. of torque, as well as a standard helical limited-slip differential, a performance braking setup with bigger front discs and upgraded pads, and NISMO-tuned suspension and electric steering systems.
Yet despite its highly athletic approach to driving, the 2015 Nissan JUKE NISMO RS retains fairly good EPA marks. For example, the manually transmissioned 2015 Nissan JUKE NISMO RS achieves the same 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway/27 mpg combined as the non-NISMO JUKE SV model. Which should help ensure the Nissan team doesn't find itself out of gas while it’s out on the circuit.
Said event organizer Robert Giannou: "Targa fans have enjoyed some fabulous Nissan cars over the years, but we are particularly pleased to welcome Nissan Canada and two very different, very exciting models that demonstrate the diversity of the Targa challenge.
"Targa represents a real-world test for car manufacturers and Nissan Canada has accepted the challenge head-on. I'm confident they'll do well."
The 2015 Nissan JUKE NISMO RS is on sale now in U.S. dealerships with an MSRP of $26,120.
For more information about the 13th annual Targa Newfoundland, scheduled for Sept. 14-19, 2014, visit the aptly named www.TargetNewfoundland.com.