With the introduction of the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO, the company is hoping to tap into the heritage of the Sentra SE-R and the SE-R Spec V. Starting with the Sentra SR Turbo as a base, the NISMO adds aerodynamic and suspension tweaks to squeeze more performance out of the compact sedan.
Under the hood is the same 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that first saw use in the Juke and is in the Sentra SR Turbo, which will also be a new model for 2017. While the Sentra NISMO Concept touted 240 horsepower, the NISMO version has no engine upgrades, so it still makes the same 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Power still goes to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or a CVT with stepped shifting.
So what’s so different about the NISMO that makes it not just another SR Turbo? For starters, aerodynamic tweaks decrease lift while keeping the stock Sentra’s .29 drag coefficient. The front fascia is also unique to the NISMO, and the lower panels have a red accent stripe. Four colors will be available, although calling them “colors” is a stretch as they’re more like varying degrees of grayscale – Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black and Aspen White are the names of the colors, which translate to light gray, darker gray, black, and white. See? Grayscale.
Inside, the Sentra gets NISMO seats, an Alcantara and leather steering wheel, and NISMO gauges.
Unfortunately, the Sentra is still saddled with the semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension, unlike the Hyundai Elantra Sport, which gets a fully independent rear suspension upgrade over bottom-feeding Elantras. Still, the suspension did get some upgrades, starting with monotube rear dampers and retuned front struts that should minimize body roll and increase responsiveness.
Wheels and tires are upgraded as well, with 18-inch NISMO alloys wearing either Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires or Bridgestone Potenza summer tires.
Pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed, but the Sentra NISMO will be a single model with the only choice being either a manual or a CVT. Watch the video above to get the full story right from LA.