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Nissan Pulsar Nismo concept revealed

Nissan's Golf GTi rival has been revealed and is likely to get a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine

Words ByVicky Parrott

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Nissan will produce a hot-hatch variant of the Pulsar, previewed by this new Pulsar Nismo Concept, which has been revealed at this year's Paris motor show.

Flared wheelarches, two enormous central exhausts and a carbonfibre rear spoiler are among the more dramatic styling changes over the standard Pulsar, while trademark Nismo contrasting red style cues are evident around the exterior.

Lowered suspension with revised spring and damper settings and sharper steering are the only mechanical upgrades that the company has confirmed at this stage. Company sources admitted at an early preview of the Pulsar Nismo that there are a couple of powertrain options being considered but the decision has not been made yet. The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol from the Juke is the most likely option.

It’s also unlikely that the Pulsar will compete directly with the Renaultsport Megane. Nismo's global motorsport director, Darren Cox, said: 'We’d be foolish to line it up as a direct competitor to the Renaultsport Megane.'

Cox also confirmed that a more focused Nismo RS version of the Pulsar is likely, when he said that 'we need to do an RS version of any Nismo model, really. Just to maintain the identity of the brand'.

The standard Pulsar Nismo is more likely to offer a semi-hot hatch experience, with a maximum of 200bhp, and prices to rival cars such as the Kia Cee’d GT. A heavily modified RS model could well compete more closely with high-powered, four-wheel drive hot hatches such as the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R.