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Nissan's performance brand Nismo is brilliantly bonkers

A LITTLE bird tells me that there will be trouble at mill in the very near future with the voting habits of certain motoring journalists.

We all know at this stage that the Irish Motor Writers' Association has been asked to declare how they vote in the annual Car of the Year hootenanny.

Certain members, from let's say more modest titles with circulations to match, are even more trenchant in the steadfast determination to give nothing away as the row hurtles towards the annual assessment.

That's to say, a tiny fraction of those who vote for the awards are protecting their advertisers by, believe it or not, voting in favour of their advertisers.

The big question is that can you honestly ascribe to the notion of objective journalism by voting on the basis that the car you pick is also the one which lines your pockets.

Now some of the big boys, who genuinely make some of the best cars on the road, want to know the criteria and the voting patterns of the end of year poll.

I won't give anything away, but if I said that one major manufacturer would like to see a little 'vorsprung durch wahlen' or badly translated as voting progress, then you might get the idea.

Some major manufacturers are rightfully getting into a tizzy in particular about one niche publication – and by niche I mean a circulation so small you could get them into a Q7.

Incidentally, one of my many spies in the body of which I am not a member, has revealed that my previous opinions on the matter was heatedly ranted about by a particularly outraged member, much to the amusement of onlookers.

Anyway the whole the thing is bonkers, so much so that the matter is set to come to ahead in the coming weeks.

Something else that is absolutely bonkers is the Nissan Juke Nismo, but in a blatantly barmy and bodaciously brilliant kind of way.

The Nismo is the Juke on steroids, a power-packed sports car from the people who brought us some of the great models though the ages, including the R32 and the GT-R.

Most amazing about the Nismo is that here is a car that can whack out 200bhps and comes in the form of a mere 1.6 litre engine, petrol of course.

The practicalities of such a car are not for this writer, this is sheer sports sensationalism, good time motoring for appreciators of great cars. The Nismo has it all from the outside, head turning muscle-bound looks, red wing mirrors, growly exhaust, fabulous front and rear and the most aggressive black 18-inch alloys on the road.

This is not just a beautiful looking car outside but inside it gets even better. There are, of course, sports seats, but these ones are suede, and there is a steering wheel made of leather and suede, and a dash straight out of the space shuttle, and ... need I go on?

This is a also car raised off the road, the type of machine that gives you SUV-style driving but with none of the tweaks to suspension that you would expect with a sports model.

My major concern with such an upright sports car was that the handling might be a bit jerky, but don't worry.

Here is a car that can handle and perform on the curve as good as any and, of course, the best bit was the sheer exhilaration that exceleration can deliver.

This is the performance brand's first outing in Ireland and its pace is nothing short of blistering with a 0-100kmh of 7.8 seconds and a top end of 216.

It's not bad on juice either – returning 40mpg and annual road tax of €570.

Expect to see more from the racing arm of the Japanses giant's stable in the near future .

The Juke Nismo costs €29,675.


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