Nismo Juke has unique bumpers, grille and wheels, plus sports interior with new seats

Nismo Juke has unique bumpers, grille and wheels, plus sports interior with new seats

Production of the new Nismo sports variant of the Nissan Juke crossover is now under way at the company's UK factory in Sunderland, north east England.

Engineering and manufacturing teams have integrated the Nismo - which has a more powerful engine and many other detail changes - into existing production.

Some changes were required at the plant to make the unique front and rear bumpers plus other elements of the new, more aerodynamic body.

Since launch in 2010, more than 330,000 Jukes have been built at the factory, where Nissan also manufactures the Note, Qashqai and Qashqai+2.

Last year the plant set a new production record of 510,000 units, up from the previous best of 480,000 in 2011.

When the plant opened in 1986, employees assembled 12.5 cars per hour. The figure is now 118 per hour, 60 on Line 1 and 58 on Line 2. Around 80% of production is exported, mostly to mainland Europe but to a total of 97 overseas markets.

The Juke Nismo is the first of a new range that, the automaker said, "will take Nissan's global motorsport success and move it from the race track to the road".

Changes include a more aerodynamic body kit, driver-focused interior upgrades and a more powerful turbocharged engine. Stiffer suspension and modified steering are also included.