Motorsport Influenced: 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO
Top-end Sentra model offers NISMO touches, enhanced performance.
The 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO offers the look of the brand’s motorsport division, but it falls short of expectations. That doesn’t mean the Sentra NISMO isn’t a fun car, rather the production version is a step-down from the Sentra Concept shown a few years earlier.
2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO.
From Concept to Modified Reality
Indeed, that concept featured a 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque according to Road & Track. In addition to its NISMO (NISsanMOtorsports) good looks, the enhanced engine came paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, which sent power to the front wheels by a limited-slip differential.
Alas, the larger engine and the limited-slip differential were not assigned to the new model, finally released this year. Instead, the engine is the same 1.6-liter turbo four cylinder found in the Sentra SR as well as in the Nissan Juke. Moreover, although the manual gearbox is available, you can also choose a continuously variable transmission. Notably, the CVT when operated in manual mode simulates seven forward shift points.
So, how much of a change in performance is the production version from the concept? Try 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 22-percent drop in horsepower and a 26-percent difference in torque over the concept, representing significant departures certain to disappoint core Nissan enthusiasts.
Fun Factored In
Despite falling short of expectations, the Sentra NISMO has fun factored in. And that’s despite my test model coming equipped with a CVT instead of the manual.
Indeed, once spooled up, the turbo delivers a spirited drive with decent on-road acceleration. Although the limited-slip differential would have improved handling through balanced power distribution to the front wheels, even without it present it was manageable. Just expect torque steer to kick in at times, requiring adroit steering on your part. But that feeling can be fun, especially when navigating twisty roads.
Nissan outfitted the Sentra NISMO with grippy Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires. You can also upgrade to summer tires. The wheels are nothing short of handsome as they’re dressed in 18-inch NISMO 10-spoke machined-finish aluminum-alloy.
Other exterior enhancements include a layered double wing look to the front fascia, a dark chrome grille, and LED daytime running lights. You’ll also find front, side, and rear body panels, and a NISMO rear fascia with an oversized exhaust tip and diffuser-like trim. Lastly, this sedan sits 0.4 inches lower to the ground than other Sentra models.
NISMO Touches and Standard Equipment
Inside, the NISMO look extends to the unique front seats embroidered with the NISMO logo and enhanced by extra bolstering. Unique cloth material with red stitching covers the rear seats.
Other NISMO embellishments extend to the push-button start surrounded by a red ring, a leather shift knob, and a special meter cluster with a red tachometer. As for the interior color, the choice is clear — charcoal with red accents. That’s because there are no other choices. NISMO carpets and an unusual Alcantara and leather-wrapped steering wheel Go to the full article.