Nissan to produce its own potent hot hatch

Nissan is set to introduce a new player to the hot hatch market with a tuned version of its Pulsar heading for production. The Pulsar Nismo is earmarked for a reveal at the Paris Motor Show in October this year, and Auto Express has released an exclusive image previewing what the high-performance hatchback will look like.

The new Pulsar's sporty look is enhanced further with a chunky body kit and a low stance, which rests over larger alloy wheels. The front bumper holds stylish LED running lights and a large central air intake, while side skirts are seen on each flank and the rear includes a black diffuser with twin exhaust pipes. The pre-production image shows the car with a bright white paint finish, complemented by red detailing along the body's edge.

Suggestions are that two models will be offered, the Nismo S with 247bhp and an even more rapid Nismo RS that gives 275bhp. The latter will possess the muscle to take on the Leon Cupra, and also boast bigger brakes, stiffer suspension and racing steering and gearbox to handle the power increase.

Nissan chief planning officer Andy Palmer summed up the carmaker's approach: “The focus is on accessible excitement [with Nismo], but we also need to demonstrate we can go head-to-head with the best in the business. Think of us as trying to create a democratised AMG."

Following its debut in Paris this year, the Pulsar Nismo is predicted to be available for purchase 12 months later. With Charles Hurst in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Newtownards, you can explore the model as soon as it arrives.