By on March 18, 2011

The greatest thing about the Nissan Juke is its absolute peach of an engine, a 1.6 liter, direct-injected, turbocharged little screamer. In fact it’s such a wickedly fun little engine that it’s a shame it exists only in a polarizing vehicle like the Juke. To that end, I noted in my review of Nissan’s funky “sportcross” that

Without the marketers, it’s tempting to believe that Nissan’s engineers would have widened the Versa platform, added the fantastic turbocharged engine, and then decided to simply put a steroidal Versa body on top, creating the king of all B-segment hot hatches.

Well, according to this shot from China Car Times, at least part of that fantasy is coming true. In this first shot of an updated “2011/2012” Tiida (Versa), you can see the phrase “DIG Turbo” gracing its flanks, suggesting that the Juke’s little 188 HP mill (or, at least a detuned version of same) could be headed to the next-gen Versa. Does this mean a high-po “GTI”-style variant is coming to America’s best-selling B-segment car? Let’s hope so. Frankly, the more vehicles that get that feisty little engine, the better. [Awesome “Engine porn” video for Nissan’s 1.6 DIG Turbo after the jump]

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12 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Versa GTI? Edition...”

  • avatar

    Great idea. Now if they’d only improve the Versa’s safety rating ( 2 stars on NHTSA), they might have something.

    • 0 avatar

      Dang, they really toughened up the standards.  It was a four-star vehicle in 2010, but now it’s a two-star vehicle under the current ratings.  I guess that means that many pre-2011 cars would have poor safety ratings under the new system.
      I like the looks of the Versa in that pic.  Maybe because that rear end looks like that of my Mazda3.

  • avatar

    Ed, in your review you went with the 5 speed in the juke. I’ve read elsewhere that the AWD has a better rear axle.  Any thoughts?
    I actually think most Juke sales are going to people who want something that looks, well, a bit different.

    • 0 avatar

      First off, I sell these….  (Jukes) the AWD is only available with the CVT and it’s got 4-wheel independent suspension and torque vectoring AWD.  It’s really fun to bash it around corners under full throttle.  The FWD version lacks the nice rear suspension.  It’s torsion beam.  And I would be thrilled to see this motor in a Versa.  Woof.

  • avatar

    I think Nissan was smart and intentionally debuted the engine in a low-volume model!
    If the engine proves to be a real dud, they’ve pissed off a few thousand Juke buyers, rather than 50,000 Versa/Cube/Sentra buyers.
    If it proves to be a solid, reliable powertrain, expect that engine to migrate to other models.
    I bet the photo is just the product of someone applying “upgraded” badging :)

  • avatar

    If they don’t beef up the suspension in that hot Versa hatch, it’ll be a waste of a good engine.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    I don’t care for the looks of the Juke , but at least Nissan tried to make it look interesting. I don’t think you could say the same of the Tiida/Versa – it is the most horrible thing on wheels, short of an Aztec.

  • avatar

    The Versa is a 100 times better looking then the Juke. Thus if the little turbo is that good then Nissan should get into the Versa ASPA! A Versa GTI sounds like fun. However would that steal sales away from Juke? The Juke is certianly marketed as “fun” and the Versa is marketing as “practical” …doubt they want to send a mixed message and so we’ll never see the Versa GTI here in the states where engine choices seemed to be 4 banger eco-box or V8 monster truck. The only people really pushing anything is Ford with it Eco-boost V6 line. So kudos to them. And yes I’m a turbo lover :)

  • avatar

    Goofy Gallic looks aside, the Versa could make a great hot hatch with this powertrain and some suspension tweaking.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I finally saw a Juke in the sheetmetal and it’s not that ugly.  Dang guys, chill.  Although I’m always in favor of putting high hp engines in little cars. 

  • avatar

    The Juke’s got a pig snout – reminds me of a 50’s deutsche railbus. Not as much room inside as Versa. Small vault windows plus rear interior cowl reminds me of the 40’s. I thought there was an all new Tiida/Versa due looking nothing like above.

  • avatar

    This powertrain would absolutely rock the Cube.  Of course, so would some of the Juke’s interior flair.

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