By on November 15, 2016

2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO – Image: Nissan USATwo months after bringing the Juke’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the Sentra lineup, Nissan is one-upping the Sentra SR Turbo with the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO.

It’s been three years since Nissan showcased a Sentra NISMO concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, but the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show sees the arrival of a production version that is, according to Nissan, more than just a bodykit.

In this case, NISMO also means a stiffened structure, unique suspension tuning, and the requisite exterior upgrades.

The Sentra NISMO’s powertrain remains the same direct-injection turbo from the recently introduced SR Turbo.

“It was important to offer a six-speed manual transmission with the new Sentra NISMO, both to reinforce its pure performance credentials and to up the direct engagement factor between driver and the vehicle,” said Nissan’s vice president of product planning, Michael Bunce. Nissan, in very Nissan-like fashion, will still make available a continuously variable transmission.2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO – Image: Nissan USASpecial to the Sentra NISMO are differentiated side sills, fascia, and spoiler, NISMO exhaust, dark chrome door handles, black mirrors, and signature NISMO red stripes. Inside, NISMO badging abounds, but the seats offer more side bolstering, so it’s not all cosmetics.

Nissan distinguishes the NISMO from the new SR Turbo with a ride height that’s been lowered by 0.4 inches, 18-inch wheels with 215/45R18 Michelin Pilot Sport rubber, a thicker cowl, reinforced floor and rear parcel shelf.

Presumably named after one of two dogs owned by TTAC’s managing editor, the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO is expected to arrive at dealers in January with a price under $25,000. That’s roughly the price of the 252-horsepower Ford Focus ST, though the Sentra NISMO should slightly undercut the 210-horsepower Volkswagen Golf GTI.

In its current seventh-generation iteration, the Nissan Sentra is entering its fifth model year. U.S. Sentra volume has increased in each of the last three years, nearly doubling between 2012 and 2015, and is up 9 percent through 2016’s first ten months. The Sentra is America’s eighth-best-selling car.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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