Here’s how we’d do it

Motor (Australia) - - SWEET DREAM -


There’s no cur­rent en­gine in the Nis­san fam­ily ca­pa­ble of hot hatch per­for­mance, how­ever, thank­fully Nis­san’s sis­ter com­pany Re­nault has the per­fect op­tion sit­ting un­der the bon­net of its forthcoming Me­gane RS. Whether it’ll be a 1.6 or 2.0-litre turbo four is cur­rently un­clear, but around 200kW/350Nm should be plenty for our needs.


As the new Me­gane RS will come in both man­ual and dual-clutch guises, so will our hot Pul­sar, as the only other self-shift­ing al­ter­na­tive is to use a tweaked ver­sion of Nis­san’s CVT – no thanks.


Any­one who’s driven the cur­rent Pul­sar SSS will be aware of how much work would be ahead of Nis­san to turn the GTI-R into a bench­mark hot hatch. A rear-bi­ased Twin­ster-style all-wheel drive sys­tem would be a good start, but in­ject­ing some feel and ac­cu­racy into the dy­nam­ics should be pri­or­ity num­ber one. We want the grip of a WRX, the ad­justa­bil­ity of a Me­gane RS and the ease of use of a Golf GTI – not ask­ing too much, is it?


Lob­bing the GTI-R in at a low-$40K price point should throw the cat amongst the pi­geons, of­fer­ing 0-100km/h in 5.6sec and 240km/h flat out to give a per­for­mance up­per­cut to es­tab­lished play­ers like the WRX and Fo­cus ST and go toeto-toe with the new Hyundai i30 N.


A re­turn to the WRC would be great, but Nis­san would be bet­ter off fol­low­ing the money, eye­balls and its com­peti­tors (Subaru, Honda, VW) into the Global Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship with a fac­to­ry­backed ef­fort from NISMO. It would also pro­vide Nis­san with the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to launch an off-road ver­sion of its GT Academy.

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