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Japanese manufacturers step up


Nissan, Subaru and Toyota showed off its latest models, ranging from mental to civilised.

The Juke has joined the GT-R in Nissan’s ballistic Nismo line-up. The Juke Nismo RS gets more power, a sharper chassis, stronger brakes and extra equipment to create a more extreme car.

This crazy Juke is powered by an advanced 1.6-litre DIG-T engine. It now delivers 160kW (up by 13kW) and 280Nm (up by 30Nm). Taming all this power are 320mm front discs and rear items that are now ventilated. To ensure the chassis can transfer the extra torque to the road, two-wheel-drive models get a mechanical limited slip differential on the driven front wheels.

Subaru showed its VIZIV 2 concept in Geneva, which follows the VIZIV Concept and VIZIV Evolution Concept vehicles from last year’s Geneva and Tokyo shows.

The VIZIV 2 is a future-generation crossover concept that achieves the integration of apparently opposing elements such as environmental friendliness and driving performance or design and utility at a high level.

It features a plug-in hybrid system that consists of a 1.6-litre horizontally opposed direct-injection turbo Boxer engine combined with the high-torque-compatible Lineartronic CVT transmission plus one front and two rear motors. Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive layout is maintained.

The new Toyota Aygo also broke cover last week. Its designers used the concept of a soft object breaking through the hard shell of the design, creating break lines and giving the Aygo its distinctive frontal X-graphic.

On the inside, new instrumentation features a meter made up of concentric rings that are permanently lit and incorporates an easy-to-read central multi-information display. Also available will be Toyota’s new x-touch multimedia system, operated using a seven-inch touch screen.

The Aygo will be powered by the well-known 1.0-litre engine, which produces 51kW and 85Nm.

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