Rumors have been swirling about a high-performance Nissan Juke Nismo and Sport Auto recently got a chance to test drive a prototype near Barcelona.

Designed to appeal to enthusiasts, the Juke Nismo RC has a sport-tuned suspension with new shocks and springs. While the prototype closely resembles the standard model, expect the production version to adopt sportier styling which is closer to the Juke Nismo.

Power will likely be provided by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 221 HP (162 kW) which is 21 HP (15 kW) more than the standard Juke Nismo. The model is also expected to be offered with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission or all-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel model should accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 7.8 seconds, while the all-wheel drive version should complete the same task in under 8.2 seconds.

The Juke Nismo RC will go on sale towards the end of the year, so expect to learn more in the coming months.

Gallery: Nissan Juke Nismo RC prototype hits the track [video]

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