The age of crossovers is upon us. If you need further convincing of that, consider Nissan’s presence at the 2019 SEMA Show. To satisfy the big horsepower sports car crowd there’s a bonkers time attack 370Z with 750 hp (559 kilowatts) under the hood. Off-road fans get a similarly powerful Frontier Desert Runner with a 600-hp (447 kW) boosted V8. The truck faithful can peruse all sorts of Nissan accessories for its full-size Titan. And the sport compact crowd gets . . . A Nissan Kicks?
Actually, it’s not at all as bad as it sounds. Small crossovers are certainly popular and the Kicks generally falls into the above-average category. After spending time with the inexpensive five-door last year we found it rather snazzy in the looks department while offering nice tech and a surprising amount of space. If anything, the performance was a bit underwhelming but that’s where the Kicks Street Sport comes in.
That’s right – in addition to the requisite body kit and fat tires, this SEMA-soaking crossover sports a turbocharged engine. Specifically, Nissan turned to MA Motorsports for a custom Garrett turbocharger kit and an engine tune, with a Nismo exhaust system on the other end for good measure. Unfortunately, Nissan’s spec sheet doesn’t list power output, but the stock Kicks wasn’t boring with its standard-issue 125 hp (93 kW) rating, so anything is an improvement. Custom coilovers at all four corners should also be an improvement in the performance realm. This really is starting to sound like a proper sport compact build.
Gallery: Nissan Kicks Street Sport
That holds especially true when you check out the Kicks’ bonkers body kit. 360 Composites created side skirts, a roof spoiler, and a massive front air dam that’s almost comically large. MA Motorsports upped the ante further with a widebody treatment to the fenders, which are then filled with 245/45-17-inch tires on Volk Racing wheels with a big offset. And since you can’t have a race car without racing seats, Sparco SPX carbon buckets replace the stock units inside.
Is this something you can buy at your local Nissan dealership? No. Is it something you can build yourself through your local Nissan dealership? No. Is there a market for creating custom compact crossovers like this as opposed to tweaking a Civic, or GTI, or even a Nissan Versa? That remains to be seen, but Nissan is at least showing the world that it could be a thing. And it could be a pretty cool thing to boot.
Nissan Kicks Street Sport
The Urban Dictionary defines “kicking it” as “chilling out or relaxing.” The term might
need to be reconsidered when applied to the aggressive look and performance of the
Nissan Kicks Street Sport. Starting with a bone stock Nissan Kicks compact crossover,
the team at MA Motorsports worked with Nissan Motorsports to cross many lines of
conformity in bringing this ultimate Kicks to life.
The Kicks’ body was dramatically transformed using Kicks Color Studio touches and
custom pieces from 360 Composites – including an oversize front air dam, rear roof
spoiler and side skirts. MA Motorsports fabricated the wide fender flares at each corner
to perfectly fit the Volk Racing TE37V 17x8.5 +30 offset wheels mounted with Falken
Azenis RT615K +245/45R17 tires. To help give the Kicks Street Sport the right stance
and name-worthy handling, a custom suspension was constructed using a combination of
NISMO/Ohlins coil-over shock absorbers.
Next, the MA Motorsports team turned its attention to kicking up the stock 1.6-liter four-
cylinder engine, fabricating and installing a custom turbocharger kit. The new system
utilizes a Garrett GT2255 turbocharger, Turbosmart diverter valve and UPREV ECU. A
custom fabricated NISMO exhaust helps the engine breathe.
Sparco SPX carbon bucket seats anchor the custom interior upholstery. Topping off the
Kicks Street Sport project is an attention grabbing body wrap and graphics created by
NISSAN KICKS STREET SPORT SPECIFICATIONS
Nissan Kicks compact SUV body and chassis
Nissan 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder
Garrett GT2255 turbocharger
Turbosmart Diverter valve
MA Motorsports Customer turbo kit
NISMO/MA Motorsports Custom SS exhaust
UPREV Electronic Control Unit
NISMO/Ohlins Custom coilover shock absorbers
RAYS Volk Racing TE37V 17x8.5 +30 wheels
Falken Azenis RT615K+ 245/45R17 tires
Sparco SPX Carbon bucket seats
Nissan Color Studio mirror covers, air vent trim rings, lower door accent, rear hatch accent, rear bumper accent, door handle covers
360 Composites Custom aerodynamic body kit – front air dam, rear roof spoiler, side skirts
MA Motorsports Custom fender flares
Speed Designs Custom graphics and body wrap
*Project vehicle not available for purchase. Includes non-Nissan accessories that are not warranted by Nissan.