Let’s face it, the age of the crossover is firmly upon us. Once a segment that initially had a period of slow growth during its early years, CUVS have exploded in popularity in recent years, and the pinnacle of just how much the segment has grown has appeared in the sheer amount of CUV based custom vehicles that have made their appearance for the 2019 SEMA show in Las Vegas. While Nissan brought a whole swath of custom concepts to the event. The Nissan Kicks Street Sport certainly has our attention.
While we are currently putting the ground work in on our upcoming review of the Kicks that we recently had the chance to drive earlier this summer, the Street Sport version of the Kicks offers a compelling glimpse into what could happen if Nissan engineers were allowed to inject the humble Kicks with a massive injection of performance infused swagger. The Street Sport could be one such potential result, with the concept taking the Kicks into uncharted performance territory. A custom body kit is arguably the first thing that buyers will notice, with the firm 360 Composites adding features such as a comically large front air dam, side skirts, and the roof spoiler. MA Motorsports then took their turn, and went further with the addition of a widebody kit for the fenders which are then filled with fat 245/45-17 inch tires on Volk racing wheels with a sick offset baked into them. The stock seats simply could not cut the mustard as legit racing thrones, so they have been sent to winter camp, with Sparco carbon bucket race seats replacing them.
But the real head turner here is found lurking under the engine bay, where a turbocharged four cylinder engine has been shoehorned in. MA Motorsports was also left in charge of this particular department, and they equipped the souped up four banger with a massive Garrett turbocharger kit and a custom engine tune. A NISMO sourced exhaust system helps deliver the right soundtrack and that should please the ears of eager drivers. Nissan did not list what the beefed up engine is producing, but we suspect it is far more than the 125 horsepower that defines the standard Kicks CUV. A set of custom coilovers at all four corners will help sharpen up the Street Sport’s handling manners when taken out for extensive track work or even a good autocross session.
For its part, Nissan has not formally revealed if it plans to either offer a model similar to the Street Sport, or if some of the Street Sport’s touches will make their way into the firm’s accessory offerings. But we think Nissan is on the right track here, and perhaps we could even be seeing the genesis of a future Kicks NISMO model.