Paris 2014 Pulsar Nismo 8

And so it is – the European Nissan Pulsar has been Nismo-ed. Just a concept for now, but it’s as good a crystal ball as any to gaze into if you’re wondering how a Golf GTI fighter from Nissan could shape up.

Unveiled at the ongoing Paris motor show, the Nissan Pulsar Nismo concept sports an edgy-looking double-layered bodykit, with red touches here and there. It rides lower than the standard car on 19-inch five-arm alloys shod in 235/55 tyres.

Paris 2014 Pulsar Nismo 3

There’s a new front bumper with bigger intakes and brake cooling vents, flared wheelarches, central twin tailpipes nestling within a rear diffuser, a carbon-fibre tailgate spoiler and the white reverse lamp now has a clear, dark finish.

Inside, things are pretty much status quo – save for a red rev counter, Alcantara sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel with a red ‘straight-ahead’ top marker and alloy pedals.

Now for the juicy bits – the Nissan Pulsar Nismo concept features revised spring and damper settings to provide “the kind of agile and sporty responses that are synonymous with Nismo models,” while the steering has been modified “for an even more direct response.”

If reports are to be believed, the concept is powered by a 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbo engine that produces around 247 hp (beating the Golf GTI by 30 hp), and word is that Nissan may also be banking on the production car for the hallowed Nurburgring front-wheel drive lap record.

So, Nissan Pulsar Nismo and Honda Civic Type R – who will succeed in snatching the crown from the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R?