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It’s been forever since the Nissan Sentra SE-R was a machine to be feared–but this year, a new Sentra SR Turbo gives us hope that its tossable, rev-happy spirit lives on.
The 2017 Sentra SR Turbo gets its start as a stock Sentra SR, complete with its 124-hp, naturally aspirated inline-4. Yank that out, toss it aside, and stuff in the Nissan Juke hatchback’s 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4, and the SR Turbo tops off at 188 hp at 5600 rpm, and 177 lb-ft of torque.
The 1.6-liter turbo is one of Nissan’s more advanced engines, with continuously variable valve timing, a fairly high compression ration of 10.5:1, and touches like slick-finished cylinder bores and a variable-pressure oil pump. Safe to say, it’s the most interesting and rewarding part of both the Juke and Sentra now.
On the transmission front, the Sentra SR Turbo sticks with the 6-speed manual it’s had as a non-turbo. A CVT is also offered; it has programming that simulates a stepped-gear, conventional automatic.
On the ride and handling front, the Sentra SR Turbo’s strut-and-torsion-beam suspension gets stiffer front springs (by 10 percent) and its own shocks, with 23 and 50 percent more damping force. The Turbo also gets its own 17-inch wheel-and-tire combo.
Electronic power steering has been remapped for better response, Nissan says, and the Turbo also has slightly larger front brake discs, up to 11.7 inches, for more stopping power.
All Sentra SR Turbos come with sport seats; LED accent lighting; a power sunroof; a rearview camera; pushbutton start; power features; and an AM/FM/CD/XM head unit with Bluetooth and audio streaming.
A Premium option package gains leather seats; Bose audio; and blind-spot monitors. Navigation is an option.
Will this Sentra finally cue up the right memories of the old and still beloved SE-R? We’ll let you know soon after a first drive.