Sam Hill may have made the switch to full-time enduro racer, but he's still a force to be reckoned with on the downhill bike, as his victory in the Garbanzo DH at Crankworx Whistler clearly shows. There's also the fact that it was only his second ride on the prototype Nukeproof he was aboard (the first ride took place the day before).
The 27.5" bike does have similarities to the current Pulse, but it's more of a test mule than a fully refined and finished product - the final result is going to look a bit different, and there's a good chance that it'll also have a new name when it's officially released. At the moment, the most visible change has to do with where the rocker link is positioned - it now sits outside of the seat tube, rather than being tucked inside a split in the frame. Moving away from that clamshell design helps to shed some weight, and it also means there's the possibility this suspension layout could make its way onto a bike that's not strictly designed for DH riding.
One interesting feature that's not immediately evident is the ability to change the position of the bike's main pivot in order to alter how progressive the suspension is. It's not uncommon for World Cup race teams to use different custom machined links to alter a bike's suspension feel for different riders, but with this feature a similar result should be possible by undoing the non-drive side main pivot bolt and selecting another position. Exactly how many positions there will be has yet to be determined - more testing is in the works to figure out what works best.
There were rumblings of Nukeproof making a carbon DH bike a few years back, but at the moment there still aren't any plans to go that route with the new bike. According to Nukeproof, they're able to hit the weight goals they want with aluminum and don't see any need to go with carbon, at least not yet.
When the new bike comes to market sometime next year it will also have a 29"-wheeled counterpart, but there will be two different, unique frames, rather than one frame that accepts both wheels sizes. Steve Jamison, Nukeproof's product manager, said that he sees the two options as being more related to rider height rather than anything else - taller riders will likely gravitate towards the 29" version, and smaller riders will pick the 27.5" option.