Nissan’s position as the pioneer of Crossovers is further strengthened by the arrival of Juke. Part SUV, part sports car, Juke breathes new life into the traditionally conservative B-segment of the market, providing buyers with a funky alternative to the conventional urban hatchback.
“Juke brings a sense of adventure to the car market. It’s light, nimble, urban, reactive: qualities designed to grab a younger audience. It offers something entirely different to the traditional B-segment vehicles and cements Nissan as a car maker prepared to do something different.” Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd
At a glance
* Compact SUV meets sports car….
* …..to challenge small car traditions
* Developed from Qazana concept car
* Tough on the streets…
* … yet agile and athletic
* Powerful new turbocharged direct injection petrol engine
* New torque vectoring all-wheel drive system
* Technologically advanced information system
* Conceived in Europe for a global audience
* Built in Britain at Nissan’s Sunderland plant
Nissan is set to change the urban landscape… for the third time. Following in the wheeltracks of the Murano large crossover and then the successful Qashqai – the car that three years ago introduced the concept of a crossover as an alternative to the traditional C-segment hatchback – comes its younger brother, the Nissan Juke.
Designed to bring a breath of fresh air to the B-segment, Juke is a distinctive combination of SUV toughness and sporting style. Conceived to inject some masculinity and dynamism into the small car market, Juke combines a number of seeming contradictions beneath its highly individual lines.
“It takes the best elements of an SUV and sports car and combines them,” says Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan Europe. “It’s roomy yet compact, robust yet dynamic and practical yet playful. These are qualities that seem to contradict each other, yet come together in Juke to create something that’s genuinely unique.”
Juke was created at Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in the heart of London, and refined at Nissan’s Design Centre (NDC) in Japan. Principle engineering took place in Japan with significant European input and Juke will be built in Nissan’s factory in Sunderland in the north-east of England.
“The design shows real optimism. By combining design elements from two genres to create a small, but striking Crossover that displays a genuine confidence and style. And those are qualities we also expect to find in a Juke customer,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President for Design and Chief Creative Officer
From a design standpoint, the lower portion of Juke is pure SUV, with chunky wheels, wide tyres, extended ground clearance and a robust stance. But the top portion is unadulterated sports car, with a high waistline, slim visor-like side glass graphics and a coupé-style falling roofline. The coupé effect is further underlined by the rear doors which have their handles hidden in the frame of the door.
Inside, the sports car theme continues with a driver-focused cabin dominated by a centre console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank. Finished in a distinctive high gloss colour, the ‘bike’ console adds a sense of fun to the car. Practicality is assured by the rear-opening hatch and versatile luggage area with hidden storage opportunities.
Based on the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform, Juke has a 2530mm wheelbase. On front-wheel drive versions, suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front with a torsion beam at the rear while four-wheel drive models have a multi-link rear suspension modelled on the system found on Qashqai.
The ALL-MODE 4×4-i is a new development of Nissan’s respected electronic all-wheel drive system and now features torque vectoring technology to enhance agility and reduce understeer when cornering.
In Europe, three different engines will be available when sales start later in the year (UK sales begin in October): one diesel and two 1.6-litre petrol units, all fully Euro 5 compliant. At the top of the range is a new turbo-charged petrol engine (MR16DDT) with direct injection. The engine is one of the most powerful in its class, developing 140kW (190PS) and 240 Nm. The combination of direct injection with a turbocharger provides the power and responses expected from a 2.5-litre engine with the economy of a smaller engine.
The second petrol engine is a newly developed version from Nissan’s trusted HR-family. Designated HR16DE, the lightweight, low-friction 16-valve unit now has a unique dual injection system allowing finer metering of the fuel sprays for better combustion and develops 86kW (117PS). The K9K 81kW (110PS) 1.5-litre dCi common rail diesel offers excellent driveability – thanks as much to its heady 240 Nm of torque – with good economy and emissions.
In terms of transmissions, the two-wheel drive turbo-charged 1.6-litre petrol engine is available with a six speed manual, while a CVT transmission with a six-speed manual mode will be available on the range-topping all-wheel drive version of the turbo-charged petrol engine.
The naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol is available either with a 5-speed manual or the updated XTRONIC CVT and the 1.5-litre diesel engine is available with a 6-speed manual.
Trim and equipment options will follow the established Visia, Acenta and Tekna lines while a full range of accessories has been developed for owners who want to personalise their Juke still further.
“Juke is not a traditional B-segment car, and that is quite deliberate. It was born in an urban environment and that is where it will spend most of its life. Fittingly, its combination of agility and toughness make it one of the most streetwise cars around.
“Juke joins Murano and Qashqai to cement Nissan’s position as the leading brand in the crossover market,” said Simon Thomas, Nissan’s European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
Juke in detail
Juke in Detail
First revealed as the Qazana show car – unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show – Juke was created at the London-based Nissan Design Europe and refined at Nissan’s Design Centre (NDC) in Japan. Qashqai, also created at NDE, is sold in Europe, Asia and Australia while Juke will be marketed in Europe, Japan and the United States.
“The outcome of this global collaboration is a car that comes from where East meets West, with vital contributions from NDE and NDC being key to creating such a striking design,” said Shiro Nakamura.
Its highly individual lines are carried over virtually intact from Qazana. The boldness of the design reflects the significance of the B-segment in the European market: Europe is expected to take the lion’s share of sales ahead of the other main markets, including North America and Japan.
The design team drew inspiration for Juke’s design from a number of unusual sources. They looked back at a number of vehicles synonymous with an active and sporting life – and that list included rally cars and motorbikes. It’s clear to see where those ideas have influenced the design.
The result combines a number of different themes, but with Nissan DNA threaded through. It has a tough solid body to reflect the SUV element, yet is a very sensual car, too, with complex curves and a coupé profile accentuated by the narrow side glass and hidden rear door handles which help give the impression of two rather than four doors.
But there is also clear Nissan family DNA in the design – the boomerang rear lights, for example, from the 370Z – but none of the elements are slavishly copied so while retaining Nissan DNA, Juke stands alone as a unique, almost maverick, design.
This is a key theme running through Nissan designs. Alfonso Albaisa, Vice President, Nissan Design Europe, says: “Juke has elements inspired from other cars in our range such as 370Z and even Cube, but our intention is never to make obvious links between our cars but natural ones. Cube is a cool car, for example, and that coolness can also be found in Juke.”
With generous ground clearance, big wheels and tyres, a high waistline and a broad shoulder line, the bottom ‘half’ of the car appears to be pure SUV. The impression is accentuated by typical SUV features such as the contrasting black sill and wheel arch finishers while at the front and rear, the lower bodywork emerges from underneath the car, resembling underbody protection.
At the front, the ‘sump guard’ forms part of the air intake assembly but rather than use a simple meshed grille, the design team have developed the moulding into a series of circular slots… which are suggestive of biotic elements.
Above the waistline, however, Juke shows its sporting credentials. A heavily raked windscreen, complete with Nissan’s signature Crossover upswept flick to the rearmost side window – and sloped roof-line provide a profile reminiscent of an aircraft’s canopy.
The rear of the roof incorporates an integral spoiler to reduce aerodynamic lift to help high speed stability. The neat duck-tail ridge was perfected with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and tests in the wind tunnel.
The lights also reflect the car’s sporting agility. At the front these are split into two distinct elements. Framing the upper half of the bonnet, thin slashes contain running lights and turn indicators, while the main and dipped beams mounted lower on the nose of the car were inspired by the auxiliary lamps fitted to rally cars in the sixties and seventies. At the rear, the tail-lights put their own spin on the boomerang shaped lamps found on the 370Z.
In total, a nine colour palette of exterior colours is planned, including two whites, a solid and a pearl, and three shades unique to Juke – Force Red, Haptic Blue and Machine Brown, though the total availability will depend on region.
Seiji Watanabe, Associate Product Chief Designer: “We want our cars, our crossovers in particular, to have a spirit of agility, to be seen as light, nimble, reactive. Juke displays all these attributes and delivers a real sense of optimism.”