Nissan Juke teaser – Click above for high-res image

If you thought Nissan was joking with its barmy Qazana at last year's Geneva Motor Show, think again. The same basic form that had us likening the concept crossover to something French or a vehicle "reverse-engineered from a Paris-Dakar rally special," is evident in this first teaser shot of what Nissan is now calling Juke.

The Juke will be unveiled in Geneva this March, and is expected to moon bounce roll onto European dealer lots this autumn. However, it is rather unlikely that the Juke will make its way to North America, as the compact crossover will be built in the UK.

From what we can see, the major styling elements of the polarizing Qazana concept have made it into this production-ready vehicle, including the wacky fluted front lighting, tapered greenhouse and cartoonishly oversized wheel arches – the latter of which appear to have been minimally toned down. From the teaser point's vantage, we can't see if the Juke will retain the Qazana's 370Z-inspired boomerang taillamps, let alone its motorcycle seat-and-tank aping center console, but we hear that both are in the mix.

Yes, it's bizarre, and no, it isn't pretty. But we still kind of want one. Will the Juke be a sensation, or will it go down in bizarrely shaped flames like the Isuzu Vehicross, Patron Saint of Eccentric Quasi-Offroaders? Official Nissan press release viewable after the jump.


Related GalleryGeneva 2009: Nissan Qazana

[Source: Nissan]


PRESS RELEASE

7 January 2010

JUKE: NISSAN'S NEW SMALL CROSSOVER

* Sales to begin in Autumn for Europe
* Extending the Crossover philosophy to the small car segment
* Nissan's fourth Crossover in Europe – reinforcing Crossover leadership
* Manufactured in UK

One month before its global media unveil on February 10th, Nissan today confirms the name of its forthcoming small Crossover. The Nissan Juke will go on sale from October, following its global public premiere at Geneva Motor Show in March.

The Nissan Juke will inject some much-needed dynamism into the small car segment, offering European car-buyers an alternative to the traditional, uninspiring small hatchback. As the fourth Crossover in Nissan's European range, "Juke" reinforces the brand's pioneering Crossover leadership in Europe.

The car was inspired by the Qazana concept car that received such a warm reception at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, and will fit into the Nissan range between the Note compact family car and the Qashqai crossover.

Nissan's customer research identified a large proportion of European small and compact car buyers whose needs are not met by what they perceive to be uninspiring and unoriginal options available to them where copycat hatchbacks dominate.

The Nissan Juke has been designed and developed to give customers an alternative to the traditional small hatchback in Europe. We know that there are a lot of customers that are looking for a car which combines striking design, agile handling and driving pleasure, user friendly technology but not at the expense of practicality and convenience. These unique attributes will allow Juke to occupy a unique corner of the European market," said Simon Thomas, Nissan's European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.

"Nissan caught the mood of the European car-buying public with Qashqai crossover and we've worked hard to study the market in the same way for Juke to be sure we meet the needs of European customers. We're confident that Juke will bring a new generation of customers to Nissan, in the same way that Qashqai did. Our philosophy of challenging conventions with Qashqai has been a huge success. We've just reached the 500,000 landmark and we're applying many of the lessons learned from Qashqai to Juke. We're confident we'll have another success on our hands," added Simon Thomas.

Juke will be manufactured alongside the Qashqai, Qashqai+2 and Note at Nissan's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sunderland, Great Britain.

With the introduction of Murano in the US in 2003, the Crossover concept was introduced to consumers who were looking for a vehicle that combined the dynamic design and handling characteristics of a passenger car, but with the added benefit of all-wheel drive traction and the improved visibility of a raised seating position, but without the boxy shape of an SUV.

In Europe, the introduction in 2007 of Nissan's Qashqai heralded the mainstream introduction of the Crossover concept for the first time, providing an alternative to the traditional C-Segment offering. In just over two-and-a-half years, and with a half-a-million buyers in Europe, customer feedback shows they love its combination of understated, but sophisticated design which combines the lower body robustness of an SUV, but the upper body profile of a passenger car. Such has been demand for Qashqai that production was increased at the plant in Sunderland, UK, to meet supply. The Qashqai concept was followed by the introduction of the stretched wheelbase version, the Qashqai+2, offering extra interior space allowing the inclusion of a third row of folding seats to meet the needs of larger active families who need extra space or accommodation.

Details of forthcoming refreshments to the Qashqai were released earlier in December.

Full details of Juke will be released on 10th February 2010.