Attention all you small crossover fans out there, now is the time to get excited. Nissan pulled back the curtain on the 2011 Juke and although we've seen it (at the Geneva Motor Show), we're still glad it's here. We're being implored to mention that some of us think the front end has a Pontiac Aztek quality about it. Others ("Hi, Mom!") feel different. Yeah, it's... not normal looking, but we've seen worse. At least it's not derivative. The rest of the Juke's styling, however, is much less controversial. Especially that rear three-quarter view.
Sadly, Nissan has neglected to hold a press conference for the Juke, so we're still not sure exactly how much power this mini-ute is making. For now, we're stuck with the "180+ horsepower and 170+ lb-ft of torque" from its 1.6-liter direct-injected four-cylinder turbo, figures that are cited in the car's press release. There's a manual option for the front drivers, but CVT-only for the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive versions. As soon as we can track down a Nissan employee with the details, we'll update the post. Until then, chew on this for more details. Also, while this here Juke is a right-hand driver, Nissan will be selling Jukes to us left-seat driving, high-rider loving Yanks come 2011.
UPDATE: We've talked Nissan's people here in NYC and until the 1.6-liter goes through the EPA, those numbers are still estimates. Nissan will tweak the engine to hit its mileage targets, at which point horsepower and torque figures will be solidified.
Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
The all-new Nissan JUKE sport cross, which makes its North American debut at the 2010 New York International Auto Show, takes its inspiration from another auto show star, the Nissan Qazana Concept. One of the featured vehicles at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, Qazana drew on a number of active lifestyle influences, including motorcycles and rally cars, to create a breakthrough design among traditional B-segment hatchbacks. A little more than 18 months later, a production version of Qazana – with its highly distinctive, sporty styling virtually intact – hits Nissan dealer showrooms in the United States in fall 2010 as the 2011 Nissan JUKE.
Along with its bold design inside and out, JUKE brings unexpected levels of performance from a standard 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) turbo engine and an advanced torque vectoring all-wheel drive (AWD) system with performance technology usually reserved for premium vehicles.
"Nissan has always been a company willing to stretch the envelope, to combine seemingly contradictory principles and make it work – such as 'affordable' and 'performance' to create the original Z, or 'small footprint' and 'big interior' in the current Nissan cube," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America. "JUKE is about to shake up the market with a boldness, style and sense of fun that it has never seen before – at a time when sales are exploding with buyers looking for just such a combination."
A Bold Urban Sport Cross
Like Nissan's other two popular crossovers, the Murano and Rogue, the new JUKE combines the best qualities of a sporty sedan and SUV, fusing them together in a uniquely Nissan way with value, quality, efficiency, safety and driving pleasure.
JUKE's aggressive styling brings a breath of fresh air to the segment. Built on Nissan's proven global B-platform, JUKE features a powerful front end treatment with the turn signals integrated into the front fenders, a high beltline and coupe-like falling roofline. Other exterior details include body-colored outside mirrors and front door handles, "hidden" rear door handles and integrated roof spoiler.
JUKE also offers generous ground clearance with the standard 17-inch wheels and tires. Adding to the authentic SUV look is a broad shoulder line, large wheel arches and lower bodywork that seems to emerge from under the vehicle. Above the waistline, JUKE shows its sporty side with a raked windshield, upswept rear side windows and canopy-like glass. The lights also reflect JUKE's sporty agility, with the front lights split into two distinct elements, with the main lamps drawing inspiration from rally car lights. Fog lights are available, depending on trim level. In the rear, the taillights share a resemblance with the distinctive "boomerang" design found on the latest generation Nissan 370Z. The JUKE color palette includes a range of eight exterior offerings.
The JUKE interior is equally aggressive with bolstered front seats, a wide instrument panel and a unique center console inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank and finished in a high-gloss two-coat paint. The gearshift sits on top of the console, inspired by sports car driver/shifter positioning.
"The center console design clearly makes the statement that JUKE is no ordinary compact crossover," said Castignetti. "It's an unexpected touch that reinforces JUKE's active, sporty attitude, while also helping create a sense of a true driver's cockpit."
Another unique element of the JUKE interior is the Integrated Control (I-CON) system drive mode selector, which offers three different throttle/transmission/steering response settings – Normal for everyday driving, Sport for a more intense performance feel and Eco for maximum efficiency. It adjusts throttle, transmission (CVT) and steering feel for the precise ride the driver desires. I-CON also serves as a central command center and display module, adopting different display colors and functions depending on how it is being used. In Climate mode, the display shows the interior temperature settings while the "buttons" display air flow preferences. In the "D-Mode," the buttons change to the three driving modes and the display shows engine and drive related dials and information.
Despite JUKE's overall compact dimensions, the interior offers segment competitive roominess and space for five adults. In the rear, a fold-down 60/40-split bench seat and flat load floor provide passenger and cargo hauling flexibility.
Among the long list of standard JUKE interior features are cloth seat fabric with available premium fabric, 6-way manual driver's seat and 4-way manual front passenger seat, dual front and rear beverage holders, speed-sensitive door locks, AM/FM/CD audio system with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Interface System for iPod® and storage under the rear cargo floor (FWD models only).
Available interior features include leather-appointed seats, heated front seats and RearView Monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition, Satellite Radio, upgraded speakers with Rockford Fosgate powered subwoofer, USB connector for iPod® and other devices, power sliding moonroof, privacy glass and navigation system with real-time traffic information. Three interior colors are offered.
An Advanced Drivetrain
Powering the all-new JUKE is a standard 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) Turbo, 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine rated at 180+ horsepower and 170+ lb-ft of torque. The engine, the first application in North America, combines the best of both worlds – responsive performance and good fuel economy. Direct injection helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions. The use of the turbocharger and intercooler also help boost power, while the variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
Two transmissions are offered – Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission) with S-Mode and a 6-speed manual transmission (SV FWD and SL FWD models only).
JUKE's new torque vectoring AWD system not only splits torque up to 50:50 between the front and rear wheels, it also can split torque from side-to-side across the rear axle. By monitoring vehicle speed, wheel speed, gear position, steering angle, lateral G forces and vehicle yaw rate, torque can be increased to the outside rear wheel in corners to help reduce understeer and enhance the car's cornering feel. In total, up to 50% of the total available engine torque can be sent to either rear wheel.
JUKE features a standard independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, while JUKE AWD models offer a multi-link rear suspension design. A cradle-type front subframe enhances lateral stiffness of the assembly. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard on all models.
Also standard is vehicle-speed-sensing electric power-assisted steering. Braking is supplied by power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). JUKE rides on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P215/55R17 all-season tires.
"JUKE has a small footprint but the solid feel and ride comfort of a larger vehicle," said Castignetti. "The direct injection turbocharged engine lets you tap into serious power when you want, while offering the fuel-efficiency of a small displacement engine. In the same way, the new torque vectoring AWD system allows all-wheel drive performance in conjunction with enhanced maneuverability. It's a great combination of features for a vehicle in this segment."
Every 2011 JUKE comes equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags and seat belt and occupant classification sensors, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and front-seat Active Head Restraints.
Other standard equipment includes LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System (VSS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
The 2011 Nissan JUKE sport cross is offered in eight well-equipped models: JUKE S CVT FWD, JUKE CVT AWD, JUKE SV CVT FWD, JUKE SV M/T FWD, JUKE SV CVT AWD, JUKE SL CVT FWD, JUKE SL M/T FWD and JUKE SL CVT AWD.