Nissan Juke could be heading to NZ soon

Nissan Juke could be heading to NZ soon

The Nissan Juke, baby brother to the Qashqai and Murano, is on the verge of launching in Europe and could be making its way here to NZ.

It follows in the wheeltracks of Murano and the successful Qashqai & Qashqai+2. Like its bigger brothers, Juke is a distinctive combination of SUV and sporty style. Conceived to inject some masculinity and dynamism into the small car market.

“It takes the best elements of an SUV and sports car and combines them,” says Vincent Wijnen, Nissan’s European Vice President for Marketing. “It’s roomy yet compact, robust yet dynamic and practical yet playful.”

From a design standpoint, the lower portion of Juke is SUV. It combines chunky 17-inch wheels, wide tyres, extended ground clearance and a robust stance with a top portion that’s high waisted, has slim visor-like side glass graphics and a coupe-style falling roofline. The coupe effect is further underlined by the rear doors which have their handles hidden in the frame of the door.

Juke was created at the London-based Nissan Design Europe (NDE) and refined at Nissan’s Design Centre (NDC) in Japan. Its unique shape was first seen in the Qazana show car shown at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, its lines are carried over virtually intact from the Qazana.

In terms of handling the Juke’s compact dimensions and wide track means it has competent handling characteristics along and enhanced levels of refinement. Juke is based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance B-Platform, which has been updated for this application.

Although the basic suspension system mirrors that found on other B-segment cars, with MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the back, a new cradle-type front subframe has enhanced the lateral stiffness of the assembly. Along with revised front suspension geometry, this has helped to promote better handling. Agile handling is also helped by speed-sensitive electric power steering, standard on all models, and by increased upper-body strength and stiffness.

Three different engines will be available when sales start in Europe later in the year: one diesel and two 1.6-litre petrol units. At the top of the range is a new turbocharged petrol engine (MR16DDT) with direct injection (DIG-T), developing 140kW and 240 Nm. The second petrol engine is a newly developed version from Nissan’s 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. The K9K 81kW (110PS) 1.5-litre dCi common rail diesel offers 240 Nm of torque.

Inside, the sports car theme continues with a cockpit oriented cabin dominated by a centre console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank. Finished in a high gloss colour – metallic red or grey – the ‘bike’ console adds a sense of fun to the car. The rear-opening hatch has a versatile luggage area with hidden storage opportunities.

“We are excited about the launch of Juke internationally, and the possibility of bringing this vehicle to New Zealand in the future,” says John Manley, Managing Director of Nissan New Zealand.

“Juke represents a opportunity for us to build on the success of Qashqai and bring something entirely new and original to the market. Juke is also unlike any product Nissan has sold in the segment before, but the success of Qashqai in particular means customers are now more in tune with the concept of a small Crossover vehicle.”

Juke is under evaluation for the New Zealand market, although engine options and possible introduction timing are yet to be determined.

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