The all-new Nissan JUKE sport cross made its North American debut at the 2010 New York International Auto Show. Designers drew on a number of active lifestyle influences, including motorcycles and rally cars, to create a breakthrough design among traditional B-segment hatchbacks.
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.”
JUKE’s aggressive styling brings a breath of fresh air to the crossover 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.”
Look for the JUKE at Pomoco Nissan this fall.