Feb 12 2010 Maurice Glover
Nissan Juke is out of box
THIS is the new model Nissan claims blends practical motoring with sports car fun.
Set to be the company's star of the Geneva Motor Show, the Juke is due to go on sale in October as a funky alternative to the conventional urban hatchback.
The next car from Nissan's Sunderland factory breathes new life into the traditionally conservative medium car segment, according to product planning serior vice president Andy Palmer.
He said: 'Our position as the pioneer of crossover models is further strengthened by the arrival of Juke. Part SUV, part sports car, it brings a sense of adventure to the car market. It's light, nimble, urban and designed to grab a younger audience.
'It offers something entirely different to traditional vehicles and cements Nissan as a car maker prepared to do something different.'
According to the company, the Juke is the younger brother of the Qashqai, the car that three years ago introduced the concept of a crossover as an alternative to the traditional C-segment hatchback.
A combination of SUV toughness and sporting style, the car was created at Nissan Design Europe in London in a bid to inject 'masculinity and dynamism' into the small car market.
'This car is 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,' said Nissan Europe vice president Pierre Loing.
The lower portion of the car 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.
Inside, the sporting theme continues with a cabin dominated by a centre console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank finished in a distinctive high gloss colour.
It will be available in front and all-wheel drive and power will come from one diesel and two 1.6-litre petrol units with five and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Trim and equipment options will follow the established Visia, Acenta and Tekna lines.