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Monday, October 31, 2011

Nissan Juke, 2011

 
 


Nissan Juke, 2011

Nissan Juke is set to change the urban landscape... for the third time. Following in the wheeltracks of the Murano large crossover and then the successful Qashqai - the car that three years ago introduced the concept of a crossover as an alternative to the traditional C-segment hatchback - comes its younger brother, the Nissan Juke.

Designed to bring a breath of fresh air to the B-segment, Nissan Juke is a distinctive combination of SUV toughness and sporting style. Conceived to inject some masculinity and dynamism into the small car market, Nissan Juke combines a number of seeming contradictions beneath its highly individual lines.

From a design standpoint, the lower portion of Nissan Juke 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. The coupé effect is further underlined by the rear doors which have their handles hidden in the frame of the door.

The Inside,
the sports car theme continues with a driver-focused cabin dominated by a centre console design inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank. Finished in a distinctive high gloss colour, the 'bike' console adds a sense of fun to the car. Practicality is assured by the rear-opening hatch and versatile luggage area with hidden storage opportunities.

Based on the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform, Nissan Juke has a 2530mm wheelbase. On front-wheel drive versions, suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front with a torsion beam at the rear while four-wheel drive models have a multi-link rear suspension modelled on the system found on Qashqai.

In Europe, three different engines will be available when sales start later in the year (UK sales begin in October): one diesel and two 1.6-litre petrol units, all fully Euro 5 compliant. At the top of the range is a new turbo-charged petrol engine (MR16DDT) with direct injection. The engine is one of the most powerful in its class, developing 140kW (190PS) and 240 Nm. The combination of direct injection with a turbocharger provides the power and responses expected from a 2.5-litre engine with the economy of a smaller engine.

The second petrol engine is a newly developed version from Nissan's trusted 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 (117PS). The K9K 81kW (110PS) 1.5-litre dCi common rail diesel offers excellent driveability - thanks as much to its heady 240 Nm of torque - with good economy and emissions.

First revealed as the Qazana show car - unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show - Juke was created at the London-based Nissan Design Europe and refined at Nissan's Design Centre (NDC) in Japan. Qashqai, also created at NDE, is sold in Europe, Asia and Australia while Nissan Juke will be marketed in Europe, Japan and the United States.

Its highly individual lines are carried over virtually intact from Qazana. The boldness of the design reflects the significance of the B-segment in the European market: Europe is expected to take the lion's share of sales ahead of the other main markets, including North America and Japan.

The design team drew inspiration for Nissan Juke's design from a number of unusual sources. They looked back at a number of vehicles synonymous with an active and sporting life - and that list included rally cars and motorbikes. It's clear to see where those ideas have influenced the design.

The result combines a number of different themes, but with Nissan DNA threaded through. It has a tough solid body to reflect the SUV element, yet is a very sensual car, too, with complex curves and a coupé profile accentuated by the narrow side glass and hidden rear door handles which help give the impression of two rather than four doors.

But there is also clear Nissan family DNA in the design - the boomerang rear lights, for example, from the 370Z - but none of the elements are slavishly copied so while retaining Nissan DNA, Juke stands alone as a unique, almost maverick, design.
At the front, the 'sump guard' forms part of the air intake assembly but rather than use a simple meshed grille, the design team have developed the moulding into a series of circular slots… which are suggestive of biotic elements.

Above the waistline, however, Nissan Juke shows its sporting credentials. A heavily raked windscreen, complete with Nissan's signature Crossover upswept flick to the rearmost side window - and sloped roof-line provide a profile reminiscent of an aircraft's canopy.

The lights also reflect the car's sporting agility. At the front these are split into two distinct elements. Framing the upper half of the bonnet, thin slashes contain running lights and turn indicators, while the main and dipped beams mounted lower on the nose of the car were inspired by the auxiliary lamps fitted to rally cars in the sixties and seventies. At the rear, the tail-lights put their own spin on the boomerang shaped lamps found on the 370Z.
In total, a nine colour palette of exterior colours is planned, including two whites, a solid and a pearl, and three shades unique to Nissan Juke - Force Red, Haptic Blue and Machine Brown, though the total availability will depend on region.

Interior design
Nissan Juke's active, sporting exterior is matched by its interior… where the dominant feature also displays a sense of fun: the centre console, finished in a high gloss paint, resembles a motorcycle fuel tank.
Reflecting the exterior's blending of SUV and sports car attributes, the interior provides the commanding driving position but with all the attributes expected of a sports car. The gear shift sits on the top of the 'motorbiketank' to guarantee slick changes while the tank itself is no mere styling statement but also provides a bracing point for the driver's knee during spirited cornering.

Platform
The Nissan Juke is based on Renault Nissan Alliance B-Platform and has a 2530mm wheelbase, is 4135mm long, 1765mm wide and 1570mm tall. To allow the top of the range to use 17-inch wheels and 215/55 R17 tyres, the track front and rear is 1525mm, the widest yet seen on the Alliance B-platform.

Engines and drivetrains
In Europe, there will be three engine and manual or CVT transmission choices when Nissan Juke sales start in the second half of 2010. At the top of the range is a newly developed 1.6-litre Direct Injection Gasoline turbocharged engine which develops 140kW (190PS) and 240Nm.

A low friction and lightweight design, the 16 valve engine uses direct injection to improve combustion to optimise power and torque, economy and emissions. The addition of a turbocharger and intercooler helps to boost power - this engine is one of the most powerful in its class - while variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles (twin VTC) improves low end engine response. A degree of overlap allows exhaust gas recirculation.

With power rated at 81kW (110PS) at 4,000 rpm and torque at an impressive 240 Nm at 1,750 rpm this unit features a fuel return rail and control unit for improved fuel efficiency. Injection pressure is 1,600 bar. Improved glow plug performance speeds up cold start performance. Emission control systems include a diesel particulate filter (DPF), with a fifth injector for regeneration and cooled exhaust gas recirculation while the turbocharger layout altered to make the distance between it and the DPF as short as possible.

The updated XTRONIC CVT unit, used with the conventional 1.6-litre petrol engine, is 10 per cent shorter than before and 13 per cent lighter while internal friction has been reduced by a remarkable 30 per cent. This unit is the world's first CVT with a sub planetary gear which allows a far higher transmission ratio - 7.3:1 - than previous Nissan CVTs. Smaller, lighter pulleys, a flexible lock up damper and a more efficient oil pump all promote great fuel efficiency.

The XTRONIC CVT with 6-speed manual mode in the turbocharged petrol-engined Nissan Juke has been tuned for a more sporting performance with revised manual modes for sharper acceleration while the management system has been reprogrammed to enhance fuel efficiency. Both CVTs have adaptive shift control systems that can be selected via the Nissan Dynamic Control System.

In its class, Nissan Juke will be available with the option of four-wheel drive in addition to conventional front-wheel drive. A newly developed all-wheel drive system is based on Nissan's ALL-MODE 4x4-i electronic technology but which now adds a lateral torque-vectoring capability to its armoury.

As well splitting torque front to rear - upto a maximum of 50:50, it can now be split from side to side across the rear axle, too. By monitoring vehicle speed, wheel speed, gear position, steering angle, lateral G forces and now vehicle yaw rate, torque distribution can be increased to the outside rear wheel in corners to cut understeer and enhance the car's cornering ability. In total, upto 50% of the total available engine torque can be sent to either rear wheel.

Equipment and model lines

Just about the only conventional aspect to Nissan Juke is the model line-up, which follows Nissan's established Visia, Acenta and Tekna lines. Lists of standard and optional equipment will be released nearer the on sale date, but expected items such as climate control, leather upholstery, rear view camera and Intelligent Key will all be available to Nissan Juke customers along with some more unusual features.
One such is Nissan Dynamic Control System, a central command and display module which allows the driver to alter dynamic drive settings as well as make changes to more obvious functions such as climate control.

Accessories
Although Nissan Juke has a long list of standard equipment, Nissan has developed a full range of accessories enabling owners to personalise their cars still further. Among the items on offer are different designs of alloy wheel as well as front and rear under body protectors to accentuate the SUV element of the design.

Other exterior features include exhaust finishers, a roof spoiler and wind deflectors on the doors, while inside an owner can add illuminated door sills and interior accent lighting. Practical touches include advanced security systems as well as extra storage opportunities in the front armrest and in the luggage area.

For European Customers
Nissan Juke has been conceived with the specific intention to fulfil unmet customer expectations by adding much dynamism and masculinity to the sober, safe small car market. Who does Nissan imagine will buy Juke in Europe?

Clearly Urbanite, male customers are expected to be predominant but a significant proportion of buyers are anticipated to be women - one third according to Nissan's estimates. Nissan Juke will attract a younger audience than average Nissan customers (under half will be below 40), these estimates shows that Nissan Juke will have a broad appeal, supporting Nissan's research that there is widespread disillusionment at the lack of excitement in the small car sector in Europe.

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