New Nissan Juke follows in wheel tracks of Murano and pioneering Qashqai crossover to offer entirely unique proposition
A bold and definitive vehicle carving its own Sports Crossover niche
Challenging traditions by combining compact SUV functionality and hatchback practicality with sports car style and dynamics
Rich in innovation, new direct-injection turbocharged power plant
Interior design reflects the magnetic appeal of exterior style
Exciting alternative to B-segment norms energising buyers across the globe
Technologically advanced I-CON command system
DIG-T 1.6 offers ample thrust and excellentfuel economy
Multiple world firsts – Sports Crossover niche, duel-injector engine, electronically-coupled rear axle
The new Nissan Juke enters the SA motoring market with a bold objective – reinventing the urban motoring landscape through the introduction of a uniquely compelling new kind of vehicle which can only have been born of the manufacturer that pioneered the Crossover genre.
Nissan Juke is carving for itself an all-new motoring niche, the Sports B-Crossover segment, by combining seemingly contradictory elements into one thoroughly modern product offering. The result is a vehicle which drips style and ample practicality, and mixes a tough road stance with highly dynamic on road performance, while boasting an interior that is robust, refreshingly innovative and trendy.
“It takes the best elements of an SUV and passenger sport cars and combines them,” says Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning and Zero Emission’s business unit, Nissan International SA (Rolle, Switzerland). “It’s 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.”
From a design standpoint, the lower portion of Juke is pure SUV. It combines chunky wheels, wide tyres, extended ground clearance and a robust stance with a top portion that 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.
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. Drivers will also appreciate the new I-CON integrated control system and advanced information-display graphics which highlight the modernity of the Juke as a package.
In South Africa, the Nissan Juke will be available in four specification grades. The naturally aspirated 1.6 litre engine is available on the entry level Acenta and mid range Acenta + models. The 1.6 litre DIG-T power plant will be available in the Tekna grade with a choice of sporty fabric upholstery or a full leather upholstered interior.
“The new Juke is deliberately different, and strives to deliver a driving experience which will be similarly surprising in its combination of tough urban presence and agile dynamism. It is a vehicle which is, in short, like nothing that has ever done before, and we’re thrilled to be introducing this compelling proposition to the SA market at this time,” Johan Kleynhans, Director of Sales, Marketing, and Aftersales at Nissan SA.
Juke in detail
Nissan Juke was first conceived in the form of the Qazana concept car displayed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Created by the London-based Nissan Design Europe the vehicle was then refined by the Nissan Design Centre (NDC) in Japan to create the final production form.
It emerged virtually unchanged from the first showing and stands alone as a car seemingly promising contradictory qualities. The unconventional design was derived by considering a number of interesting vehicles which fit into the modern, active lifestyle, including motorbikes and even rally cars. The final product threads these contrasting themes together with Nissan DNA into an unforgettable profile.
The body is tough and solid with good ground clearance and chunky wheels giving it a robust stance on the road. But the coupé-style falling roofline, flared wheel arches and complex curves are more modern-art than functional SUV. The curved rear light clusters echo the units of the 370Z sportscar, but this family DNA has been carefully customised on the Juke to meld with the whole and create an all-new appearance which breaks away from traditional norms in every respect.
Explains Nancy Reddy, Product Manager for Juke at Nissan SA; “As our European Vice President of design noted at the international launch, the intention of the Nissan designers is never to stick to established Nissan styling language to emphasize the family DNA, but rather make natural connections with other cars in the range by incorporating modified elements of favourite models.
For instance, the Juke took inspiration from the Cube, yet its flowing lines hold not a hint of the Cube styling in them. Rather, the vehicle has captured the essence of cool which the Cube conveys and communicates this in its own unique way, for a shape which is mould-breaking while still being shot through with Nissan DNA.”
Above the distinctive waistline, the Juke portrays urban sportiness, with a slim glasshouse, coupé-style falling roofline, and the cheeky Nissan Crossover signature upswept flick of the rearmost side window creating an aeronautical impression. The integrated roof spoiler was designed using Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) processes and extensively tested in a wind tunnel environment.
Reinforcing the sportscar appearance the lighting arrangement which incorporates the bold look of circular auxiliary lights as fitted to iconic rally cars of the 60s and 70s, while the rear features those 370Z-style boomerang-curve light clusters adding to the Nissan DNA signatures as well as the overarching impression of sporting intent.
Overall, the new Juke has the stance and proportions of an athletic predator, breaking all conventions within the traditional B-Segment
Step into the Juke for the first time, and the unique centre console instantly draws your attention while strongly imparting a sense of sheer unbridled fun. It’s unexpected to find a brightly-painted metal structure reminiscent of the main styling element of a sports bike inside a car, and this pleasant surprise generates an inviting and alluring sense of occasion.
Like an SUV, the driving position is commanding, while the gearshift is precisely positioned as in a sports car to fall easily to hand in spirited driving. Incorporated into the central stack is the new I-CON Control System providing the driver with instant access to information and drive mode controls.
The interior of the Juke features an abundance of chrome fittings and high-quality materials, set off against the bright reflections from the centre console in a choice of silver or red accents to the leather or suede-like upholstery.
The versatile B-Platform upon which the Juke is built allowed its designers to endow the interior with generous luggage space. The luggage area will comfortably accommodate a large suitcase or 9” golf bag, with an extra storage area beneath the luggage area floor. This boot capacity is 251 litres (VDA), while the rear seats split 60:40 and fold completely flat for larger loads.
Even the parcel shelf has been approached from a fresh perspective, as rather than being suspended from the frame of the tailgate it’s directly attached and rises with the door when the boot is opened.
For the South African market, the Nissan Juke will be available in four specification grades. The naturally aspirated 1.6 litre engine is available on the entry level Acenta and mid range Acenta + models. The 1.6 litre DIG-T power plant will be available in the Tekna grade.
The naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre engine available has been extensively redesigned to suit the ultra-modern nature of this product. This engine offers reduced internal friction thanks to the latest techniques such as the adoption of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating for the valve lifters, and also comes in at a very light weight improving efficiency and dynamic characteristics of the car. This extensive reworking includes a larger exhaust manifold, retuned intake manifold, twin VTC for variable timing on both inlet and exhaust cycles, improved intake tumble flow, a new hexagon-cell catalyst, and new pistons with revised crowns and integral oil jet cooling.
The innovation continues with the adoption of the world’s first dual injector system, which feature a pair of injectors per cylinder with smaller nozzles than conventional to deliver finer control of the fuel being sprayed into the combustion chambers. Together the changes have yielded a six percent improvement in power over previous incarnations of this engine, three percent torque boost, and a 5.6 percent improvement in fuel economy. Numerically, this all translates into 86kW of power, 157Nm of torque, and an EU combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 6.0l/100km.
More performance-hungry customers will be thrilled by the DIG-T engine option available from launch. This Direct Injection Gasoline engine with turbocharger and intercooler thumps out a hefty 140kW of power and muscular 240Nm of torque, enabling a Juke fitted with the 6-speed manual gearbox to sprint from rest to 100km/h in just 8 seconds dead. Yet the fuel economy, just 6.9l/100km on the EU combined cycle, remains very compelling as a long-term ownership proposition, particularly considering that the power outputs are comparable to a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine.
Kleynhans interjects; “The new engines in the Juke have been redeveloped to fit in with the unique nature of this car, and both are just as packed with innovation as the rest of the vehicle and focused on delivering true driver enjoyment, without sacrificing efficiency in the least. To achieve the objectives Nissan engineers had to invent all new technologies and techniques for the perfect compromise, highlighting the focus of the company on engineering innovation and extensive R&D. The Juke is not just a quirky body affixed to an old platform and utilising bygone technology under the skin, it’s been carefully built and honed from the ground up to be a driving experience unlike any other.”
In yet another world-first in the small car segment, the new rear axle incorporates electronic couplings at either end as well as a new final drive ratio suited to sporty applications. This system delivers notable weight-savings as well as being more compact than competitive solutions.
Juke is based on the Renault Nissan Alliance B platform and has a 2530mm wheelbase, is 4135mm long, 1765mm wide and 1570mm tall. 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.
To deliver on the sporty promises made by the styling, the front suspension geometry has been refined to ensure top class handling while preserving a high level of comfort, further assisted by roll centres which have been kept as low as possible in spite of the raised ride height.
Torsional rigidity is the key to keen and agile dynamic responsiveness but usually comes at the cost of increased weight. Yet another unique innovation has been employed on the Juke to overcome this conundrum, a newly developed ring structure connecting the upper body to the rear suspension assembly.
Concludes Reddy; “Although the underlying platform isn’t completely bespoke, the amount of attention to detail, the adoption of unique dimensions and techniques and the introduction of new chassis innovation has once again yielded a one-of-a-kind base on which this ground breaking Juke rides. To truly capture the multifunctional capabilities which the Juke had to represent, every single aspect of the vehicle was optimised, refined, and specifically tuned to match the irrepressible character of the new model, and it all creates the feel of a premium, no-compromise car laser-targeted onto its objectives.”
For South Africa, the Nissan Juke will be available in four specification grades. The naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre engine powers an entry-level Acenta and mid-range Acenta+ models, while the punchy 1.6-litre DIG-T power plant is only available in range-topping Tekna grades, one featuring sporty fabric upholstery and another fully leather-upholstered interior furnishings.
Comfort and convenience features based on the latest technologies will also be available on the Juke range, with the Tekna specification including many of these advanced features as standard equipment. These systems go beyond automatic climate control, rear-view cameras and Intelligent Key ignition systems as well, one exciting example being the new I-CON command system and adjustable info-graphic display.
This clever module adopts different displays, colours and functions depending on the mode the driver has set the car in. For example in Climate mode the display shows interior temperature and climate control settings with the buttons being mapped to air-flow preferences. While in D-Mode the buttons change into Normal, Sport and Eco driving mode options, and moving between these alters the throttle mapping, torque curve, and even the effort required by the electric power steering system. The colourful and crystal-clear display meanwhile changes to display additional engine and drive-related information.
A new class, a new benchmark
The new Nissan Juke is a powerful sign of Nissan’s commitment to growing into a dominant position in the international automotive rankings through innovation, bold design philosophies, rapid technological development and unrestricted cross-platform thinking. It’s not only powerful and dynamic mechanically, but also as a symbol of the times that the Juke stands out head and shoulders above the crowd.
Kleynhans wraps up; “The new Juke is a unique vehicle in so many respects, incorporating multiple technological and platform world-firsts in a car which is confidently carving its own path into the future of motoring.”
“Get ready for a whole new way of looking at motoring, an urbanproof and highly energised philosophy translated into a car which doesn’t only epitomise but in fact is helping to create the motoring mindset of tomorrow. The new Nissan Juke is a car which everyone has every right to be very excited about.”
JUKE recommended retail prices as at launch October 2011:
MODEL DESCRIPTION Incl VAT Excl VAT
JUKE 1.6 5MT 2WD Acenta 198,000 173,684
JUKE 1.6 5MT 2WD Acenta+ 218,500 191,667
JUKE 1.6DIG-T 6MT 2WD Tekna 253,000 221,930
JUKE 1.6DIG-T 6MT 2WD Tekna (Leather) 258,800 227,018
* Retail Price includes 3yr/90,000 km Service Plan with an option to buy extended warranty 6yrs/150,000km