The 2011 Nissan Juke, inspired by the Applesque beach buggy Qazana concept, is the company's attempt to rid the European continent of small boring hatchbacks... with yet another crossover. It's like fighting drowsiness with an Oprah Winfrey biography.
Despite the name the Juke is not a fake-out, it'll go on sale in Europe and slot between the tiny Note and larger Qashqai crossover. Details about powertrain, cost and the like won't be released until the Geneva Motor Show.
JUKE: NISSAN'S NEW SMALL CROSSOVER
One month before its global media unveil on February 10th, Nissan today confirms the name of its forthcoming small Crossover. The Nissan Juke will go on sale from October, following its global public premiere at Geneva Motor Show in March.
The Nissan Juke will inject some much-needed dynamism into the small car segment, offering European car-buyers an alternative to the traditional, uninspiring small hatchback. As the fourth Crossover in Nissan's European range, "name" reinforces the brand's pioneering Crossover leadership in Europe.
The car was inspired by the Qazana concept car that received such a warm reception at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, and will fit into the Nissan range between the Note compact family car and the Qashqai crossover.
Nissan's customer research identified a large proportion of European small and compact car buyers whose needs are not met by what they perceive to be uninspiring and unoriginal options available to them where copycat hatchbacks dominate.
The Nissan Juke has been designed and developed to give customers an alternative to the traditional small hatchback in Europe. We know that there are a lot of customers that are looking for a car which combines striking design, agile handling and driving pleasure, user friendly technology but not at the expense of practicality and convenience. These unique attributes will allow Juke to occupy a unique corner of the European market," said Simon Thomas, Nissan's European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
"Nissan caught the mood of the European car-buying public with Qashqai crossover and we've worked hard to study the market in the same way for Juke to be sure we meet the needs of European customers. We're confident that Juke will bring a new generation of customers to Nissan, in the same way that Qashqai did. Our philosophy of challenging conventions with Qashqai has been a huge success. We've just reached the 500,000 landmark and we're applying many of the lessons learned from Qashqai to Juke. We're confident we'll have another success on our hands," added Simon Thomas.
Juke will be manufactured alongside the Qashqai, Qashqai+2 and Note at Nissan's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sunderland, Great Britain.
With the introduction of Murano in the US in 2003, the Crossover concept was introduced to consumers who were looking for a vehicle that combined the dynamic design and handling characteristics of a passenger car, but with the added benefit of all-wheel drive traction and the improved visibility of a raised seating position, but without the boxy shape of an SUV.
In Europe, the introduction in 2007 of Nissan's Qashqai heralded the mainstream introduction of the Crossover concept for the first time, providing an alternative to the traditional C-Segment offering. In just over two-and-a-half years, and with a half-a-million buyers in Europe, customer feedback shows they love its combination of understated, but sophisticated design which combines the lower body robustness of an SUV, but the upper body profile of a passenger car. Such has been demand for Qashqai that production was increased at the plant in Sunderland, UK, to meet supply. The Qashqai concept was followed by the introduction of the stretched wheelbase version, the Qashqai+2, offering extra interior space allowing the inclusion of a third row of folding seats to meet the needs of larger active families who need extra space or accommodation.
Details of forthcoming refreshments to the Qashqai were released earlier in December.