Nissan has officially debuted the new Juke “Sport Cross” compact crossover at a private event on the eve of the New York Auto Show. The new Juke model has bizarre and controversial styling that doesn’t need to be explained, but several other features of the vehicle are worth a mention. For starters, the car is the first Nissan product to feature gasoline direct-injection and turbocharging, helping it deliver 180+ hp and 170+ ft-lbs of torque from a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Also of note is the high-tech torque-vectoring all-wheel drive setup, that can not only distribute power 50:50 front to rear, but can split the power between the rear wheels.
Both a six-speed manual transmission model (FWD only) and a CVT transmission will be offered. Other highlights include Nissan’s new I-CON system, with a controller for the climate control system that also doubles as a selector different driving modes. Drivers can choose from an Eco model, Normal mode and Sport mode, each of which will adjust the throttle, transmission and steering response settings.
Additional features (standard and optional) include leather seats, a backup camera, Nissan’s Intelligent Key with pus button ignition, navigation, a power moonroof and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
The car was just unveiled in downtown Manhattan at the Rockefeller Center and we’re headed there now to bring you live photos. [*UPDATE*] Below you will find our photos from the Rockefeller Center unveiling of the Juke. A Nissan representative explained to us that the company didn’t have time to prepare a full U.S. spec model and so the one being shown in New York is actually the very same red European model we saw in Geneva – complete with right-hand drive. Our impressions were that the Juke is really more of a two-seater with room for two children in the rear. Nissan hasn’t released any cargo capacity numbers but we don’t expect much as the trunk is quite small. This info might sound disappointing for a crossover, but Nissan says it really aims this vehicle more at the hatchback buyer and so the diminished space isn’t a big of an issue. [*UPDATE*]
The Juke joins Nissan’s lineup as the smallest crossover offered and will go on sale this Fall.
GALLERY: Nissan Juke Debuts at New York Auto Show
Official release after the jump:
2011 Nissan JUKE Sport Cross Makes North American Debut at New York International Auto Show
NEW YORK, NY (March 30, 2010) – Nissan today unveiled the all-new Nissan JUKE Sport Cross at a special media preview near Rockefeller Center. The dramatically styled JUKE, which joins Nissan’s popular Murano and Rogue crossovers at Nissan dealers nationwide in the fall of 2010, will be on display at the New York International Auto Show at Jacob Javits Center April 2nd through 11th.
Along with its bold design inside and out, which draws on a number of active lifestyle influences including motorcycles and rally cars, JUKE brings unexpected levels of performance from a 1.6-litre Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGÔ) turbo engine and an advanced torque vectoring all-wheel drive system with performance technology usually reserved for premium vehicles.
“JUKE is about to carve out a unique space in the rapidly growing compact crossover/hatchback segment with its combination of striking design, agile handling and driving pleasure and user friendly technology,” said Ian Forsyth, Director, Corporate and Product Planning, Nissan Canada Inc. “Add in the convenience, versatility and high seating positioning of a traditional compact SUV and you’ve got a vehicle unlike any other in its class.”
The JUKE interior offers bolstered front seats and a centre console inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank and finished in a two-coat high-gloss paint. The gearshift sits on top of the console, with a short shifter lever for sporty driving. In the rear, a fold-down 60/40-split bench seat and flat load floor provide passenger and cargo hauling flexibility.
Available features range from leather-appointed seats and RearView Monitor to Nissan Intelligent KeyÔ with Push Button Ignition, navigation system and power sliding moonroof. A long list of standard safety features is also available, including six air bags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
Powering JUKE is a standard 1.6-litre Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGÔ) 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 energetic performance and good fuel economy. Two transmissions are offered – six-speed manual transmission (FWD models only) and Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVTÔ (Continuously Variable Transmission) with S-Mode.
JUKE’s torque vectoring AWD system splits torque up to 50:50 between the front and rear wheels and can also can split torque from side-to-side across the rear axle. When cornering, the system helps reduce understeer and enhance the vehicle’s cornering feel.
Another new-to-Nissan technology debuting on JUKE is the innovative Integrated Control (I-CON) system. The I-CON system functions in one setting as a controller for the automatic climate control system, and in the other offers a drive mode selector with three different throttle/transmission/steering response settings – Normal for everyday driving, Sport for a more intense performance feel and Eco for maximum efficiency.
I-CON also serves as a central command centre and display module, adopting different display colors and functions depending on how it is being used. In Climate mode, the display shows the interior temperature settings while the “buttons” display air flow preferences. In the “D-Mode,” the buttons change to the three driving modes and the display shows engine and drive related dials and information.
“JUKE provides an exceptional level of available technology for its segment and a special character all its own,” said Forsyth. “We’re expecting an enthusiastic response from people attending the New York Auto Show and look forward to JUKE going on sale this fall.”