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New model will slot in under Rogue in Nissan's lineup
Nissan is planning to bring its new Juke compact crossover to North America, which will slot in just underneath the Rogue in the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Somewhere between a crossover and an MPV, this new model is inspired by the Nissan Qazana, which debuted at last year’s Geneva Auto Show. The only details we have on it are the photo above, but from that it certainly seems to target models like the Kia Soul.
The decision to bring this smaller crossover to North America seems to be a part of a larger plan by Nissan to be at the forefront of the current downsizing in the U.S. auto industry, while it also shows the automaker’s interest in lowering development costs through the use of more global platforms. Prior to this announcement, Nissan has also said it will deliver two new small cars to the U.S., based on the replacement for the Nissan Micra.
Along with the Juke, Nissan will bring seven other new models to North America in 2010 and early 2011, including the M37 and M56, the 40th Anniversary Edition 370Z, the Infinti QX56, the NV 2500 commercial vehicle, the Leaf electric car, a new Infiniti variant (presumably the G25) and the all-new Quest minivan.
The Nissan Juke could debut in production form as early as the Chicago Auto Show next month, but a more likely debut for this global platform is the Geneva Auto Show in March.
GALLERY: Nissan Qazana
Nissan’s Qazana Concept vehicle may look like a far-from-reality idea, but Nissan has promised that this design study will in some way be a step towards a new crossover vehicle that will be built in the UK in the near future.
To stoke those flames, Alfonso Albaisa, Vice President, Nissan Design Europe, said that, “Qazana is a concept car and was created specifically for the Geneva Motor Show… but it should not be dismissed as a just a design study. It gives a clear direction of how a future small car from Nissan could look.”
Albaisa continued saying, “When it comes to design, Nissan has developed a reputation for constantly delivering something different. The global success of Qashqai has proven that the car buying public is fed up with the conventional… but we are not prepared to sit on our laurels. Qazana might seem a radical solution but important elements of the concept do point to a future Nissan production vehicle.”
The Qazana is in many ways the evolution of the idea that was launched when Nissan first showed the Qashqai SUV. With the popularity of that model, Nissan followed-up with the Qashqai+2. And now the Qazana.
The exterior of the crossover was created by mixing design elements from SUVs and sports cars. It has a tall stance like any SUV would, but it also features short front and rear overhangs and a low roof-line. As for the rear lights, they mimic a design found on the 370Z.
The notably SUV-like wheel arches work to make the car both masculine but also friendly, as they lend a bubbly and fun feel to the SUV. Those wheel arches are a carryover from the Qashqai design concept and also take inspiration from the Murano SUV.
There is no word from Nissan on if the upcoming crossover will be offered in North America.
GALLERY: Nissan Qazana Concept
Official release after the jump: