Let’s get one thing sorted. The picture above is not, I repeat not, the wasabi-snorting-485-horsepower-3.7-second-to-60 Juke that Nissan has been teasing. Instead, this is the Nismo treated Juke we saw at the Chicago Auto Show in February. If you’re disappointed, or if the unusual confluence of shapes that is the Juke has made you throw up a little in your mouth, don’t click past the jump. We warned you.
I was in a bad place about a year ago: fighting problems that resurfaced 10+ years of (secret) regret that my life at the College for Creative Studies shoulda ended differently. But then a few silver linings showed up, motivating me to write the first installment of this series. While I still am in (occasionally) bad places a year later, designs like the Nissan Juke keep me motivated, excited.
So, to celebrate this series’ First Anniversary: THANK YOU for letting me share my Venom. And know how much I appreciate it when you click that link:
Nissan’s motorsports division doesn’t think it has enough brand awareness in America. To counter this perception, Nissan tossed out a few NISMO (NISsan MOtorsports) models at the Chicago Auto Show. First up we have the Juke NISMO which is Nissan’s oddly shaped small crossover vehicle. The NISMO treatment makes the Juke look even more conspicuous on American roads with shapes and styles never before seen on a production vehicle. Whatever you do, don’t look up Juke in the Urban Dictionary while at work.
Today at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Nissan unveiled its worst-kept secret. Assisted by attractive dancers dressed in white, Nissan “took the covers off of the highly-anticipated Juke Nismo” as the press release puts it. No, it’s not the highly anticipated Juke R, the cross-over with the GT-R engine. That has to wait for another Auto Salon. Or possibly one of the upcoming A-events. (Read More…)
TTAC commentator SpeedJebus writes:
You may remember that I wrote in before about my 2007 Honda Civic, and it’s haunted DBW system. That ordeal is over, but apparently I’m a sucker for automobile drama. Here’s the tale of my Juke: an ordeal that has been going on for over three months now. I’d like to share this cautionary tale. Here we go!
Back in 1989 I spent some time blasting along the unpaved roads of the Southwest in a 1988 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo. A frequent thought: “What this thing really needs is more ground clearance.” That same year Pontiac displayed a sports car / SUV crossover as a concept. The Stinger was never produced, but it lingered within memories at GM and eventually provided some inspiration for both the Vibe and Aztek. Neither came close to the Stinger. Both lacked the chassis dynamics to fulfill the mission I had in mind.
And so it fell to Nissan to field the first compact crossover with the spirit of a sports car. Is the JUKE worth the two-decade wait?
Whether you are as “infatuated” with the Nissan Juke as Diego Rodriguez of Metacool or not, you have to admit the guy has found an unlikely yet apt comparison for the saucy Nissan. The Saab faithful might be a bit taken aback by the comparison, but the Juke’s wacky look is probably closer to the spirit of the 96 than Saab’s latest design “effort.” Still, put an updated 96 body on the Juke’s platform, and you’d quickly have this Saab skeptic’s attention. Surf on over for the full comparison. [Hat Tip: Michael Banovsky]
When Renault released their second generation Megane, people’s reaction pretty revolved around three words. “Whisky”, “Tango” and “Foxtrot”, if you know what I mean. I remember when I first saw it my first thoughts were “My goodness! It looks like someone’s made a massive dent in the back with a cricket bat.” But what did I know? It was voted European Car of the Year in 2003, was the first small family car to achieve a 5 star Euro NCAP rating, and went on to become a sales success. Now let’s look at Renault’s partner, Nissan. When the Juke came out, the reaction was pretty much the same to the Renault Megane. “What in the name of all that is holy is that?!” And now. the Renault-Nissan alliance has done it again. (Read More…)
The first 9/10ths of this strange Nissan Juke spot is the typical youth-oriented car commercial: much sound and hipness, signifying nothing. Which is probably why the unexpected ending makes such an impression. Say what you want about Nissan’s decisions regarding the Juke’s styling and marketing, nobody can accuse the brand of living in the past.
I happen to like the Juke, in about the same way I like the Datsun F10. Even though the F10 was a CC competitor for the world’s ugliest car, I’m all for anything that makes our streets less boring; bring it on! And the Juke certainly does that. And you can’t deny there’s more than a few similarities, right down to protuberances on their front fender tops:
Because car enthusiasts tend to be more interested in cars themselves than the industry that creates them, critics and commentators tend to praise engineers while vilifying accountants, marketers and the countless other professions required to bring a new car to production. The assumption seems to be that engineers develop great cars which are then cheapened, blandified and otherwise screwed up by everyone else. Obviously this is an oversimplified perspective, but in certain cases it’s downright undeniable. Rarely has it been more true than with the Nissan Juke.
How about 7 minutes and 48 seconds worth of Nissan Juke B-rolls? That this car exists isn’t puzzling: Europe is forever producing bizarre little segment-busters that look like they were styled by an eldritch abomination. What boggles the mind is that Nissan is going to try to sell this Versa-based “crossunder” in the US. Stare at the footage for a bit and try to imagine what business in your community you could see one of these in front of, and you’ll see what we’re on about. [Warning: more than 3 minutes of uninterrupted viewing could cause complete loss of sanity and/or a new appreciation for Toyota-bland styling]
No, it’s not a concept, and yes, it is coming to the US this fall. The Versa-based Juke clearly hopes to banish the term “Aztek” [noun, referring to the ugliest crossover ever sold in the US] from the modern automotive lexicon. We’d Juke around some more about this tiny rolling affront to the laws of natural beauty, but frankly we can’t bring ourselves to. For one thing, where do you start, and for another, where would we stop? Expect thesaurus sales to jump considerably when the Juke hits the press-car circuit later this year.
We had a laugh at the Nissan Juke teaser images Nissan trotted out about a month ago, but apparently the Juke isn’t over. For some reason, Nissan has decided to announce that the Versa-based crossover is approved for the American market before the production model is even unveiled at the forthcoming Geneva Auto Show. Nissan accompanies the announcement with a gallery of shots that are labeled “Nissan Juke” but carry the caveat “model shown is European show car.” It’s clearly more production-y than the Qazana concept, which Nissan cites as the inspiration for the Juke, but could Nissan really be building a production model that’s this unforgivably ugly? At least we now know what the offspring of a Pontiac Aztek, a Fiat Multipla and a Nissan Versa would look like… though I’m still not sure why we needed to.