Nissan’s UK design studio in London produced the original plans for the Juke’s exterior and interior before they were refined in Japan. The result is a mixture of SUV and sports coupé: high ground clearance, big wheel surrounds, step-like sills and frontal chin guard on the one hand; rakish windscreen, downswept roofline and hidden rear door handles on the other. The big round auxiliary lamps at the front have been inspired by those on rally cars when rallying was a proper day-and-night sport.
For the interior, the designers came up with a motorcycle theme. The centre console is finished in glossy red or grey plastic to replicate a bike’s fuel tank, and the instruments resemble those between a bike’s handlebars. Nissan mixes its metaphors with the armrests on the doors, however – they draw inspiration from scuba divers’ flippers.
As with the Countryman, there will be two- and four-wheel-drive versions of the Juke, but with a narrower choice of engines. Front-drive models, to be made in Sunderland, will give buyers the option of an all-new 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged engine, a heavily reworked normally aspirated 1.6 or a 1.5 turbodiesel.
The 1.6 turbo develops 187bhp and is the first of a family of engines that will also find their way into Renaults. The other 1.6 engine features twin injectors – a world first – raising its output by 6% to 115bhp while also reducing fuel consumption by 5.6%. The diesel is the 108bhp version of an engine produced by Renault with various outputs and, significantly, the new petrol develops as much torque as the diesel: 178lb ft.