We’re still in Chicago, but Nissan’s already showing off images of its new 2011 Juke crossover. Nissan plans on unveiling the cute-ute at the 2010 Geneva motor show, but will launch the vehicle in North America at the 2010 New York auto show in late March.
Styling is largely based upon the Qazana concept that was shown at last year’s Geneva motor show, although the design now sports a squared-off roofline and an extra pair of doors. Nissan is building the Juke upon its B-platform, which is also at the heart of the equally funky Cube.
How will this fit in the lineup? Since it’s technically smaller than the Rogue (which is built upon the Versa’s C-platform), the Juke will serve as Nissan’s smallest crossover. Nissan hopes the vehicle snags design-conscious buyers “whose needs are not met” by existing compact cars. During a press dinner last evening, we consistently heard the phrase “Mini Cooper” as one possible competitor.
Presently, we’ve only seen European photos (above) and specifications for the Juke. In that market, power will come from your choice of a 1.5-liter turbo-diesel I-4, or one of two 1.6-liter I-4s — one with a turbocharger. We’d instead expect North American-spec models to make use of the same 1.8-liter I-4 found in the Versa, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a CVT crossed the pond as well. Jukes will be manufactured in both front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
Expect further information on pricing, equipment, and powertrain to emerge closer to the Juke’s launch. Early production vehicles should arrive at Nissan dealers nationwide come fall 2010.