2011 Nissan Juke
One of the stand-out debuts at last month's Geneva Motor Show last month was generally agreed to be the Nissan Juke crossover, though not necessarily for all the right reasons. There's no doubt the Juke will continue to stop people in their tracks both at the New York Auto Show and when it hits U.S. roads late this year -- and that's exactly what Nissan is hoping for.
If you followed our Geneva coverage, you already know that the Juke is a uniquely styled vehicle, to say the least. Nissan deliberately went funky with the styling to make it a standout in the ever-crowding compact crossover market, drawing cues from rally cars to emphasize the Juke's sporting pretentions. If you were hoping the Juke would look different by the time it showed up at your local dealer, we're sorry to disappoint. The U.S.-spec vehicle will be virtually identical to its Euro-spec twin. Lending the most credence to the Juke's sportiness is its drivetrain. A new 1.6-liter direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder makes its North American debut in the Juke producing "180-plus horsepower and 170-plus pound-feet of torque," according to the automaker. We hope to have exact numbers closer to the Juke's on-sale date. Regardless, the engine is mounted to Nissan's Continuously Variable Transmission as standard equipment, though if you skip the S trim level and move up to the SV or SL trims, you can get a six-speed manual.
Unfortunately, the manual transmission is only offered with front-wheel drive. If you want Nissan's impressive torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, it's CVT only. Despite that, Nissan's AWD system is an impressive piece. Using technology developed on the previous-generation GT-R, the system can send up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels and can distribute power from side to side on the rear axle as the computer sees fit to maximize stability and handling.
Read more on the U.S.-Spec Nissan Juke here.
First Look: 2011 Nissan Juke U.S.-Spec
Love it or Hate it, You Certainly Won't Forget it
First Look: 2011 Nissan Juke Euro-Spec
Meet the Sport Compact Crossover - The Juke's designers invoked rally cars with bug-eyed accessory-like headlamps, and wild wheel-arch blisters.
2011 Nissan Juke Photo Gallery
Click here to see photos for the 2011 Nissan Juke Sport Compact Crossover.