Nissan has released the first official U.S.-spec photos for the 2010 Nissan Cube, the automaker's latest take on its box on wheels making its world bow this week at the 2008 L.A. auto show. The Cube will start rolling on U.S. streets sometime in the spring.

The Cube has been a hit in the Japanese market since its introduction in 1998, with Nissan moving close to a million Cubes in the country since 1998. Of course, Nissan's billing the latest Cube as the biggest and best version yet, with loads of new features and a larger cabin.

Powered by a 1.5L four in Japanese-spec trim (we should know the U.S.-market engine at its debut, our guess is the 1.8L out of the Versa) mated to Nissan's Xtronic CVT, the Cube will be available in both front drive or with an all-wheel-drive system Nissan calls e-4WD, which uses a rear-mounted electric motor to drive the rear wheels when the fronts begin to slip (because it eliminates the need for a prop shaft, the e-4WD system provides enhanced interior space).

We drove a version of the outgoing Cube last January and found it... small.

Of course, Nissan is also stressing the Cube's low emissions and improved gas mileage, which for the previous generation version amounted to some 37 mpg highway, although that number will probably be lower for the U.S. version.