The North American International Auto Show was held this year in Detroit from January 11 to January 24, and was quickly followed by the Chicago Auto Show, which will run from February 12 through February 21.
Nissan Corporation recently reversed itself, and will now be an exhibitor at both shows. Although a number of the company's current products will be on display, Nissan will NOT be displaying a radical new vehicle that will be introduced to the North American market next fall.
The Juke (based on a European concept car called the Qazana) will make its world debut at this year's Geneva Auto Show, which will run from March 4 through March 14.
According to Nissan, Qazana has no specific meaning, but it IS true that the Hebrew word for "cockroach" is pronounced "jook", which may lead to a name change in some markets.
It's one of eight new products that Nissan will be releasing within the next 12 months, a courageous move in view of the horrific drop in world wide car sales in the last 18 months.
Nissan’s website provides a hint of things to come, but more information can be found in a “first look” article that was recently published by Motor Trend magazine. When the Juke is released to the North American market in September of 2010 as a 2011 model (three months before the introduction of the new Leaf), it’s definitely a vehicle that will command attention.
It’s 20 inches shorter than the current small SUV offered by Nissan (the Rogue), but it will have more horsepower (188), an amazing feat in view of the fact that the engine is the same size (1.6 liters) as the one found in the least expensive car that Nissan makes – the Versa 1.6.
Styling is definitely on the aggressive side, and Nissan plans to offer an option of a genuine manual transmission instead of the anemic “paddle shifter” that was available during the first year of Rogue production. To give you some idea of its performance capabilities, the Juke will incorporate side-to-side torque vectoring - a principle shared by the previous-generation GTR, and the new-generation Porsche 911 Turbo and the BMW X6M among others.
I’m not sure if it’s going to be a sales success or not, but one thing is for certain – I can’t wait to get my hands on the steering wheel!