NEW YORK -- Nissan's new Juke “sport cross” -- a B-segment wagon displayed in Geneva this month -- may be the brand's smallest new entry. But not entirely, especially when it comes to engine revs.
Nissan displayed the Juke under a canopy on a rainy New York sidewalk near Rockefeller Plaza Tuesday night ahead of the New York auto show.
The car is scheduled to reach U.S. dealer showrooms this fall, and is intended to beef up Nissan's identity as a purveyor of sporty small vehicles. But the addition shows just how blurry product lines can be as the industry moves toward smaller offerings.
While pitched as a “crossover hatchback” and referred to as a “sporty hatchback,” it is clearly a step down in size from the Nissan Rogue crossover. But it is not so clearly smaller than the Versa hatchback.
It is actually three inches wider than the Versa. It sits on a wheelbase that is only three inches shorter than the Versa. And the Versa is less than seven inches longer and barely an inch taller.
What couldn't be seen in the rain Tuesday was the Juke's 1.6-liter, direct-injection gas turbo engine which Nissan brings to North America for the first time. The engine promises 180 horsepower, compared with 122 hp from the Versa's 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine.
Nissan did not reveal the new model's fuel-economy rating.
The Juke was derived from the Qazana concept vehicle, shown in Geneva in 2009. Designers created the Qazana as a study in what small cars might look like in the future.
But it was quickly rendered into commercial form to be built at Nissan's U.K. Sunderland plant, originally intended for the B-segment-friendly European market. The U.S. version of the Juke will be imported from Japan.
It will come in three models: the S, SV and SL, with front-wheel, all-wheel-drive, six-speed manual and continuously-variable transmission options.