Saturday, October 24, 2015

Built to Thrill: Nissan Juke launch at Whitespace Manila (October 6, 2015)

Last October 6, 2015, I was invited by Ms. Roselle Toledo to witness the launch of Nissan's new model: the Juke. The event was held in Whitespace Manila, a posh air-conditioned tent located in Makati. Upon arriving in the tent, we were treated to a sumptuous buffet by the company. However, the crowd was anticipating something even greater: the look and feel of this new crossover vehicle that will make waves next year in the country.

The event place was also inclusive of the displays of other new Nissan releases in the market. These included the executive sedan called the Sylphy, the rugged Navara, the spacious Urvan, and the imposing Patrol.

Also Mr. Antonio Zara and Mr. Huh, both executives of Nissan, introduced the new crossover. They told the audience about their past experiences with the Nissan brand, and how their cars evoked their deepest sentiments and feelings.

First launched in Japan in 2010, the new Nissan Juke immediately captured the attention of the global automotive scene because of its fun, bold design, and exciting driving performance. In March 2014, the minor change Nissan Juke was unveiled in the Geneva International Motor Show, bringing an even more refreshed take on the eye-catching vehicle. The minor change model was then brought into the South East Asia having first introduced in Thailand in February 2015 and since then, it has been making its mark in the region.

The Juke is a mix of an SUV and a sports car design that exemplifies both a tough and sleek image. This design is underpinned by high-tech mechanical features that make it an agile contender in the crossover market. Also the car's appearance and build give it a bold and eye-catching look on the road.

The Juke's aesthetic features include a boomerang LED combination lamps set high upon the hood, complimenting the large round headlamps.  Nissan’s signature V-grille, coupled with an under guard intake, further enhance the sportiness of the crossover's exterior.

Raked front pillars open up a large windshield area for improved all-around visibility, while a sloped rear roofline combines with its muscular lower body sides to emphasize its strength and sportiness. Embedded rear door handles in the rear pillars recall the design of a 2-door sports coupe.   On the ground, 17-inch alloy wheels gives added boldness and power to the new Nissan Juke’s overall design. Together, these elements add to the aerodynamics of the new Nissan Juke for an enhanced driving experience.

The Juke's interior is composed of radical character lines and hooded gauges on the center console add to the bold nature of the vehicle. Sport-bolster driver and passenger seats, which keep the rider’s body in place when in motion and a diving fin inspired door trim design, add to the new Nissan Juke’s sporty personality.

The new Nissan Juke’s also offers enough space for five passengers to fit in comfortably. A fold-down 60/40-split bench rear seat and flat load floor can be configured as needed in order to accommodate groceries, sports gear, luggage or people.

The tech also doesn't disappoint. The Crossover features the new intelligent control display called the Integrated Control System (I-CON).  This versatile, multi-colored system allows drivers to change the drive and climate modes at a touch.  

In Drive mode, the I-CON system offers three different settings – Normal, Sport and Eco.  Normal mode combines performance and efficiency, best suited for everyday driving, while Sport mode delivers more power for a more agile and responsive drive. 

The I-CON also toggles the controls in Climate mode, with the display panel showing the interior temperature settings and air flow preferences. This allows the driver and passengers to customize the interior atmosphere to suit their individual preferences.

In the Philippines, the new Nissan Juke will be available in the HR16DE 1.6L DOHC gasoline engine variant, coupled with the new generation Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).  Under this powertrain combination, the new Nissan Juke will delivers a smooth yet exciting drive supported by engine power of 116PS with 154Nm of torque.

For added stability, the new Nissan Juke is equipped with independent MacPherson struts at the front suspension and torsion beam axle at the rear suspension.

The new Nissan Juke also boasts of a plethora of safety features, such as anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and dual front airbags.  Complementing these are convenience features such as an integrated control system, rear parking camera, and cruise control.

The new Nissan Juke will be available as a 4x2 variant with an SRP of P980,000. It will come in Red Alert, Solar Yellow, Pearl White, and Black Obsidian.  Expected start of sales will be January 2016.

The Juke is a testament to Nissan's revitalized image in the country. The brand continues to be stronger ever since it restructured about 2 years ago. Also, Nissan's dealerships have exponentially increased to 39 this year alone from the previous number of 28. These cover the strategic areas of NCR and Luzon (Sucat, Sta. Rosa, Bulacan), Visayas (Cebu, Iloilo, Dumaguete) and Mindanao (Butuan, Zamboanga and General Santos).

According to Nissan Philippines President Antonio Zara, “From its very beginnings, Nissan has displayed a flair for innovation and a willingness to strike out into territories unknown. This passion is what led the company to become a major player in the world automotive stage.” “We want our passion for innovation to be felt by our customers. We want them to rediscover that excitement they felt once when they heard the word ‘Nissan”. Through all of our efforts, we hope that we can encourage the Philippine market to rediscover Nissan.”

At the end of the day, “Rediscover Excitement Rediscover Nissan” isn’t just a milestone. It is Nissan’s way of showcasing to the public that it is truly back, and is here to stay.

The story in pictures:

The sumptuous buffet table

The Patrol

The Urvan

The Navara

The Sylphy

The stage

Mr. Zara talking about his early experiences with Nissan

The crowd eagerly awaiting the Juke

Mr. Zara's presentation of old Nissan glory

Mr. Zara's old nissan Sentra

The sleek and sexy Juke

Nissan Executives Antonio Zara and SJ Huh introducting the new Juke

The crowd going wild over the car

The interior

The trunk

The engine

Courtesy of 

Ms. Roselle Toledo
Nissan Philippines Inc.

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