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Nissan Juke Nismo: The Design Story

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LONDON – Jan 29, 2013: Take something with a totally unique visual character... and then give it a new and exciting twist. That was the challenge facing Nissan's design team when creating the all-new Juke Nismo.

While the European launch event for the new performance variant is now underway, the starting point in developing the first Nismo model was the standard Juke's radical design, with its distinctive blend of sports coupé lines and SUV styling.

Watch, listen and learn about this design process as Digital Manager and Project Lead Designer for Nissan Design Europe, Darryl Scriven, explains how the striking design was conceived.

Nismo is about taking inspiration from Nissan's decades of motorsport heritage and bringing it to European road cars. But creating a Nismo model isn't just about adding a body kit and sporty cabin styling. Every element of the design that has been modified has been done so for a reason.

Engineers developed a new aerodynamic exterior, giving the Juke Nismo an even more efficient, powerful and dynamic look. The new car features lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and sill side skirts, plus a modified grille and tailgate spoiler to better control airflow.

These upgrades reduce front and rear lift without increasing drag, enhancing all aspects of its on-the-road performance. Combined with eye-catching new 18-inch alloy wheels shod in wider tyres, the changes add to the car's bold stance and boost grip. Red door mirror caps and a pinstripe around the base of the car - trademark design cues that will be seen again on future models - instantly mark it out as a Nismo machine.

Darryl Scriven said early input on the overall look came from Nissan's European design studio in Paddington, London. "It was really important to make something that looked stronger but wasn't more complicated. Nismo is not about adding shape and surfaces for no reason, it's about genuine aerodynamic and dynamic improvement. So the design has to add something, and that was a challenge. But I think we have a front end that's dramatic and bold, but also distinctive."

The Nismo makeover continues inside the cabin, where the steering wheel, pedals, gauges, gear knob and door trims have been redesigned. They're now more focused on the driver's requirements, generating a more performance-oriented feeling. The upgrade includes special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching, for extra support and comfort during cornering.

Scriven continued: "The brief for the interior wasn't to strip everything out. We weren't creating a pure and lightweight racing machine. Don't forget, this has got to be something that people are going to use every day, but feel genuinely engaged with when driving. Juke Nismo is premium, it's about feeling special, engaged and excited."