Nissan’s iconic compact crossover, the JUKE, is now equipped with an advanced hybrid powertrain, offering efficient and responsive performance. Nissan JUKE Hybrid features a true multi-modal hybrid gearbox which prioritises efficiency, responsiveness and a harmonious drive. Drivers and passengers will appreciate its 100% electric-only start up, its engaging driveability and excellent fuel efficiency, efficient regenerative braking, and high performance battery. Central to the objective of the new hybrid powertrain was that it must complement JUKE’s already agile and dynamic personality which has proved so popular with customers of the internal combustion engine [ICE] version. Where traditional hybrids offer an uninspiring experience, the Nissan JUKE Hybrid’s intelligent drive system has been tuned to maximise the amount of time JUKE spends in EV mode, which is what customers appreciate the most. A key objective for Nissan’s engineers was to reduce the frequency of the engine switching on and off, which drivers find inconvenient and disturbing. This increases driving pleasure as well as optimising efficiency.
During final testing, up to 80 per cent of an urban drive was achieved in pure EV mode, with short hybrid phases to recharge the battery before returning to EV mode. The JUKE Hybrid not only starts 100% in electric mode, it can reach speeds up to 55kph in pure EV, for drivers to enjoy strong, constant, repeatable and sustained EV driving experience. The system will automatically maximise EV usage, but JUKE Hybrid is also equipped with a dedicated EV mode switch that can be used as a feature for when the driver does not want the engine running, such as residential areas, around built up areas like schools, car parks, drive-through and in traffic jams. While battery state of charge permits, it will force the JUKE Hybrid to operate as an electric-only vehicle.
Key to the driving pleasure at the heart of the Nissan JUKE Hybrid is an advanced low friction multi modal gearbox that provides optimal use of the propulsive power, whether electric, petrol engine, or both. The gearbox is controlled by an advanced algorithm, managing the shift points, battery regeneration, as well as the advanced series-parallel architecture. The powertrain can navigate seamlessly through different hybridisation requirements (series, parallel, series-parallel) according to acceleration and power requirements, all without any driver input. As a result, there is no “rubber-band” sensation, which is perceived negatively by customers of traditional hybrids, and the driver will enjoy responsive acceleration, quietness, refined cruising as well as efficient low emissions – the best of all worlds. To reduce friction, this gearbox uses dog clutches instead of conventional synchroniser rings to shift the 4 “ICE” gears and 2 “EV” gears. Additionally, to reduce friction, this gearbox does not use a clutch. All vehicle starts are 100% electric, and the 2 EV motors are used in combination to synchronise the gears, delivering smooth, connected and responsive acceleration.
Inside the cabin, the right-hand of the two dials shows speed and the left-hand dial shows a power gauge, with the needle moving between “charge”, when energy regeneration is taking place, through “Eco” when propulsion is electric and “power” when the internal combustion engine and electric motor combine. The button for e-Pedal is positioned in the centre console, behind the electric parking brake button, while the button to activate 100 per cent EV mode is between two of the central air-vents. When e-Pedal and EV mode are activated, visual reminders appear at the bottom of the combimeter screen. A visual representation of the flow of power can be displayed on the 7″ combimeter screen between the two dials, showing all the different energy flows in a simple and clear animation, maximizing driver understanding of the system’s operation. The trunk space is 354 litres, a slight reduction of 68 litres compared to the petrol version, as a consequence of the packaging of the 1.2kWh battery pack. With rear seats folded, trunk space remains best in class with 1237 litres, while rear knee room remains unchanged at 553mm.
Diving into the details of what makes Nissan JUKE Hybrid’s powertrain so distinctive, the know-how within is a testament to the combined engineering strengths found within the Alliance. On the electric side, Nissan-supplied the main electric motor which produces 36kW (49hp) and 205Nm of torque, while Renault provided the 15kW high voltage starter/generator, the inverter and the 1.2kWh liquid-cooled battery, as well as the highly innovative gearbox. The Nissan JUKE hybrid powertrain consists of a new generation, state-of-the-art Nissan internal combustion engine specifically developed for working in a hybrid powertrain application. It produces 69kW (94hp) and 148Nm of torque. The net result is a powertrain providing 25% more power than the current petrol engine option, with a fuel consumption reduction of up to 40% in urban cycle, and up to 20% over the combined cycle. (Figures subject to homologation).
The sporty coupe crossover design of the JUKE remains on the new Hybrid version. Close attention has been paid to every detail and a series of small changes have been made to optimise its aerodynamic efficiency – and to identify the JUKE Hybrid as the electrified version. “Hybrid” badges have been applied to the front doors and the tailgate. The design of the grille itself is now mesh and has a smaller aperture to optimise aero efficiency, made possible thanks to the reduced cooling requirements of the Hybrid version. Modifications have also been made to the bodywork below the bumper to improve airflow and, uniquely for the hybrid, a radiator grille shutter has been added, allowing airflow to be automatically adjusted according to cooling needs, reducing aero drag as much as possible. The front grille of JUKE Hybrid now sports the new Nissan brand logo and also features a strip of black gloss material where it meets the hood, putting it in line with other electrified Nissan models which share this same design motif.
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