The next Nissan Juke will be a hybrid
Yep, Nissan has finally got round to electrifying the Juke. Anyone else just assume it'd done that already?
We jest of course. This is a huge moment for Nissan given the amount of small crossovers we buy in the UK, and the Juke Hybrid is getting a seriously impressive little powertrain. That’s because it’s using Alliance tech borrowed from Renault, and said tech was actually first developed alongside engineers from the F1 team. Nice.
Renault calls the system E-Tech, although Nissan is keeping things simple with the Juke Hybrid name. In the Juke, the basics are thus – a 1.6-litre Nissan-supplied engine makes 93bhp whilst an electric motor adds an additional 48bhp. So far, so standard. However, Renault then provides a smaller 15kW electric motor, a teeny 1.2kWh battery and an innovative gearbox.
Essentially the gearbox is a four-speed clutchless dog-type unit. That would usually mean harsh shifts, but here the smaller electric motor controls the flywheel speed to sync them whilst also kick-starting the combustion engine whenever it’s needed. We drove the Renault Arkana, which had the same setup. The Juke Hybrid always starts in all-electric mode using the larger motor and the small amount of charge in the battery, and it can continue using electricity alone at speeds of up to 34mph.
There’s regenerative braking to charge the battery (as well as a dedicated one-pedal mode) and the car’s brain maximises EV driving at all times, although there’s also an EV mode that’ll use up your precious charge before bringing the engine in as a last resort.
Nissan says the end result is a powertrain that’s 25 per cent more powerful than the current Juke petrol option, whilst also being 40 per cent more efficient in urban driving and 20 per cent more combined. Good numbers.
From the outside the hybrid won’t look too different to the petrol-powered Juke. There’s some extra badges so people know you’ve bought the electrified version, as well as a slightly redesigned grille with smaller openings and a redesigned rear spoiler to improve aero efficiency.
TEXT Gregg Potts