The next-generation Nissan Juke subcompact crossover has finally been revealed for the European market. And right off the bat, it's clear that it's a much cleaner, more broadly appealing car than its predecessor. The frog-like accent headlights have been moved into the main grille design, although the large round headlights below them remain. The ultra-rounded fenders have also disappeared in favor of more gently and gracefully widened fenders. The new Juke is still distinctive and concept-like, though. The accent lights are razor thin and swept way back. The illuminated section of the round headlights is actually a Y-shape that looks suitably tech-y and futuristic, and the Juke's funky profile that falls between conventional sedan and hatchback remains. It also picked up the contrasting roof that's en vogue right now. The interior is far more conventional. The odd center console designed like a motorcycle fuel tank is pretty much gone. The dashboard takes its design from the upcoming Nissan Sentra/Sylphy with three round air vents in the middle, a stitched and upholstered dash pad and an infotainment screen sitting above the vents. Only one engine has been announced for the Juke, a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. It only makes 115 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque on a regular basis. Floor it, and it will provide extra boost that will bring torque up to 148 pound-feet for up to 25 seconds. It's also coupled to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It makes far less power than the 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque the base Juke had in the U.S., not to mention the even more powerful 210-horsepower Juke Nismo RS. But in Europe, this turbo engine is replacing a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder that made just 110 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. No replacement for the European Juke's 115-horsepower diesel has been announced. Nissan has also made no mention of the Juke returning to the U.S. Certainly with the European powertrain options, there wouldn't be much reason to offer it here when the Kicks is the same size with about the same power, and it would almost certainly be more affordable than the Juke. And of course the Kicks has a design that's easier for most people to handle, as opposed to the polarizing Juke.
The cubicles and corner offices at Infiniti HQ in Japan continue to change hands. Infiniti Global Design Chief Karim Habib, only in that position for about two years since leaving BMW in 2017, has left the Japanese luxury brand "to pursue other opportunities." In his place, Nissan has elevated Taisuke Nakamura, a 26-year company veteran who is currently Nissan's program design director responsible for global design strategy, and concept car and production vehicle design. Nakamura has a stout design résumé in service to both Nissan and Infiniti, having worked on the Qs Inspiration sedan concept (above) shown at the Shanghai Motor Show in April, the QX Inspiration crossover concept shown at the Detroit Auto Show this year (below), and the Prototype 10 speedster concept revealed at Pebble Beach last year (bottom). All of those were electric concepts, making Nakamura the point man for Infiniti's push into electric vehicles and hybrids, and the carmaker's introduction of a new design language. Last year, Infiniti said it would have a new EV on the market in 2021, as well as "e-Power" series hybrids with small battery packs charged by gas-powered generators. Those EVs should fully embody the brand's new design DNA, seen initially in the recent concepts. The automaker said around the Qs reveal that the new "aesthetics are underpinned by Infiniti's desire to challenge convention and design cars which are engaging, enriching, enabling and enchanting – what the company calls its ‘4EN' approach to design." At the QX reveal in January, Habib said that as engineers made a "shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains, we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for Infiniti models." Infiniti said Nakamura takes up his post next week, Sept. 1, and will report to the same boss he has now, Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's global design head. Aside from Habib, other top non-Japanese Nissan executives such as Daniele Schillaci, Jose Munoz and Trevor Mann have left the Japanese automaker in the recent past, since the arrest of Carlos Ghosn. The former chairman, who faces charges of fraud and misconduct, is awaiting trial in Japan over charges including enriching himself at a cost of $5 million to Nissan, Japan's No. 2 automaker. Information from Reuters was used in this report.
The design for a Japanese coin commemorating next year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has been decided by a public vote.
People voted for their favorite out of three shortlisted designs via Twitter and other means. The winning design will be used for a 500-yen coin, and is the first of 37 coins to be minted for the Games that was selected by the public.
While Nintendo has seemingly denied that there are plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch console this year, it appears that the rumors about such a console just don’t seem to be going away. In fact, just last month a Chinese accessory maker shared images of their upcoming accessories for the the Nintendo Switch Mini, which in the process revealed a possible design.
It looks like the leaks won’t stop coming in because according to a tweet by WinFuture.de’s Roland Quandt, new images have since leaked by other accessory makers who have created cases for the upcoming console. For those who are unfamiliar with the rumors, basically there are claims suggesting that Nintendo could launch at least two new consoles this year.
Last Friday, David Woodhouse suddenly resigned from his dual positions as Ford's director of global strategic design and director of Lincoln design. In a post not long after leaving, he praised the efforts of his former team over the past six years he headed design at Lincoln. Among other products, that crew gave us the redesigned Navigator, the Continental concept and production sedan, and the Aviator concept and production crossover. Car Design News reports Woodhouse traded Michigan for California, taking the role of VP at Nissan Design America in San Diego. He officially assumes the position July 1, and will also serve on the Japanese automaker's Global Nissan Design Management Committee.
Woodhouse has spent more than 25 years in the design department, starting with BMW and work on the Mini and Range Rover brands, followed by a brief stint with Cadillac of Europe. For the past 20 years he's been with Ford, coming on board with the Ford's former luxury arm known as the Premier Automotive Group — Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo and Lincoln.
Sony has a history of winning awards for design, and that is no different for its Xperia smartphones. Last year saw four Xperia products pick up iF Design Awards, including a Gold Award for the Xperia XZ1. This year, Sony is once again not empty-handed, as the Xperia XZ3 has won a 2019 iF Design Award. It's very much a worthy winner. The Xperia XZ3 was the first Sony phone to use an OLED display, and came with a seamless design appealing to the mass market including the use of a 3D curved display.