“Wow, what make of car is that …?” Difficult to say these days. With a few exceptions. There were (and still are) a number of faces in the crowd that stood out from all the rest – not least because of the design and arrangement of their headlights. Our mini-series will take a subjective look at some of the most spectacular designs and some of the weirdest, some long forgotten and some that are still on the roads today. Today it’s the turn of a car that strongly divides opinions. And that is precisely how it should be. The Nissan Juke.
If you talk to friends about cars it’s mostly about the ones that catch your attention. Nobody’s going on about silver gray leased cars that simply get you reliably from A to B. Some cars are still dividing opinions today. The Nissan Juke has been adorning our roads since 2010 – a car that can quite rightly be called “striking”. It’s a small SUV with small four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, but that doesn’t make it special yet. No, it’s rather its extravagant headlights and indicators which make it stand out from the crowd. Big wide tubby lights right at the front, a broad grille shaped like a mouth above it, and position lights and indicators mounted high on the fenders above that. They extend well beyond the smooth chassis, basically sitting on it, and are a bold and flamboyant design feature of this car.
Testers have given their positive or negative opinions as to whether these excessive features make sense or not. But it’s not about whether you like it or not, or whether you find it horrendous. It looks different. Not in an awkward this-was-planned-all-along way, adding edges here and there, simply because designers WANTED it to be different. No, the Juke definitely IS different, and pretty consistently so. The Osram team is particularly happy that designers decided to experiment with the shape and positioning of the front headlights and didn’t just drop an even bigger wraparound monoframe grille on drivers out there. The Juke is definitely likable because it’s not just different but also a neat allround package. But you don’t have to like it. That’s up to you, as is often the case in life.
Extravagant headlights offer a lot of room for new lighting solutions. The Juke has only been discovered by the tuning scene little by little; the Juke Nismo RS in particular, with more than 200 horsepower, has a lot of potential for technical and optical refinements. The range of lighting products is getting more extensive by the week, now including LED daytime running lights, LED indicators and bi-xenon upgrade kits. The OSRAM range also has plenty of lamps that can be used to optimize the already striking Juke even further – both inside and outside. Until then we’re happy if we spot one in our rear view mirror, simply looking different than the others. In an age where we can’t even identify most cars anymore at first glance, the small SUV from Nissan is a bold and edgy bastion of design against the same old, same old. We like. What about you?