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November 19, 2008
Nissan Introduces the New Cube in Global Markets

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today revealed the all-new, third generation of its highly successful Nissan Cube in launch events in Japan, the United States and Europe. The fully redesigned Cube continues the iconic "cubic" styling of the previous generation, adding a higher level of refinement and polish inside and out. Sales of the new Cube begin in Japan on Nov. 26, followed by North American in the spring of 2009, and Europe and other global markets in fall 2009.

Originally launched in 1998, the Cube has sold nearly one million units to date in Japan. The latest version maintains the distinctive exterior styling that is instantly recognizable as the Cube, such as the asymmetric rear end, while pursuing a simpler, more universal design for its debut on the world stage. It offers greater comfort, a larger cabin and a host of innovative interior details such as sofa-like seating, a large glass roof panel that extends over the driver's seat for an open, airy view of the outside environment, and a shoji-style roof shade that fills the cabin with gentle light. Despite its increased roominess, the new Cube remains less than four meters long, providing big utility within a small physical footprint. With its excellent visibility and maneuverability, along with smooth performance and high fuel efficiency, the new Cube is a high-performance daily driver created to be enjoyed by value-conscious buyers worldwide.

"The new Cube is designed for people who imagine a life less ordinary, who have grown tired of the never-ending pursuit of faster, more powerful, more outrageously styled cars," said Yosuke Iwasa, Segment Chief Product Specialist. "The quieter, more harmonious qualities of the Cube have attracted interest not only among young people, but for those in every walk of life. While carrying forward the concept of the original Cube, this latest edition has advanced significantly, including offering far greater comfort."

"The new Cube is a refined car of universal quality and appeal, that can compete without 'makeup' or excessive decoration," said Seiji Watanabe, Associate Product Chief Designer. "The development concept took the approach of 'purifying' the Cube design, rather than "evolving' it. A jagged rock, for instance, loses its edges and takes on a polish as it travels down a river. This is the sort of refinement we wanted for the new Cube. We worked to simplify its exterior, using fewer lines and widening certain areas. We allowed the Cube design to refine itself, moving closer to nature and suggesting human warmth. The resulting 'purer, more peaceful' design is just what we wanted. It is a vehicle for people who are not being influenced by others, who go their own way, and enjoy interactions with friends in a welcoming atmosphere."

Following are the details of the Cube. The features and specifications listed are for the Japanese version and may vary for other global markets.

Nissan Cube Key Features:

* Iconic Cube styling - recognizable at a glance
* Spacious Cube interior - designed for comfort and relaxation
* Innovative Cube packaging - for easy, relaxed driving

1. Design
* A "witty" design with a wide stance that communicates stability and agility
* An expressive personality that wins over consumers' hearts
* Windows designed for an expansive view, especially at the rear corners
* An asymmetric rear hatch, continuing the Cube's unique character
* "Picture windows" that charmingly frame the passengers
* An extensive lineup of 10 available body colors, including Craft Board, a Nissan first, and two other new colors
A relaxing space that brings people together
* An open cabin, conceived with the image of a Jacuzzi
* A curve-shaped instrument panel
* High-precision "Fine Vision" instrumentation
* A "skylight"-style glass panel roof that keeps the sky always visible from the driver's seat, and a shoji-style shade to diffuse sunlight, when desired, and fill the cabin with gentle light
* Comfortable, secure seating with thick seat cushions and matching door armrests for a sofa-like effect
* A "water drop" ripple design motif in cupholders and other cabin details
2. Packaging
Ample space throughout the cabin, including rear seat headroom and knee room
* The front seat slides 12 millimeters farther (than the previous generation) and lifts up to 60mm, allowing optimum posture for people of any size
* Excellent all-around visibility, with the entire engine hood visible from the driver's seat
* Large side and rear quarter windows that help reduce both side and rear blind spots
* The tightest turning radius in its class at 4.6 meters (except the 15G)
* Large front door openings, which allow more headroom (than the previous generation) and easy entry and exit
* Theater-style rear seating that broadens the view from the rear seats and a more rearward rear-seat hip point, which significantly increases knee room
3. Utility
A large cabin space for comfort and relaxation
* In addition to the cushiness of the seat pads, S-springs give the seats a greater depth and a sofa-like feel
* Side-opening rear hatch, which allows easy one-hand operation
* The rear seats slide 20mm farther forward, providing greater luggage area flexibility (than the previous generation)
* Fashionable and functional storage spaces, including cupholders with the "water drop" ripple motif
* A CARWINGS navigation system that features a high-resolution monitor and hard disk drive, as well as a built-in tuner that receives 12- or 1-segment broadcasting with automatic switching, and a state-of-the-art map-updating system
* Nissan's first AM/FM/CD combo with a RearView Monitor
* Push button starter
* A Nissan Intelligent Key system, which provides enhanced theft-prevention with an electronic steering lock and engine immobilizer linked to the key ID
4. Mechanism
A body designed for safety and high performance
* The platform design minimizes mechanical space, including for the engine, transmission and suspension, and creates a roomy cabin and easy handling in an attractive, compact package
* A wide stance, resulting from moving the wheels to the corners; allows for sharp cornering and a turning radius of just 4.6 meters
* A more rigid body (than the previous generation), which allows for more stable operation and a comfortable ride
* A strut front suspension and torsion I-beam rear suspension with improved camber rigidity, driving comfort and stability
Smooth and responsive
* The new Cube employs an all-aluminum front-intake, rear-exhaust 1.5-liter HR15DE engine, known for low fuel consumption, compactness, low weight and impressive performance
* All Cubes equipped with the e-4WD system feature a standard XTRONIC CVT with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) for smoother performance
* The new Cube's major improvements in fuel efficiency and aerodynamics increase comfort and help conserve energy
* Better aerodynamics increase fuel-efficiency by two percent in the high-speed range (compared with the previous Cube)
* In 2WD models, the CVT oil warmer helps improve fuel-efficiency when the engine is cold (immediately after engine start or when ambient temperatures are low)

Other technologies for safety and environmental protection

* An auto-light system, which is more sensitive than conventional systems, turns the Cube's lights on automatically when it detects dimming light around the car (such as at twilight or when the windshield wipers turn on)
* The first Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) option for a Nissan compact (2WD models only)
* Optimum lighting with multi-reflector halogen headlights
* Available bi-xenon headlights (with high and low-beam auto-leveler)
* RearView Monitor
* Rear adjustable-cycle wiper
* Center High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL)
* Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
* Brake Assist (BA)
* Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)
* Highly rigid Zone Body Construction
* Body designed to minimize pedestrian injuries
* SRS air bag system for front seats
* SRS curtain air bag system
* Front-seat Active Head Restraints
* Driver's-seat double-pre-tensioned seat belt
* Pre-tensioned seat belts with two-stage load-limiters for front seats
* Rear seat headrests (three positions)
* Low-friction seat belts for all seats
* Three-point seat belts with Emergency Locking Retractors (ELRs) for rear seats (self-rising buckles for three seats)
* All 2WD and "15X Four" e-4WD versions of the new Cube achieve the 2010 standard for fuel-efficiency plus 20 percent
* All Cube versions are certified as super-low-emission vehicles (SU-LEVs), achieving emission-cutting goals for 2005 plus 75 percent
* Over 95 percent recyclable*
* Reduced volatile organic compound usage in the cabin
* Fuel-consumption display (instant fuel consumption, average fuel consumption and likely cruising range)

MSRP Range in Japan (tax included)
2WD: 1,449,000 - 1,911,000 yen
4WD: 1,687,350 - 1,928,850 yen

*Recyclability ratio of the new model calculated based on 1998 guidelines by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association

looks like the us version won't get the bench seat. :'(

more photos here.

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So far, I like what I'm seeing and reading. It looks like Nissan has definitely moved the Cube up in ranks with this generation. From the news release, the top of the line e4WD would be 1,928,850.00 JPY = 19,989.79 USD.

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9 Posts
Mixed feelings ::)

Assuming tinted windows are standard equipment (maybe on higher-end/e-awd models) and they flip the hatch for US market, i like the exterior. Contrary to the popular opinion of "why round fog laps, its a cube?" ... I like the elements of circles in this cube... its still a cube, just a little more modern.

The interior, again unlike many, I doubt I will miss the front bench. Although, i am wondering where the center arm rest went? I want one. Also curious about the circular center stack (hvac controls?)

In terms of fuel economy, anyone decode what 2010 standards + 20% mean ? ... seems like some sort of cryptic language that they are using because they can't put hard numbers on it yet themselves (or don't want to until a major gov't test does it).

I am gonna wait for the official LA media presentation to be posted, maybe they will say more.

EDIT: a quit google discloses 2010 standard as 30mpg, so 2010+20% is 36mpg... now the question remains if that is city, hwy or mixed loop numbers? In either case, with the 1.5 liter in a car roughly the size of a mini clubman, we should easily see hitting mid 30s in regular mixed loop driving conditions.
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