2011 NISSAN JUKE
Nissan’s Juke crossover certainly caught our eye at last month’s Geneva motor show, though not necessarily for all the right reasons. There’s no doubt the Juke had turned our heads and split public opinion at the New York auto show.
Lending the most credence to the Juke’s sportiness is its drivetrain. A new 1.6-liter direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder makes its North American debut in the Juke producing 180-plus horsepower and 170-plus pound-feet of torque.
Regardless, the engine is mounted to Nissan’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) as standard equipment, though if you skip the S trim level and move up to the SV or SL trims, customer can get a six-speed manual.
Unfortunately, the manual transmission is only offered with front-wheel drive. If the customer want Nissan’s impressive torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, it’s CVT only. Despite that, Nissan’s AWD system is an impressive piece. Using technology developed on the previous-generation GT-R, the system can send up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels and can distribute power from side to side on the rear axle as the computer sees fit to maximize stability and handling.
To be class competitive, the Juke comes with a host of standard features. Steering wheel controls, Bluetooth, iPod connections, a six-speaker stereo and 60/40 flat-folding rear seats are all included. Key options include auto headlights, leather, navigation, a back-up camera, moon roof, heated seats, and an upgraded Rockford Fosgate stereo with a sub woofer and optional XM Satellite Radio and USB port.
2011 LEXUS CT200H HYBRID
The CT 200h is expected to lead the class in fuel economy and deliver low emissions, but the CT 200h isn’t just about being a hybrid, it’s about having fun.
It will become Lexus’ second hybrid-only model after the HS 250h. The CT 200h is going to keep the same powertrain which means a small gas engine, only 1.8 liters, combined with the hybrid system.
The CT 200h will also be equipped with four drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport and EV. In EV mode, the car can be driven a short distance on electric power alone and can run on electricity alone for up to 1.2 miles
The chassis employs a McPherson strut up front and a double wishbone setup out back. The rear suspension uses a lightweight trailing arm, with the coil springs and shock absorbers positioned separately to reduce intrusion into the loadspace floor.