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With Nissan set to introduce its new global small car at the Geneva Auto Show tomorrow and the press conference schedule a tight squeeze, the Japanese automaker decided that no formal debut of its new Juke crossover was necessary. As a result, we’ve been able to get a good look at this oddly styled model which Nissan has announced will be offered in North America later this year.

Slotting in underneath the Rogue in Nissan’s North American lineup, the Juke is aimed at winning-over small hatchback buyers with a smaller vehicle that has a more versatile platform.

As controversial as the styling is, we’re excited about this car mainly because of its engine. Nissan has announced that the Juke will come equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with direct-injection technology – GTDI (gasoline turbocharged direct injection) for short. It also gets variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust side of the engine. Power is rated at 188-hp and 177 ft-lbs of torque, but so far no fuel economy numbers are available. It should, however, undercut all other crossovers, so expect some impressive numbers. Plus, it should undercut the competition in price. With the Rogue currently sitting around the $20,000 mark, we’d have to think a smaller model would be even less.

Nissan’s press conference it set for tomorrow (March 2nd) and we’ll be sure to see if there’s any new news about the Juke then. Nissan has chosen the New York Auto Show at the end of the month to officially debut the U.S.-spec model on American soil.

More: 2010 Geneva Auto Show Coverage on
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