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2009 Nissan Cube Introduced

November 20th, 2008
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Nissan today held the European unveiling of the all-new Cube at its London, England, based European design headquarters. The car will go on sale in the primary markets of Western Europe in late 2009. Already an icon in its home market of Japan, the new Cube has been developed as a global model and from early next year, will also go on sale in North America.

Characterised by its rounded-off squared dimensions, it’s easy to see how Cube got its name. Boasting bags of character, Cube also sports an asymmetric rear design, with a wrap-around window at the rear on the passenger side, and a pillar on the driver’s side, giving a distinctive, striking design signature which is carried over from the previous generation of Cube.

More than just unique geometry, however, the new 2009 Nissan Cube is also conceived as a totally different take on an automobile - a car that doesn’t want to be defined as a car. “Combining unique design with true spaciousness and a warm personality, Cube will have a unique place on the market,” said Simon Thomas, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Nissan in Europe. “Cube is a vehicle that people of all ages can fall in love with, even if they’re not normally interested in cars.”

Evocative Yet Rational

Though its uniquely styled, asymmetrical body makes a standout statement against the backdrop of today’s look-alike mainstream vehicles, Cube presents a range of strong rational arguments for purchase as well.

“The new Nissan Cube will be bought by individuals who will see it as an extension of their personality and reflects their individuality,” said Thomas. “Cube customers are not show-offs, but style-conscious and open-minded.”

A “Bulldog in Sunglasses”

The all-new 2009 Nissan Cube builds on the existing DNA characterised by its non-traditional design, with an improved stance and an added sense of dynamic movement.

With Cube’s long wheelbase relative to its overall length (a 2530mm wheelbase against a 3980mm overall length) and wide track, the wheels, in effect, are pushed out to each corner - providing exceptional space utilisation and a confident-looking stance that is described as a “bulldog in sunglasses.”

“The designers, engineers and planners’ effort and passion in creating the next generation Cube was unheard of - perhaps only exceeded in recent memory by that of the Nissan GT-R development team,” explains Pierre Loing, Nissan’s European Vice President for Product Planning. “They were constantly drawing, cartooning, adding thoughts and ideas, which is how the image of the bulldog emerged and evolved. This was not a traditional development process.”

Along with its stance, the “incognito canine” look is aided by the wide headlights and grille treatment, the small but substantial body proportions and the short “tail” section. In the rear, the bar-type taillights reinforce the wide, anchored feel. The Cube’s creators also sought to maintain a sense of “pure design,” reducing the number of character lines to give simplicity and freshness to the styling.

Another unique aspect of the Cube’s exterior is the greenhouse. The A-pillars are positioned far outward and relatively upright, giving a wider range of forward visibility. The front door windows utilize a “photo frame” design patterned after a personal photo frame, while the asymmetrical wraparound side/rear window creates enhanced rear diagonal visibility for lane changes and reverse parking.

“This ‘geometric circle shape in the square’ rear window is Cube’s signature,” said Loing. “Though there are D-pillars on both sides of the Cube, the visual effect of the narrower passenger-side pillar is quite remarkable in the overall appearance, a look aided by the asymmetrical back door.”

Unlike typical top-hinged or clamshell-style utility rear doors, Cube features an easy-access refrigerator-style opening, which makes it possible to open or close it even if parked tight against other cars in parallel parking spaces or when backed in against a wall or other obstacle.

The 2009 Nissan Cube is available in several eye-catching colours, with evocative names like Witty Military, White Pearl, Sea Turquoise and Bitter Chocolate.

And that’s not all. Customers will be able to personalise their Cube, with designs available for the glass roof and also body stickers.

A “Casual Lounge” Interior

“The centrepiece of the new Cube’s universal appeal is its surprisingly roomy interior that offers room for five in a lounge-like comfort. It creates a highly changeable space - for interacting with friends. It’s a space that is highly changeable and adaptable to owners’ evolving lives, with plenty of room for personalisation,” said Loing.

Cube’s clever, inspired and surprisingly open occupant space was conceived with a “Jacuzzi Curve” layout and “floating meter pod” driver’s area. It combines “casual lounge”-style passenger seating with a relaxed driving experience. The interactive interior is anchored by its curve-themed architecture, such as the subtle wavy shaping of the instrument panel, door panels, seat shapes, and the iconic “Water Drop” that can be seen in the cupholders and the climate control design. They are inspired by nature and the calming way that ripples move outward from a drop in water.

The comfortable Cube seating includes individual driver’s and passenger seats, along with a “lounge sofa” style sliding rear bench seat.

The sliding rear seat can be adjusted to three positions and is positioned higher than the front seats, theatre style, enhancing rear passenger comfort and visibility. “The new Cube’s interior leaves room for imagination and personalisation, yet also starts with a solid functional purpose,” explained Loing.

Stress-Free Driving, Room For Personalization

Cube’s stress-free driving experience is the result of a number of factors: a tall seating position made possible by the tall body height, an extremely short hood “invisible length” (the area of the hood panel that the driver is unable to see) and the good rear visibility for parking and reversing.

The Cube’s interior also benefits from its large sunroof, giving a light and airy atmosphere. As well as the traditional blind to prevent heat build up on sunny days, there is a shoji shade, inspired by traditional Japanese shades made of rice paper which can be drawn across the sunroof, allowing light to enter but minimising heat build up!

Other interior features include the “floating pod” instrument panel with asymmetrical light blue and white gauges, which are designed to make it easier to distinguish between the speedometer and the tachometer. The gauge needles “sweep” when the engine is started to add a sense of flair, while the gradation effect gives a natural ambience similar to the glow of the white moon and the blue earth.

Convenient storage spaces and cup/bottle holders are abundant throughout the Cube interior. There are also detachable multi-hooks for holding bags or hats, which can be moved from place to place - including the instrument panel and rear doors.

The “shelf expression” concept features two “shelves” located on top centre and passenger side of the instrument panel. The shelves can be personalized with accessory wood-like trim or shag carpeting. Cube’s “Magic Rubber Bands,” another clever Cube accessory item, are colourful rubber straps (red, yellow, orange or silver) that slip into cutouts on the door armrests to secure items such as maps, nametags, photos, towels or small stuffed animals.

“The interior concept is really about the Cube conforming to the users’ needs, rather than the other way around - you can put your favourite items anywhere you want, not where the vehicle tells you to,” said Loing. “The designers intended every aspect of the Cube interior be delightful as well as functional.”

The Cube interior is offered in two colour environments, Black and Beige. Both trims come with a quilted suede-like fabric with special “natural wave” stitching designed to provide a combination of relaxation and genuine “driving enjoyment” attitude.

Petrol and diesel engines for Europe

In Europe, the Cube will be offered with a double engine offer, with both 1.5-litre diesel and 1.6-litre petrol powertrains in the European line-up. Full details to follow.

Smart simplicity

“Distinctive, enjoyable and adaptable, the Nissan Cube will offer an unmatched sense of ‘smart simplicity’. It builds on a Cube DNA of individuality and non-automotive style, and adds an enhanced level of humanistic charm and clever design,” said Loing. “We know there will be a community of car-buyers in Europe who will really identify with Cube and will fall for its practicality, as well as its personality.”

Cube will appeal to customers who perhaps aren’t passionate about cars, but are passionate about being individuals. Cube isn’t a fashion statement, it’s a mission statement: I’m serious about enjoying my life.

Cube will offer car buyers something unique, distinctive, friendly and fun - a car as a true extension of its owners’ personality.

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 Design

Exterior

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

Interior

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

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

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

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)


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