Renault will axe the Modus and build a crossover similar to the Nissan Juke

Article by Christian A., on June 6, 2012

It was not a secret that Renault wants a crossover similar to the Nissan Juke but today it was confirmed that the French carmaker will replace the Modus small minivan with the new vehicle. According to Automotive News, Renault wants to take advantage of the strong growth in the crossover market.

The new car will be introduced next year and will be built at Renault's factory in Valladolid, Spain.

For those who don’t know, the Valladolid plant currently produces the Modus. The first Renault Modus was introduced back in 2004, while the larger Grand Modus came in 2007. In order to cut costs, Renault decided to axe the Laguna, Espace, Kangoo and Wind in the United Kingdom.

When it was introduced, the Modus was a taller version of the Clio and was built for those who wanted a roomy small car.

Now those customers are interested in SUV-styled crossovers and Renault has to do something about it. The Nissan Juke is quite a success as the Japanese manufacturer sold 106,461 units in Europe last year.

Looking at the Nissan Juke, it clearly has the toughness of a SUV but it has been mixed in with a style that is truly sporty. This is because when it was developed, the goal was to bring something new to the B-segment, and the whole small car market, by putting in that needed dynamism and masculinity. No wonder the Juke contains what seems to be various contradictions under the individual lines.

In terms of design, the lower region of the Juke is a genuine SUV. This is true especially with the solid wheels, wide tires, a more robust bearing and extended clearance from the ground. However, the top part, with the high waistline, falling roofline similar to a coupe, and the slim visor-like graphics on the side glass, clearly shows a sports car.

Highlighting the coupe effect are the doors in the rear wherein the handles have been placed on the door frame, thus hiding it from sight. Though the Juke was conceived at London’s Nissan Design Europe, this was refined further at the Nissan Design Center located in Japan. Thus, the principal engineering was done in Japan with important input done by the counterparts in Europe. However, the Juke will be manufactured at a facility located in Sunderland, which is in the northeastern part of England.

Commenting about the Juke, Nissan Europe Vice President for Product Planning Pierre Loing shares that this model has the best of what a sports car can offer, combined with the best elements coming from a SUV. This is why the Juke has a number of characteristics that may seem contradictory but blend well to give something that is truly unique, he adds.

The Juke therefore is playful but practical, dynamic but robust, and compact but still roomy, he continues. Meanwhile, Chief Creative Officer Senior Vice President for Design Shiro Nakamura revealed that the design of the Juke is all about being optimistic.

It utilizes design elements coming from two different categories and combined into an outstanding and small Crossover, he added. Thus, the Juke continues to show style and real confidence, he continued. Nakamura said further that these are the same qualities that the brand also hopes to see in the customers of the Juke.

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