Toyota may revive the RSC Concept to take on the Nissan Juke

Article by Christian A., on January 11, 2013

Toyota is studying the prospect of creating a model that’s inspired by a decade-old concept and pitting this model against the Nissan Juke. Toyota’s California-based CALTY design studio developed the Toyota RSC — Rugged Sports Coupé. Its debut was at the 2001 Chicago motor show.

The RSC didn’t actually lead to anything but it was reassessed recently, primarily due to the international success of the Nissan Juke, which has a concept that’s similar to the RSC. There hasn’t been any final decision made yet about starting production on the RSC.

However, it’s believed that the RSC would use either the Yaris platform, which will lead to the creation of a direct rival for the Juke, or the new Auris platform, which would represent a solution to the crowded rear cabin that impairs the Juke. These two platforms offer the hybrid option that would likely perform well in the crucial Californian market.

Toyota is also considering the appeal of the RSC as both a compact off-roader and a sports car that was a major trend at the end of the 1990s.

It can be recalled that under the leadership of Simon Cox, Isuzu’s UK-based concept studio created the VX-2 off-road coupé in 1998. It was in late 2011 that Volkswagen unveiled the Golf-based Cross Coupé concept.

While it was officially unveiled during the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the Juke was first shown to the public as the Qazana show car. It was first created at the Nissan Design Europe (NDE) located in London and later refined at the Japan-based Nissan Design Centre (NDC). In coming up with the design for the Juke, the design team at Nissan was inspired by various sources, a number of them considered as unusual.

For example, they studied vehicles known for their athletic and active life like motorbikes and rally cars. Thus, looking at the overall design, it is fairly easy to see what the influences are. Further, the Juke also has individual lines, the same lines seen previously on the Qazana. In addition, a number of people are likely to agree that the design has that boldness to it.

This is mainly due to how significant in the European market the B-segment truly is. According to Nissan, when compared to other big markets in the world, like Japan and North America, the market in Europe is projected to get a large part of the sales. The use of features from the Qazana plus the sources of inspiration give the Juke various themes.

Still, the design language of the brand is still evident. Further, the body is clearly solid and tough, showing that SUV component. Even then, it also remains to be a sensual vehicle especially with the complex curves. Meanwhile, the coupé silhouette is highlighted by the narrow side glass and the rear door handles being hidden. The latter results in the Juke getting the feel of a two-door vehicle rather than a four-door one.

Shiro Nakamura shared that the collaboration of NDC and NDE resulted in a model with a powerful design having the look of the East meeting the West. The Juke will be marketed in the U.S., Japan, and Europe. Nissan added that NDE was also responsible for the development of the Qashqai, to be sold in Australia, Asia, and Europe.

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