Nissan Cube to Come to U.s. and Europe

By: RyanThomas

For the 2008 model year, Japan's third largest car manufacturer will introduce a new car in the United States and European car market. Dubbed as the Nissan Cube, the vehicle is being compared to Scion vehicles and the Honda Element. The Cube, as its name suggests, is square-like in its design and is currently being marketed in Japan.

The Scion xB-esque was introduced in the Japanese auto market in 1998 and received a respectable amount of attention in the said country. With the success of the Element and the Scion xB in the American car market, Nissan has taken a step to market the similarly-styled Cube in the United States as well as in Europe.

Car experts though are wondering whether the Nissan Cube will have what it takes to become a success outside Japan. One primary concern is the relatively small engine that the Cube is equipped with.

In Japan, the Cube is equipped with a 1.5 liter engine. This same engine is expected to come with the Cube when it hit showrooms in the United States. The relatively small engine means that the Cube will not be as fast as the Honda Element nor as the Scion xB. This will definitely raise an issue since Europeans and Americans are known for their penchant for powerful engines and fast speeds.

The small engine though may play a major role in promoting the car. As the price of gasoline increases, the demand for more fuel efficient vehicles also directly increases. This means that the smaller engine of the Cube will surely attract fuel economy-conscious car buyers.

This assumption though will raise another issue. Since the Cube will be rather boxy and heavy as well as having a high coefficient of drag, the small engine will be working hard to drive the vehicle. This means that the engine is likely to consume more fuel. This issue means that Nissan would have to think of a way to reduce the car's weight or equip it with a bigger engine. As far as emission is concerned, Nissan is likely to equip the Cube with efficient exhaust filters leading to and ultimately to the tail pipe.

The Cube though has some distinct advantage over its competition. Its attention-grabbing grille and its multi-spoke wheels are just some of its exterior features designed to capture the attention of younger car buyers.

Since it will be offered to American car buyers, Nissan has given emphasis on interior space. Instead of a floor shifter, the Cube's transmission shifter is integrated into its steering column. In Japan, the Cube is a right-hand drive vehicle, but as part of its homologation, the Cube will be introduced in the United States as a left-hand drive vehicle. This change des not affect the interior space of the Cube.

Before Nissan announced that the Nissan Cube will be released in the United States, speculations have already been surrounding the Cube. The introduction of the Cube in the United States and European markets is possibly an effort on the part of the car manufacturer to increase their offering to car buyers. The scarcity of car models in their lineup last year has resulted to sales setback - the first one that the company suffered from since Carlos Ghosn took over the reins of the Japanese car company.

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