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Did You Know the Nissan Juke was an Infiniti in China?

If you thought the Nissan Juke couldn’t get any weirder, listen up. What we call the Nissan Juke went by a different name and even a different brand over in China. It was dressed up with Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand and called the Infiniti ESQ. What?

The Luxury Juke

The Nissan Juke for the North American market was a quirky subcompact crossover that stood out for its very unconventional look and fun driving dynamics. The Chinese version is the Infiniti ESQ and it’s very similar to our Juke, but it’s a luxury variant. Specifically, the ESQ was based on the Juke NISMO, meaning it employed a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine making 197 horsepower. The Nissan Juke NISMO was actually a pretty fun little SUV, and the ESQ added some extra luxury into the mix.

What Does ESQ Mean?

Alphabet soup luxury car names often don’t actually stand for anything. Those letters and numbers usually indicate factors like whether it’s a car or SUV, the size of the car, or the size of the engine. However, we have no idea what the name ESQ is supposed to mean. Maybe it’s a name that makes more sense in China than it would in North America.

Keep in mind, this was at a time when the name of every other Infiniti model started with the letter Q. The Nissan Juke was never one to fall in line with the crowd, so why should the oddly named Infiniti version be any different?

While the Juke was unceremoniously replaced by the Kicks here in the U.S., there is a Renault-based second-generation Nissan Juke sold in international markets. Sadly, it appears that the ESQ did not live on with the redesign.

We Need a Weird Infiniti

We can laugh at the silly ESQ, but maybe something like this is what the Infiniti brand needs today. The brand’s U.S. lineup has some competent cars and crossovers, but there just isn’t anything all that interesting in Infiniti showrooms today.

I’d like to see Infiniti do something a little daring outside of a parade of electric concept cars. Find a Nissan Juke for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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