Retro Future Hues
Looking back at style trends from the past often provokes one of two reactions: recoiling in embarrassment, or rekindling fond memories and hoping for some to make a comeback. This is understandable, since the trends we remember most from any era tend to be the most polarising. So, when it came to bringing an old trend in automotive aesthetics – applying two tones of paint finish on one car – it made sense for Nissan to revive this on arguably its most polarising model: the unapologetically unique Nissan JUKE.
In fact, the JUKE offers a total of 21 colours with 16 dual colour options*, and comes amid a resurgence of two-tone colour finishes on cars - perhaps as a counter-reaction to years of preferences for monochrome tones. Another driver is growing demand for personalisation among European buyers. Lesley Busby, Colour Manager, Nissan Design Europe, explains that "colour is a very personal thing," and that thanks to its multitude of options, "the JUKE not only champions its own bold style, but also now allows the owner to do so too." In the video above, she reveals how each colour on the Nissan JUKE – which includes Fuji Sunset Red, Pearl Black to Chestnut Bronze - is carefully matched during an intensive process to achieve the most enticing combinations, taking the past two-tone trend and redefining it for the modern era.
The theme of nostalgia has also been increasingly en vogue lately across the worlds of fashion, art and design – particularly harking back to the 80s and 90s. To stay on the pulse of customer interests, it's important for Nissan reflect these trends and identify successes from prior decades, with the two-tone trend standing out. And looking back through Nissan's archives, there's certainly a rich heritage in colour combinations to choose from...
Nissan Van Commercial Vehicle & Datsun Fairlady
One of the first ever Nissan models to wear two tones of paint was way back in 1939, with the Nissan Van Commercial Vehicle in Japan. At a time when colour options were very limited, this gave a welcome splash of brightness to the model, which in the case above belonged to Mitsukoshi Department Store [photo to be posted above]. Colour can also represent dynamism and motion – perfect for Nissan's first ever sportscar – the Datsun Fairlady. Such was the excitement this car generated, it went on to provide the foundation for one of our most important milestone models – the Nissan Skyline GT-R!
However, the heyday of two-tone cars was undoubtedly the bold and brash 80s. Numerous Nissan models in this decade – which is perhaps more polarising than any other in terms of style and design – sported two complementing colours, representing confidence and not just a little characteristic 80s exuberance! Among the two-tone hits of this decade include the Fairlady Z ZG, the Silvia Coupe Twin-cam Turbo RS-X, and the all-conquering Nissan Safari.
Silvia Coupe Twin-cam Turbo RS-X, Fairlady Z ZG, & Nissan Safari (1987)
Restyled for the modern era
Of course, technology has advanced rapidly since then, meaning more colour combinations, and more layers of complex and subtle hues can be achieved like never before. For the JUKE, Clare Errington, Paint Shop Production Manager at NMUK reveals that "we've created a new way of working on the production line where robots and humans work in harmony," adding that this process means "we apply paint and our pin specification in microns, which is a fraction of the width of a [human] hair!"
Curated yet unique
Lesley clarifies however, that from the customer perspective, having infinite colour choice can be daunting: "When we started working on the Juke with a number of body colours, and the fact that we're offering to tone for the first time, we were aware that the possible combinations was huge" Lesley explains. "In order to simplify the process…we wanted to try and narrow that down to what we believe to be the best fitting combinations of both interior and exterior." This resulted in the 16 expertly curated two-tone finishes on offer today. The effect embodies everything the JUKE stands for: taking some of the fun and potentially polarising aspects of the past, and reinventing it for a more mature, stylish version today. So, no matter what you may think of resurgent trends – one thing's for sure: with the JUKE, you'll always be living in colour.
*Not all variations available in some European markets