Hopefully mine won’t be the only voice of reason in response to the news this morning that Nissan have decided to build a 480 bhp Juke-R. The idea first surfaced at last month’s Frankfurt motor show – we had a giggle and thought “what fun!”, but then quickly consigned it to the drawer marked ‘Things you might do if the world economy was a little brighter’.
Unperturbed by such trivial economic circumstances, the folks at RML and Nissan Technical Centre for Europe (NTC-E) just couldn’t resist answering the question, “What do you get when you cross a Nissan Juke with a Nissan GT-R?” So the one-off concept will now be built to test the public’s reaction to a seriously sporty Juke.
But do they ‘really’ need to ask our opinion on a niche version of a car which already polarises opinion? I’m already loving it, and yet hating myself for doing so..
Under the bonnet is a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine adopted directly from Nissan’s flagship supercar. Under the boot floor hides the GT-R’s six-speed transaxle, with the front and rear ends joined by a modified GT-R 4WD driveline and prop shaft, while chunky 20-inch RAYS forged alloy rims fill each wheel arch.
The Juke-R is no stealth machine – the addition of flared wheel arches, revised front and rear bumpers plus a unique split rear wing making its intent clear for all to see.
Inside the Juke’s dashboard has been transformed to accommodate the gauges, dials and 7-inch customisable LCD display from the GT-R. The Juke’s iconic centre console, inspired by the fuel tank of a motorcycle, remains while the rest of the interior has the look of a machine bred for the track.
Twin race-seats with five-point harnesses sit inside a visible roll cage that provides FIA safety standards of protection as well as enhanced torsional stiffness for a chassis that was designed for less than half the power.
“Nissan Juke is one of the most exciting cars on the market today. Its bold crossover design has captured the imagination of car buyers all over Europe; after just a year on sale we are celebrating sales of more than 100,000 units,” said Paul Willcox, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Nissan in Europe.
“Juke lends itself perfectly to a sports derivative and Juke-R explores that territory. Equally at home on road and track, Juke-R showcases two of the most exciting cars in our range and highlights the technical innovation that drives Nissan. This car will more than live up to the dynamic driving experience we engineer into all our cars.”
You can follow progress of the Juke-R, by visiting Nissan’s Juke Facebook page, where you can also vent your appreciation (or frustration) of the project.