I must admit to being in two minds about this car, on the one hand I love unusual hybrid cars – Hayabusa powered 2-seaters, supercar-baiting SUVs and even EV sportscars such as the Tesla Roadster. What these all have in common is the ability to surprise and delight, to perform in a way beyond what you would expect from their appearance.
And whilst Nissan’s Juke-R appears to push all of those buttons, I can’t help wondering what’s the point? Of course you could say the same thing about a Porsche Cayenne Turbo or BMW X6 M..
Nissan revealed the new Juke-R to an unsuspecting audience at yesterday’s Qashqai media launch in Malaga, Spain, which marks its first public appearance. Harnessing the power of the company’s flagship GT-R in the oddly designed Juke, Nissan hail their new showpiece as the ultimate compact crossover.
Whilst it would be easy to laugh at such a pointless vehicle, we understand the Juke-R is being used as a testbed for development of a more sporty Juke, likely to offer a little over 200 bhp.
Nevertheless, the Juke-R is already a marketing success. Videos charting the design and build of Nissan’s super-crossover have clocked up over 1 million views on YouTube during the past 3 weeks, along with thousands of conversation threads on blogs, forums and social networks.
Just two versions of the Nissan Juke-R are being created, one in each of left-hand and right-hand drive. The cars have been developed by Nissan and are being built by leading motorsports outfit RML with input from Nissan Technology Centre for Europe (NTC-E). Testing of the car will begin in November.