Nissan Juke-R One-off is Part Godzilla, Part Pokemon [w/ Video]
The Nissan Juke has been on the market for quite a while now and, honestly, we’re still not quite sure what to make of it. The tiny turbocharged engine and optional AWD definitely push the right buttons, but the zany styling and tall crossover stance give us pause. And no aspiring Sports Illustrated swimsuit model contest tie-ins would help us see past that. (Okay, maybe if Kathy Leutner asked us really, really nicely to reconsider our position…)
But what if the Juke had a lower ride height and about, oh, two-and-three-quarter times its stock 188hp? That would certainly distract us from the polarizing, looks-like-Pikachu’s-crazy-uncle styling, and the lower ride height would certainly help the cornering abilities. Thankfully, the Nissan Technology Centre for Europe and veteran motorsports firm Ray Mallock Limited (RML for short) are making this crazy idea a reality by marrying the Juke’s skeleton with the heart and muscles of Nissan’s other turbocharged, AWD model, the GT-R.
Obviously, the stuffing the GT-R’s 3.8L twin-turbo V6 (making a projected 520hp in this application) longitudinally in a space that used to be occupied by a transverse 1.6L single-turbo inline-four is hardly a bolt-in swap. Ditto the R35 Godzilla’s ATTESA-E-TS all-wheel-drive system, rear-mounted 6-speed double clutch transaxle, and meticulously engineered suspension. Good thing, then, that RML is one of the top race shops in Britain, if not all of Europe. The team has won many races and championships in various sports car, touring car and rally series, running factory teams for manufacturers like Nissan (conveniently enough), Chevrolet, Vauxhall and Seat. In other words, RML is not wanting for custom fabrication and performance modification experience.
As you can see in the video and build pictures below, the Juke-R (as it’s being called) is in no shape to roll just yet, but RML and the Nissan Technology Centre for Europe hope to have it ready for its first track test sometime next month. With any luck, it will inspire other manufacturers to embark on building their own CUV/supercar mashups. Picture it: A rear-drive Chevrolet Equinox with an LS9. A Mercedes-Benz GLK with the SLS AMG’s suspension and drivetrain. Or an Audi Q5 with the R8 V10’s heart sitting where the back seat used to be. Deeee-lish.