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First Look: Nissan Juke-R

Dubbed the “ultimate compact crossover,” Super Juke gets a GT-R powertrain.

by on Oct.07, 2011

Nissan will squeeze a GT-R drivetrain into a heavily modified Juke.

Practical? Check.  Affordable? Check.  High-performance? We’ll get back to you.

While the little Nissan Juke crossover might be reasonably peppy in its modest class it’s not exactly a supercar.  Well, not until the automaker decided to see what would happen if it tried to squeeze the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 found in the GT-R under the hood of the Juke.

Now, says the Japanese maker, it has created the “ultimate compact crossover,” a concept it is calling the Nissan Juke-R

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Though final figures aren’t available for Nissan’s “Super Juke,” expect something short of the stock 2012 GT-R’s 530 horsepower and 448 lb-ft of torque.  More likely, the pony count will be capped at 480, which is still a significant bump up from the 188 hp and 177 lb-ft made by the crossover’s stock 1.8-liter inline-four.

That’s expected to let the Juke R top 60 in under four seconds and hit a peak 170 mph – which would exceed the numbers of a Porsche Boxster.

Along with the GT-R powertrain, the "Super Juke" will get extensive body modifications including a split rear spoiler and flared wheel arches.

Produced for the Nissan Technology Center for Europe by the racing shop RML, the completely street-legal Super Juke will undergo a pretty thorough makeover.

The borrowed GT-R powertrain will include the 2-seater’s 6-speed transaxle and all-wheel-drive system which, in a vehicle like the Juke, will be essential to getting power to the ground rather than spending the day spinning tires.

Sitting next to you at a stoplight, the engine burbling, you’d also notice some significant body revisions, including arches flared to handle racing tires and wheels.  Both front and rear fascias have been modified for better aerodynamics and enhanced engine breathing and the Super Juke gets a split rear spoiler.

Racing house RML is handling the production of the two Juke-R concept vehicles.

The ride height has also been lowered to enhance handling.

Inside, RML has squeezed in a roll cage and a pair of front racing seats.  There are the requisite performance gauges and the stock Juke’s reconfigurable LCD screen now has additional features to track the crossover’s performance.

Don’t be in a rush to your local Nissan dealer, unfortunately.  There are no plans to put the Super Juke into production.  Only two are on order, one each in left and right-hand-drive.

You can get a closer look at the Juke R on Youtube or go to the NissanJukeOfficial page on Facebook.

Considering the strong reception Nissan is getting for the Juke-R would the maker simply ignore the potential opportunities?  The Japanese marque has a history of pushing the boundaries – not always in ways you’d anticipate considering such oddities as the Murano CrossCabriolet.

Word has it that Nissan may very well be considering a more muscular production Juke.  So stay tuned.


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