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Nissan's JUKE-R: Heart of a lion, body of a soccer mum


November 30, 2011

Nissan's JUKE-R concept

Nissan's JUKE-R concept

Image Gallery (48 images)

Happy times must be returning to the world economy when a car company can put its cash toward a concept like this. Nissan has fulfilled the wet dreams of hot hatch lovers all over the world by cramming the engine, drivetrain, suspension, electronics and sheer maniacal giggle factor of its monstrous GT-R supercar into the compact dimensions of the funky Juke city car. The Nissan Juke R (which can really only be pronounced as "Jew car") is an outstanding example of what happens when you give your best engineers the freedom to build what's in their hearts - in this case, a 480-horsepower, 4WD mega-mini-SUV that handles like a racer and should eat Ferraris for breakfast on the way to pick up the kids from soccer. Awesome.

Here is a 2011 Nissan Juke:

The standard 2011 Juke

And here is a 2011 Nissan GT-R.

Nissan's GT-R

The two cars don't have an awful lot in common; the Juke is a fairly successful new mini-crossover city car designed to appeal to urban mums who like the feel of an SUV but aren't too keen on driving something as big as a tank. The GT-R is Nissan's flagship performance machine, a "budget" supercar that punches well above its price category.

But Nissan's engineers saw some sporty potential in the Juke's body shape, and thus embarked on an ambitious 22-week project to create what might be the world's first mini-SUV supercar.

Nissan's JUKE-R concept

At its heart, the Juke R is far more GT-R than Juke. In fact, it's a GT-R in just about every way that's important - the Juke body is more or less completely gutted to make way for a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 supercar engine, the GT-R's paddle-shift transmission, midship AWD drivetrain, wheels, brakes and suspension.

Nissan's JUKE-R concept: the GT-R engine in place

It's fitted with racing seats and the body is strengthened with a rollcage. The steering column, paddle shift and vast onboard computer systems of the GT-R have all been crammed in - including traction control, stability control and torque vectoring - and the touchscreen dash has all the goodies of its donor car, including the G-meter to measure just how hard you're cornering.

Nissan's JUKE-R concept - interior, including the motorcycle dash

The Juke body shape has more or less been lowered on top of the GT-R platform, albeit with the entire floor section cut away and rebuilt. The wheelbase is some 25 cm (9.8 in) shorter than the GT-R's, necessitating custom built drive shafts. And the entire driver's cabin ends up starting about 10 cm (3.9 in) further toward the rear than in a standard Juke, due to the difficulty of cramming 3.8 liters worth of testosterone into an engine bay designed for 1.6 liters of estrogen.

Nissan's JUKE-R concept: fitting the bodywork

With the engine, chassis, drivetrain, interior and body complete, the last thing to update was the exterior - this was achieved with a custom built carbon bodykit replacing the bumpers and enhancing the side panels. A nifty looking twin spoiler adorns the rear.

Nissan's JUKE-R concept

In foreboding matte black, this thing looks every bit the part of a supercar eater - and the raging performance beast within should make it a spectacular driver's car. Nissan is building two for now - one each of right and left hand drive - and since the seats and rollcage are clearly designed to meet racetrack regulations, we may well see the Juke R in some form of competition.

I just hope they remember its roots, and race it with a kiddy seat and five bags of shopping in the back.

Nissan's JUKE-R concept

Enjoy our massive image gallery by clicking through on any of the photos above, and check out Nissan's 8-part short video series on the making of the Juke R below. Oh, and try not to hear "Jew car" every time they say its name. That would be really distracting.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain

this concept will be built! This is the hottest Hatch ever , by far, awesome in everyway

30th November, 2011 @ 11:56 pm PST

I want one!!!

Michael Simpson
1st December, 2011 @ 03:45 am PST

Could have the same appeal as the 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara did. I hope they make more than two.

1st December, 2011 @ 07:45 pm PST

all i saw were pictures of a juke next to pictures of a GTR. anyone else worried about nissan? anyone know where i can get a gtr? how do people think the juke is NOT the ugliest car on the road. its only saving grace is i've seen all of two on the road, ever. (i'm in america, that doesn't mean i AM america, i just live here because canada is cold and mexico is sunny with a chance of homicide.) but BOOOOO jukes.

2nd December, 2011 @ 04:14 am PST

I agree with johnweythek. Another ugly duckling from Nissan. Nissan should sack their design team and start from scratch.

2nd December, 2011 @ 09:40 pm PST

Gotta love it. A car that barely holds 4 medium sized adults and a couple bags of groceries that will get 10mpg. Better than a 15mpg PT Cruiser but my Chevy Tahoe that seats 5 adults and has a 4x4 foot rear cargo space and will pull an 8,000 lb. trailer gets 16-17mpg on average.

Does it not seem like these engineers need more adult supervision? Or maybe just time away from their CAD systems and more time out in the real world.

5th December, 2011 @ 10:52 am PST

"...Mexico is sunny with a chance of homicide..." The funniest thing I've heard in long time.

As for the Nissan Juke... Now I know where the Aztek designer ended up after being fired from Pontiac.

8th December, 2011 @ 07:01 pm PST

Aztecs were awesome and created a new product class. The Juke is UNIQUE looking... you can see one on the road and instantly know it's a Juke. Most cars today are so alike you can't tell them apart if you can't see the badge. The Juke looks like a dune buggy on steroids. How is that ugly? Do you want it to be a Toyota Camry clone or something?

I hope they put this car into production. Putting a Corvette engine and performance parts into a CTS to create the CTS-V worked for Cadillac, and this could work for Nissan. Sports car performance, sedan convenience, Cadillac luxury for the CTS-V, crossover capacity and GT-R performance for the Juke.

9th December, 2011 @ 12:53 pm PST

Honestly, Nissan should stick to the Z class models. Leaf might be interesting if they can pull off a fast electric ride like tesla, right, who knows?

15th October, 2012 @ 08:11 pm PDT
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