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Wild Nissan Juke R gets nod

Madcap Juke R ‘super SUV’ given approval for limited production run by Nissan

Nissan logo4 May 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

NISSAN has given the green light to a limited production run of its mad Juke R concept – a small SUV with the chassis and drivetrain from the all-wheel-drive GT-R supercar.

The car was originally conceived as a one-off experiment by a small group of Nissan Europe engineers, with the aim of gauging public reaction to a sporty Juke variant.

It was expected that any production version to hit the streets would be a saner, toned-down version, but the production Juke R has turned out to be more powerful than the original British-built concept.

Underneath its snubby nose lurks the upgraded engine from the latest GT-R – producing 404kW of power and 628Nm or torque – whereas the original had the 357kW/558Nm unit from the 2010 model.

Power is channelled to the road via the GTR’s advanced AWD system and its rear-mounted six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Nissan has not revealed the 0-100km/h acceleration time for the production Juke R, but the extra power should make it even faster than the concept, which was claimed to complete the sprint in just 3.7 seconds.

12 center imageTop speed is listed at 260km/h.

Nissan’s marketing product manager for the Juke, Gareth Dunsmore, said the quirky fireball was a big enough hit on its global debut in Dubai last January to justify a limited, built-to-order production run.

“The reaction we had to the car in Dubai was amazing – people were making offers for the original on the street,” he said.

“With such a strong reaction, and with three genuine offers on the table, we decided we had to make the car a reality. We can’t let down enthusiasts who are this keen to add to their collection of cars.”

The Japanese car-maker has confirmed that two of the three orders to date are from “a high-profile and well-respected member of Dubai society”.

The first examples will be delivered in August.

Nissan says it will build more Juke Rs on request and will be taking orders in the coming four weeks before it commences production in earnest.

Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Jeff Fisher told GoAuto there had been no expressions of interest from Down Under, but that it was too early to rule it out.

Nissan has also released a movie online in which the Juke R – piloted by Le Mans driver Lucas Ordonez – races a Ferrari 458, an AMG SLS and a Lamborghini Gallardo in a street race through Dubai (see below).

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