Nissan Juke-R

The super SUV you couldn’t afford

BY CHRIS THOMPSON

NISSAN HAS JUST released the Juke Nismo RS in Australia, but before that there was something a little more… potent.

The Juke-R was originally just to be a concept as the compact SUV was granted the drivetrain and suspension from the mighty GT-R, creating what Nissan called the ‘world’s first crossover supercar’.

Only two were to exist, one in left-hand drive and one in right, built by motorsport company Ray Mallock Ltd.

Of course, those with enough money and optimism to make offers to buy one of the concept cars did so, and the response was so strong that Nissan eventually caved.

For a somewhat hefty USD$665,000, the wealthy could pick up a 404kW twin-turbo V6-powered SUV with all-wheel drive traction and a 0-97km/h (0-60mph) sprint of just 3.0 seconds. To us, that price is around AUD$940,750 today, excluding all the extra expenses that come with buying a car here. It even had an FIA-spec roll cage.

By early 2013, Juke-Rs were already being delivered to customers, only a little more than a year after its debut in Dubai. Where else could such a car drum up so many offers?

In 2015, Nissan announced another generation of the super-crossover, with the Nissan GT-R Nismo drivetrain set to feature in the updated model.

The Nissan Juke-R 2.0 upped the game to 447kW to match the outputs of the GT-R Nismo, but it retained much of the styling (small changes were made) and the matte black paint of its predecessor.

Nissan even took the Juke-R 2.0 to Goodwood in 2015, posting an impressive (but unofficial) 57.21 seconds with Nissan Super GT driver Jann Mardenborough at the wheel. Though Nissan never officially announced a price for the second-gen Juke-R, it’s expected that the 2.0 set buyers back a similarly significant amount. Neither made it to Australia, so your chances of seeing one are slim.