Nissan Juke R

A difference one liffle letter can make. The Nissan Juke is an odd-looking and dynamically very ordinary ‘crossover’ hatchback. It has been a runaway sales success. A Nissan Juke R is one of the most extraordinary supercars I’ve encountered, and if they sell 10 they’ll be doing well.

Actually it’s not a Juke at all, but a GT-R that’s been pulled, pushed and squeezed into a liffle black number shaped like a Juke, but with huge wheelarch extensions, wings and spoilers. Underneath it’s all Nissan GT-R. In the case of the prototype I drove that meant a 485bhp, twin-turbo V6 motor though production versions will have nearer 550bhp. The problem faced by Ray Mallock’s RML, who did the conversion, is that the GT-R is longer than the Juke. This meant removing a massive 250mm section from the centre of the car, making this actually a short-wheelbase GTR wearing Juke clothes. It’s as crazy as it sounds. Great gouts of power boot it up the road, only fractionally moderated by an effective paddle-shift transmission. As a corner arrives you notice that abbreviated wheelbase the moment you turn the wheel and feel it lunge for the apex.

Back on the power and it wants to understeer but if you ease off again it’ll flick the back out like a twotonne Stratos. Yes, I’ve added a couple of hundred kilos for effect, but at 1800kg this Juke may be shorter than a GT-R but it’s even heavier.

What’s most remarkable about this cut-and-shut Frankenstein’s monster is that its actually a well-sorted car, one which an enthusiast might well consider adding to the stable as an unlikely track day chariot. Until, that is, conversation turns to the price. There’s no official word yet but I was told that if you want RML to make you your own Juke R, you’ll be parting with over £400,000. Still, this pricing does ensure that if you do choose to have one, it’ll likely be the only one you and your friends will ever see.

ENGINE: 3.8 litres, six cylinders, turbocharged
TOP SPEED: 155mph (limited)
PRICE: £400,000 approx
POWER: 542bhp at 6400rpm
FUEL/CO2: n/a

Andrew Frankel