The Nissan JUKE is one of my all time favorite cars. Even if you include the plethora of super and hyper car exotica out there, the JUKE still makes my top 10. You may wonder how it is that I can’t find ten exotic cars that I’d want more than a JUKE. I’ll explain. The JUKE managed to pull off, in every department but power, everything I look for in a street car or daily driver. It reminds me very much of a Subaru STi with less power and more tech. It’s small and squat, pushing power to all four wheels through an intelligent, electronic torque vectoring AWD system. It has a small engine – just a 1.6L 4-banger – but squeezes 188hp out of it with the use of a turbocharger. The ride is comfortable and the interior is nicely trimmed, but most importantly, it puts a big, fat grin on your face when you put it through a few corners. The JUKE is all fun, all the time. It’s just a great little car which makes the most of everything it was given and you don’t even have to pay much to own one. Now, however, Nissan is toying with the idea of taking the fun, zippy bug-car and turning it into a 500hp monster!
A European Nissan spokesperson recently confirmed that there already exists a one-off ‘Super JUKE’. Details are sparse, but it appears as if Nissan has somehow crammed in the twin-turbo 3.8L V6 from a GT-R, where there used to be a motor less than half as large. Rumor has it this will be a slightly de-tuned version, producing 480hp – the same as the 2007-2011 GT-R. They’ve also pulled out the JUKE’s normal driveline. As fantastic as the JUKE’s factory driveline is, it’s not designed to handle the monstrosity that is the GT-R’s engine. Nissan has apparently subbed it out for the GT-R’s own transmission and driveline layout, likely modified a bit to fit the JUKE’s short wheelbase. The result of all the performance goodies? This little guy screams from 0-62mph in less than four seconds! At that, it would maul a Subaru STi and leave it whimpering at the side of the road.
Visually the Super JUKE is bad ass! As one would expect it’s been lowered onto its new GT-R inspired, 7-spoke wheels. Looking at the picture it seems to have also inherited gold painted Bremo brakes like those seen on the GT-R. Starting to see a trend here? That’s right. This is basically a GT-R crammed into a JUKE. The Super JUKE also has a split rear spoiler, ram scoops on the hood, and massive brake-cooling ducts at the rear of the rocker panels. One would venture a guess that the enlarged holes on the JUKE-style lower, front bumper also channel air to the front brakes for cooling.
In the one-off Super JUKE, the interior is apparently pretty bare bones for the purpose of weight savings, however the rumor is that it’s not totally stripped out. It remains functional, if not quite as glamorous as the one found in Godzilla itself.
Personally, I’m hoping, praying, and pleading that the Super JUKE goes beyond a one-off concept. A small, short wheelbase, super sport-cross, with an advanced driveline and 500hp could become the ultimate Subaru STi killer if it makes it to at least a limited production run. If Nissan can keep the price under $50,000 it could even take some of the market share from the STi. Being an STi fanatic myself, this mini Godzilla has some serious appeal and I would be the first in line to buy one if Nissan were to produce it.
More details are said to be on the way regarding the one-off Super JUKE, and maybe a word or two regarding future plans for the concept will be in accompaniment. I’m waiting with bated breath!