I must be getting old. Not many years ago I would have swooned all over the latest frankenstein-esque mash up from Nissan called the Juke-R, but not any more. The numbers are properly insane; 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds, top speed of more than 170mph, all of which is derived from a Nissan GT-R sourced V6 that produces 545hp. The word bonkers comes to mind.
Having just sold their first production version of the maniacal crossover which boasts a compliment of major engine, suspension and drivetrain components pulled straight from Godzilla, there’s little doubt what this seemingly pedestrian vehicle can achieve in terms of performance, but at what cost? Well, I’m glad you asked because if you were interested in this savage brute of a grocery getter it’ll set you back…wait for it…$521,000. Just to put that into perspective, that’s enough money to have a different GT-R in your garage, for every day of the work week. It’s enough to fund a trio of 911 beasts from Porsche or a double date with a pair of redheads from Maranello. Seriously? Half a million dollars?
Maybe Nissan executives in Europe (where the original Juke-R was secretly hatched without Japan’s knowledge, a good story for another time) think that when creating and producing a “bonkers” vehicle, the price needs to match. They’ll moan about how much engineering and development went into it, how it’s essentially a bespoke vehicle created for only those enthusiasts that have the means for something truly rare and unique, and they’d be right on all accounts. However, I surmise that when demand for this vehicle soared right after they built the first unit and flogged it wherever they could, Japan got their notoriously conservative bean counters on the case and made it clear that if this was going to be produced for public sale, they were going to see a return on their investment. Typical. Automotive. Bullshit.
The thing is, the Juke-R is more than an overpriced psychotic tire slayer. It’s now a classic case of a missed opportunity for a brand that’s recently shown a deft vision for marketing to an enthusiast audience through the GT Academy and the creation of another engineering masterpiece, the Delta Wing Le Mans race car. With that said, the Juke-R just officially left my radar. It’s now in the hands of people that will likely never let them see the light of day, only to push them across the auction block 40 years from now as “that crossover with the GT-R stuff”, and that’s a real shame.