Regular readers will remember our Management Fleet Nissan Juke. We spent a few weeks plodding around in it and it wasn’t bad at all, with quirky styling and a decent amount of grunt.
But it wasn’t this. This is a Juke of unparalleled power and brutality, a project devised by some delightfully lunatic people at Nissan Europe, who thought it would be a fantastic idea to fit the running gear from the supercar-slaying GT-R into the wacky curves of the Juke crossover. The result is the Juke-R. Just two of them have been created, and both visited the Middle East in January. One acted as a pace car for the Dubai 24 Hour race, and it’s this left-hand drive example that I had a chance to drive.
Today is a day I’ve been looking forward to, ever since Nissan Europe released a video of the car being put together in the UK by RML Motorsport. The firm has something of a record of creating mental Nissans, having put both a touring car engine and a V6 from the 370Z into the frame of a humble little Micra hatchback.
This is something altogether more bonkers though. Under the frog-like face and cartoonish proportions of the Juke lurks the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 of the GT-R, sending close to 500bhp to all four wheels. The work – completed by a 10-man team in just 22 weeks – is topped off by a suitably ludicrous bodykit that actually suits the Juke’s outrageous standard looks.
My experience will be a fairly limited one – five laps of the Dubai Autodrome’s Club Circuit in a standard 2012 GT-R, followed by five more in the Juke-R. The GT-R experience is interesting, not just because it’s my first time in the latest, more powerful version, but also because I’m intrigued to see how shortening the wheelbase and raising the centre of gravity will affect the GT-R platform’s quite remarkable handling.