You’re not a real car enthusiast unless you’re in love with, or at least fascinated on some level by, the Nissan Juke-R.
Even if you absolutely loathe what the Juke-R represents, you’re an enthusiast because you are effected on a primal level by a car that, in a sane and ordinary world, wouldn’t exist.
Why should a twenty-thousand-dollar small crossover, which looks a lot like the business end of a frog, be fitted with a 545-hp supercar engine? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t make any sense. Nobody would buy one. And yet, it happened. And the result is the new definition of the word “awesome.”
Things are about to get even better, too, because this baby’s going into production! Sort of.
The details of the Juke-R’s production run make about as much as sense as the vehicle’s existence itself.
First of all, don’t expect to see this little mutant sitting next to a Sentra at your nearest Auto Row. Nissan has opened orders and will accept them for another month or so, but will only custom build the Juke-R for paying customers.
Before going any further, remember the Juke-R came into being after getting injected with the innards of a 2010 Nissan GT-R. Somehow, Godzilla’s guts fit, and the modest 188-hp ugly duckling turned into a raging 485-hp super-machine.
The “production” Juke-R, though, will use the powertrain from the 2013 GT-R, which means saying goodbye to the inadequate 485 hp and upgrading to 545 ponies. Interested?
Of course you are. Start searching the couch cushions, though, because you’ll need a lot more than the hundred grand or so it takes to buy a GT-R. In fact, you’ll need even more than the $120,000 you’d need to buy a GT-R and a base Juke separately. A lot more.
Nissan has tentatively priced the Juke-R at about $590,000. Seriously. That means there is $470,000 worth of conversion labor built into the Juke-R’s price. I’m suddenly much less interested, but somehow have a feeling the price won’t stop others from bringing home the coolest little car mutant ever created.
Would you rather spend $590,000 on a one-of-a-kind Juke-R or $100K on a run-of-the-mill GT-R?