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Nissan Goes Forward with Juke-R Concept

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer October 2011

One of the most maniacal engine swaps ever attempted is going forward. A recently released video from Nissan shows its engineers hard at work creating the Juke-R, a unique version of its Juke crossover fitted with nearly every performance upgrade from the automaker's GT-R sports car.

Although Nissan is releasing a series of videos showing each step in the Juke-R's build process, the most recent video - entitled "The Build Begins" - provides the best insight yet into the amazing effort and hard work necessary to create the monster crossover.

"The main challenge was how do you package all of the GT-R's unique technologies, performances, cooling, everything, into a body that was designed to take a 1.6-liter turbo," says Jerry Hardcastle, vice president of vehicle design and development for the Nissan Technical Center in Europe, early in the video. Not surprisingly, it isn't easy.

According to the video, the first step was to strip the Juke down to its unibody frame, relieving it of nearly every part aside from its most basic chassis elements. Next, engineers obtained a full set of GT-R components - engine included - for donor parts before starting work on a complex integrated roll cage and a structure designed to accommodate the larger engine.

Of course, we're excited to see the finished product, as there's something enticing about a professionally built small crossover with a 530-horsepower engine. But we're also looking forward to the remainder of the build's video series, which will detail engineering efforts required to add not just the GT-R's engine but its brakes, suspension and steering systems to the tiny Juke's cartoonish body.

Unfortunately, the Juke-R is almost certain to remain one of one, as the automaker has no plans for production. But thanks to Nissan's European technical center and UK-based race car tuner RML, who is assisting with the build, we can at least revel at the thought of one of the most interesting automotive ideas in recent years.

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Used 2011 Nissan Juke SV
Used 2011 Nissan Juke
$8,995
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Nissan Goes Forward with Juke-R Concept - Autotrader