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Is the Nissan Jule Hybrid Rally Tribute the coolest Juke ever?

For the second week in a row, The Petrolhead Nook is staying away from the paved roads and goals to kick up mud and gravel as a substitute. And we do that by testing a really cool, but surprising automobile. Based mostly on the upcoming road-going Nissan Juke Hybrid, not the form of factor we normally get enthusiastic about, Nissan has simply offered what might very nicely be the good Juke ever. Commemorating the legendary Nissan 240Z rally automobile, Nissan takes the Juke far past the place it’s ever been earlier than.

The upcoming Nissan JUKE Hybrid.

I’m sorry to probably burst anybody’s bubble, however the Nissan Juke isn’t precisely what you name a super-exciting automobile, or good-looking for that matter. When it was first offered, again in 2010 it raised quite a lot of eyebrows. This automobile, constructed by those that helped the SUV section blow up huge time, was fairly totally different. And never essentially totally different in a great way.

Positive it was a really succesful automobile and it supplied one thing greater than a lot of the bland SUVs we acquired to see earlier than it, however it simply regarded off from most angles. The bizarre headlight set-up on the entrance and the squatted rear part of the physique aren’t precisely what I’d name drop-dead beautiful. Positive, they’ve bought near 1.2 million of them by now and the second-gen model offered in 2019 corrected a little bit of its awkwardness. However, it’s nonetheless an SUV which is mostly thought of to not be amongst the good automobiles on the street. Typically it’s even known as the Nissan Joke or Nissan Puke, which tells you a large number.

Not the primary bonkers Juke

Nissan is thought for a number of the finest Japanese efficiency automobiles ever made, which contrasts with automobiles such because the Juke. The Z-cars and naturally the Skyline are legends and a far cry from the Juke. However does that imply the Juke isn’t in a position to be the “cool dude” within the Nissan Household Tree? Not essentially, as Nissan has constructed Nismo efficiency variations of the Juke, with 200 to 215 horsepower on faucet, and extra aggressive Nismo styling. With a high velocity of 215km/h and a zero to 100kph of just below 8 seconds, it wasn’t precisely a barn-storming animal however in equity, it was no slouch!

However issues for the Juke didn’t finish there. And to be trustworthy, I’m wondering what the folks at Nissan have been on after they green-lit essentially the most bonkers Juke you may potential think about, the Juke R. The Juke R isn’t only a beefed-up model of the usual Juke, however principally a Nissan GT-R, in drag. It’s a real Frankenstein, with a 3.8-litre V6 engine producing near 600bhp. The end result? You’d hit 100kph in below 4 seconds and the Juke R received’t cease till it reaches the 260kph high velocity. Now that can get you excited, I’m certain!

The Nissan 240Z

However earlier than we get to the most recent, and probably best Juke but, let’s speak Z-cars first. And the Nissan S30, Nissan Fairlady Z or Datsun 240Z particularly. Three names, all principally referring to the exact same automobile relying on the precise home market. Fairlady Z in Japan, Datsun 240Z all over the place else. The title Datsun was used for each automobile Nissan exported outdoors of Japan from 1958 to 1986 when it phased it out.

An instance of a 1970-1973 Datsun 240Z – Street & Monitor.

The 240Z, for ease of story-telling, was produced between 1969 and 1973 earlier than it advanced into the 260Z and later the 280Z. The numbers in its designation check with the scale of the straight-6 engine (2.4 litres, 2.6 litres and ultimately 2.8 litres) however in Japan, it was additionally bought with a 2.0-litre 6-cylinder engine. It was positioned as a direct competitor to European sports activities coupes of the identical period and garnered fairly a status for being a wonderful automobile basically, with glossy, trendy styling. For the time, it was fairly a fast automobile with a 200kph high velocity and a zero-to-100kph of 8 seconds. Hagerty’s James Cammisa explains the significance of the Datsun/Nissan 240Z on this video:

The Datsun 240Z was additionally utilized in racing, with fairly a little bit of success to its title when it retired. It was a formidable competitor in sports activities automobile racing, particularly within the US. Raced by legends like Bob Sharp and Paul Newman, the racing success helped enhance gross sales of the automobile nationwide. And it wasn’t only a succesful automobile on closed circuits, however might maintain its personal in rallying as nicely, which is the connection between the Datson 240Z and the Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute.

Nissan Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute

So how did this particular one-off Juke come about? There are a number of solutions to that very query. First, and simply to get it out of the best way early, it’s to mark the launch of the common Nissan Juke Hybrid. Nissan additionally claims it “combines the model’s pioneering crossover and electrified experience”. All nice and dandy, however that also doesn’t clarify why this factor seems like an absolute riot to thrash round in?

The second greatest purpose for this automobile’s existence is to commemorate the Nissan 240Z’s victories within the East Africa Safari Rally. This gruelling off-roading journey is an annual occasion held in Kenya from 1953 till at present, with solely a handful of skipped years in between. It has been a part of the World Rally Championship calendar from 1973 as much as 2002, after which once more since final yr, and is considered one of many hardest phases of the sort of rallying.

The East Africa Safari Rally could be very expensive to Nissan for the easy truth it has received it a number of occasions over with numerous automobiles. Arguably the one’s within the Nissan/Datsun 240Z are essentially the most memorable (1971, 1973), however the Datsun 1600SS (1970) earlier than it, and the Datsun 160J and Nissan Violet GT (1979-1983)  after it have been victorious as nicely.

So how does one seize the spirit of a Nineteen Seventies rallying coupe in a present-day compact SUV? You begin with the outside in fact, which is completed in the identical crimson and black because the Datsun 240Z that received the rally in 1971. Subsequent to that has obtained upgrades reminiscent of rally lights, straight exhaust pipes, spare offroad tires and a roof rack (form of). It additionally comes with the identical sponsoring and decals as its predecessor, so a real homage to the 1971 unique regardless of being a very totally different automobile.

Technically the automobile has been overhauled as nicely, as the photographs just about point out. It has larger wheel arches, a beefed-up suspension system, an intercom system and a racing inside. Maybe the good characteristic is the hydraulic handbrake you may yank on and get the Juke sideways, regardless of the front-wheel drive. Utilizing the hybrid drivetrain of the soon-to-launch road-going Juke Hybrid, it packs a not so spectacular 141 horsepower.

Yep, that’s all it’s got to supply. However, and that is fairly essential to notice, meaning you may take it to its limits safely. You don’t should be scared some 800+ horsepower fireplace respiration monster will run away with you and scare you mindless. So, is that this the good Juke ever? Fairly probably, sure!

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