After some images were released last June to celebrate Nissan’s participation in the East African Rally 50 years earlier, the Nissan JUKE Hybrid Rally Tribute sees the light today.
The JUKE Hybrid Rally Tribute has gone from a design sketch to a fully functional unique vehicle. His presentation heralds the launch of the Juke Hybrid in Europe this summer. This prototype is in fact equipped with the hybrid engine that will benefit the production model.
Discussing the decision to bring the JUKE Hybrid Rally Tribute to life, Coralie Musy, Vice President, Brand and Customer Experience, Nissan AMIEO region, said: The JUKE Hybrid Rally Tribute exemplifies our optimism and bold mindset. We are currently preparing an exciting new chapter in Juke history with the introduction of the new Juke Hybrid this summer. It will deliver the turbulent character and agility customers have come to expect from our iconic crossover, with improved performance and efficiency. The Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute takes Juke playfulness to a new level. “
Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute, not just a hybrid engine
The use of the next JUKE Hybrid’s engine in the “Rally Tribute” model is a testament to both the improved performance it offers in the production version, and its improvements in efficiency and emissions.
The JUKE Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a new generation internal combustion engine developed to function as part of a hybrid engine. It develops 69 kW (94 hp) and 148 Nm of torque.
Next to it, the main electric motor delivers 36 kW (49 hp) and 205 Nm of torque, while a contribution of 15 kW (20 hp) it is given by a high voltage starter-alternator. All obviously powered by a battery.
The result is an engine which offers 25% more power than the current petrol version. Not only that: Nissan talks about a reduction in consumption of about 40% in the urban cycle, and up to 20% in the combined cycle.
The Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute also incorporates the JUKE Hybrid series multimode automatic transmission. This low-friction transmission makes optimal use of power, whether it comes from the electric motor, the petrol engine or both.
To reduce friction, this motorsports-inspired gearbox uses toothed clutches instead of traditional synchronized rings. It deals with changing the four gears of the “internal combustion” and the two “electric”. Also, there is no clutch. All vehicle starts are 100% electric and the 2 electric motors are used in combination to synchronize the gears.
The shift is controlled by an advanced algorithm, which manages the shift points, battery regeneration, as well as the sophisticated series-parallel architecture. The powertrain automatically chooses between the different possible hybridization types (series, parallel, series-parallel), based on acceleration and power needs. All without interruption and without any intervention by the driver.
The Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute is inspired by the iconic 240Z that competed in che was so successful in the East African Rally more than half a century ago.
The most obvious cosmetic change are the wheel arches widened to accommodate the bespoke off-road tires. The hood also changes as the roof-mounted lights recall those of 50 years ago.
Likewise, the black hood and large wheels are a tribute to the 1971 vehicle that participated at the East Africa Rally. The use of vintage sponsor logos and the number 11 is also reminiscent of the Nissan 240Z, as is the addition of front and rear skid plates. A long-stroke heavy-duty suspension is fitted to give it optimal balance on the difficult terrain it will traverse. The size of the tires, 265/70 R16, offers grip and traction in all conditions, even the most difficult.
The passenger compartment is modified with the installation of a tubular roll-bar to stiffen the frame. The same provides protection in the event of a high-speed crash in the harsh desert environment. The rear seats are removed to make room for the spare wheels. There are four-point seat belts for the driver and co-driver.
Other changes of interest the interiors are the installation of an approved competition fire extinguisher. Added to these is an intercom system with two helmets to simplify communications between driver and navigator, Alcantara finishes on the steering wheel. There is also a hydraulic handbrake with a high handle for easy activation.
As part of the Juke Hybrid Rally Tribute project and to reconcile an approach that is as sustainable as possible, the engine uses e-fluids and biofuels supplied by Shell. The same house was Nissan’s partner in the 1971 East Africa Rally.