What have we got here then?
Meet Nissan's Juke R – it's one of only four in the world and features the engine and running gear of a Nissan GT-R. Produced by race team RML as part of a mega marketing stunt for the marque it boasts 485bhp, four-wheel drive and can hit 60mph in just 3.7 seconds. After months of pleading we managed to get a very rare drive of it so decided to give the black beast a test with a difference – a race not against another car, but a superbike.
One wheel drive versus four-wheel drive is hardly fair but the fact the tiny bike produces 185bhp from its 1.0-litre lump and can hit 60mph in around three seconds somewhat levels the playing field.
Who's piloting them?
Another boon for the bike is the rider. For this test we managed to secure the services of three times BSB winner, Isle of Man TT racer and all round good egg, John Reynolds. If anyone can get the most out of the £10,999 Gixxer it's this man – after all he did help develop it.
Unfortunately for the Juke R, behind the wheel was a ham-fisted car hack in the long and gangly shape of me. My biggest sporting achievement was winning the 100m sprint in Year 6 at the Gomer Junior School sports day – luckily the Juke's track prowess has the potential to make up for my lack of medal winning experience.
Under the bonnet of the Juke is the GT-R's twin turbo charged 3.7-litre V6 engine capable of propelling it to 160mph. With a heady 485bhp and 588Nm of torque, the matt black crossover has already dispatched a host of exotic supercars in a variety of head to heads, but never has it gone up against a bike. The Suzuki has a highly tuned 1,000cc, four-cylinder powerplant producing 185bhp and 116Nm of torque.
Although those are down considerably on the Juke, you need to remember it weighs just 203kg – a colossal 1,600kg less than the Nissan. Top speed is limited to 185mph.
What's the challenge?
We picked Rockingham's Lakeside infield – a short, twisty, 0.67-mile stretch of the track's infield for this race. Why? Well, there are no long straights for either bike or car to really get into their stride and there are a number of technical corners that will test an experienced racer and a not-so-talented journalist with four-wheel drive. We decided to take the best of three times – all after a standing start – to decide our winner. We weren't allowed to use launch control in the Juke R in case we broke things.
Take a virtual tour below
Well, the stage was certainly set for one very tight race. Where the bike would be slower in the corners, it had the advantage of one very talented superbike rider on board. The Juke R, on paper at least, should be quicker in the corners thanks to four-wheel drive, but with launch control disabled getting the Nissan off the line as quickly as the bike would prove tricky. However, by far and away its biggest hindrance would be my fists of ham at the wheel.
Watch the video below to find out who wins our very special race...
Engine: 1000cc, 4cyl
Power: 185bhp, 116Nm
Max speed: 185mph
0-60mph: sub 3.0s
Nissan Juke R
Engine: 3.7-litre V6, twin turbo
Power: 485bhp, 588Nm
Max speed: 160mph
0-60mph: sub 3.7s