This isn't an April Fool's joke.
Nissan has a long history in motorsport, and models such as the Nissan GT-R and 370Z are still popular choices for both professional and amateur racing leagues. On the other end of the spectrum, the brand manufactures cars such as the Nissan Juke, a subcompact crossover SUV that's about as threatening as a warm cup of tea. Nissan recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its iconic 240Z rally car's victory of the East African Rally in Kenya, and instead of paying tribute to that car with something relevant like a 370Z rally replica, or even the upcoming Nissan 400Z, Nissan decided to go with a Juke, and not just any Juke, a hybrid version.
Back in 1971, the Nissan 240Z snatched victory in one of the most grueling rally races to have ever existed. The East African Safari was won by Edgar Herrmann with navigator Hans Schüller. The 240Z was powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter straight six-cylinder engine, producing around 200 horsepower. The original car was restored in 2013 and is now being honored by the Juke Rally Tribute Concept. This special Nissan Juke concept features a raised stance with short front and rear overhangs, larger wheel arches, hood-mounted spotlights, and massive offroad wheels, and is painted in matching red and black livery with the original race car's number 11 on the sides.
"The JUKE Rally Tribute Concept celebrates an iconic moment in Nissan's heritage, with the participation and victory of the legendary 240Z in the East African Rally in 1971. As well as celebrating that victory, it reflects Nissan's pioneering history in crossovers, striking design, and electrified powertrains. We're delighted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the victory of that remarkable achievement with these striking images." said Coralie Musy, Vice President, Brand and Customer Experience, Nissan Automotive Europe. As part of Nissan's commitment to the electrification of its range, this concept is powered by a hybrid powertrain that provides instant torque - although the Japanese brand has claimed how much power or torque it produces.
Honestly, we can't help but feel this spits in the face of the legacy of the Z-car, especially with an all-new one right around the corner.