2011 Nissan Juke SL AWD: Ramp Travel Index
January 17, 2012
Oh yes we did. Our RTI ramp isn't just for Jeeps. Any vehicle that shows the barest hint of off-road potential (or marketing, for that matter) is going to face the music.
This morning I lined-up the 2011 Nissan Juke AWD with the ramp, locked it in AWD and drove it up the incline to an RTI of...
Place your bets.
Incidentally, this photo illustrates why the NSX hasn't visited the ramp, despite your pleas. A certain approach angle -- 20 degrees, in fact -- is the price of admission to this ride.
This is what they call the "all she wrote" point. The Juke's left rear tire said goodbye to the concrete when the left front was 8.75 inches off the ground.
But I was easily able to drive the Juke farther than this without wheelspin thanks to a pair of torque-vectoring clutches in its rear diff. The AWD lock button shunts exactly 50 percent of the total torque to the rear axle, and once there the clutch connected to the tire with the most grip gets the lion's share, up to a full 100 percent of that 50 percent. In short, once the left rear lifted off the Juke's right rear received 50 percent of the engine's total output while the left rear got nada, zip, zilch.
Ergo, the Juke will go beyond the point where it is teetering on three wheels without wheelspin.
But an RTI measurement pertains to suspension articulation, so 8.75 inches is the number we're after.
That amount of lift amounts to a trip of 25.6 inches up the ramp. Dividing that by the Juke's 99.6-inch wheelbase, we arrive at an RTI value of 257.
For reference, our 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport started off at 561 on stock tires.
I'm thinking of attaching a metal leaderboard to the side of our ramp, with magnetic tags indicating how far each vehicle got. What say you?
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 19,221 miles