Nissan GT-R Photos and Specs Released
By Chris Haak
Another embargo bit the dust yesterday, when images of the December 2007 Motor Trend cover were leaked online containing the first undisguised photo of the 2007 Nissan GTR supercar, which was supposed to make its worldwide debut next week at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The car looks great – it does appear to have some odd angles and creases, but the styling clearly pays homage to Nissan Skyline GT-Rs sold in the past in Japan and elsewhere. Some have said that the shape of the headlights is a little too close to those on the last Toyota Celica, and that the taillights are too similar to a Corvette’s four circles. Nissan GT-Rs have had four round taillights for decades, though. Still, the car doesn’t strike me as classically attractive as a Corvette or Porsche 911 does.
The real beauty of the GT-R, however, lies under the skin. The car is powered by a twin turbocharged 3.8 liter V6 pumping out 473 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission is a rear-mounted six speed dual clutch unit backed by leather-covered aluminum shift paddles. Oh, and the car has all wheel drive with the capability of diverting up to 98% of torque output to the rear wheels under hard acceleration, and a 50/50 split at low speeds. While Nissan’s other V6 engines are in the VQ family, the GT-R’s new V6 introduces the Nissan VR family of engines.
The car’s published performance data (which hasn’t been independently verified at this time) include a top speed of over 190 miles per hour and 0-60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. Supposedly, it can also keep up with a Porsche 911 Turbo on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. These are absolute supercar numbers, and very exciting for any automobile enthusiast, because competition improves the breed. On paper, the GT-R seems to give the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – my favorite car sold today – a run for its money in terms of performance for the dollar. While the Z06 has more horsepower and more cylinders, it also lacks the GT-R’s all wheel drive and back seat, while being offered for a similar price (“under $80,000,” according to Nissan). The car goes on sale in Japan this fall, and in the US in Spring 2008. Finally, it will land in Europe in the summer.
Even though I am a huge Corvette enthusiast, I can’t wait to see the first comparison test between a US-spec GT-R and the Corvette Z06. If the GT-R does manage to unseat the Z06, it will be interesting to see GM’s response, which may take the form of the upcoming supercharged Corvette ZR-1.
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