If you want a Nissan GT-R, you’re going to have to line up! When it debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show last October, it was the star, and Nissan has already presold half of the first year’s U.S. production allocation. So why does everyone want it?
The GT-R’s got history
The 1969 Skyline GT-R sedan- winner of more than 35 races- was unique because it used a racing engine in a street car. This was the first chapter in the history of this automotive icon, which is as revered in Japan as the Porsche 911 is in Germany or the Chevrolet Corvette is in America. The new GT-R is even bigger news because it will be available globally. Previously, the car was only offered in Japan and Australia.
It’s well priced
Regarded as Nissan’s challenge to the renowned Porsche 911 Turbo, the GT-R is previewing at a much lower tag- starting at $69,850 and topping out at $71,900 (with the premium package). That’s about $50,000 less than the Porsche 911 Turbo ($126,200).
This four-seat coupe sprints
Nicknamed Godzilla in Japan, this cult car features a hand-built twin-turbo V6 producing 480 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, enabling this monster to jump from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 193 mph. And in case you’re wondering, the 0 to 60 speed for the Porsche 911 Turbo is slower at 3.7 seconds. In fact, the only other car that has bested the GT-R’s 0 to 60 speed so far is Lamborghini’s Murcielago- and the Lambo is only one-tenth of a second faster. The six-speed manual GT-R has shift paddles located on the steering wheel that allow the driver to change gears without having to press a clutch or throw a stick shift. Take it on the track and you can shift those gears in 0.2 seconds! The GT-R is equally comfortable commuting, though. The dual-clutch transmission has an automatic mode so that in traffic, you can let the car do your shifting.
The interior looks good, tooThe chief developer for Polyphony, the studio that created Gran Turismo for Sony’s Playstation, is a big GT-R fan, so Nissan asked Polyphony to develop the graphics for the car’s funky display system. Now all GT-Rs come with a multifunctional, 11-screen display system that shows everything from oil level to G-force (yes, really). Just wanna luxe out? There’s some of that, too, including sculpted bucket seats, French-stitched leather dashboards, a GPS with voice recognition, and even a speed-sensitive volume control (sound increases along with your engine noise). Step up to the premium package, and you’ll even get heated seats and an 11-speaker Bose audio system.
Can you handle it?
The folks at Nissan say that the GT-R is an “everyday super car.” It even meets ultralow emission vehicle (ULEV) standards. All that speed and it still passes the green test. Don’t take Nissan’s word for it, though: The GT-R starts shipping stateside in July, so try it yourself.