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Tokyo show: Nissan unveils new GT-R

Super value supercar: Ballistic Nissan could be priced here from $150,000.

Nissan’s long-awaited GT-R to offer Porsche 911 Turbo performance at half the price

24 Oct 2007


FORGET its awesome 310km/h top speed, ballistic 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.6 seconds and Porsche 911 Turbo-equalling 353kW of power … 150,000 is the number in Australian dollars that may yet excite GT-R fans the most.

This is the price that Nissan Australia is hoping to stick on the twin-turbocharged V6 all-wheel drive four-seater R35-series GT-R coupe when it arrives here in the first quarter of 2009 – or even late next year if all goes well.

Over four years in engineering gestation, the production car known in Australia as “Godzilla” was finally unveiled today at the Tokyo motor show, six years after it first appeared as the GT-R Concept at the same event, and two years since that initial show car morphed into the GT-R Proto concept.

Japanese buyers will pay around $A78,000 when sales commence in December.

The latest version delivers 588Nm of torque (32Nm short of the Porsche) and can lap Germany’s hallowed Nurburgring Nordschliffe racetrack in seven minutes and 30 seconds, pulling g-forces of 2.0 (side) and 1.8 (braking).

In fact, Nissan defines a supercar as a vehicle with a power-to-weight ratio of 4kg/hp (0.75kW), having a top speed capability on a public road of over 300km/h and being able to lap the Nurburgring in eight minutes or less.

12 center imageDespite the massive capabilities on offer, Nissan has dubbed the R35 GT-R – an all-new and bespoke vehicle that has the job of being its technological showcase for future models – as a year-round proposition that can be driven anytime, anywhere, and by anybody.

The company says that the GT-R’s docility and accessibility partly lies in the GT-R’s debut GR6 dual-clutch six-speed gearbox, which features a three-mode automatic mode as well as a two-mode manual mode. Gears can be selected with paddles or the gearshift and, in racing mode, can shift up or down in 0.2 seconds.

Nissan’s engineers claim they had the idea for the gearbox before the Volkswagen Group launched the conceptually similar DSG dual-clutch transmission in 2002. It was developed in collaboration with Borg Warner.

GR6 works in conjunction with Nissan’s ATTESA all-wheel drive system that now features an electro-magnetic clutch instead of a hydraulic one, a heat exchanger for reduced heat build-up and lower friction, a mechanical limited slip differential, and dry-sump lubrication.

Torque is usually apportioned 100 per cent to the rear wheels, but up to 50 per cent can be diverted to the front wheels.

The engine is Nissan’s all-new VR38 60-degree angle V6 of 3799cc capacity, a compression ratio of 9:1 and a bore/stroke of 95.5 x 88.4.

Its 353kW peaks at 6400rpm, with the rev limiter cutting in at 7000rpm, and the 588Nm maximum torque is available between 3200rpm and 5200rpm.

The official Japanese combined cycle fuel-consumption average is 12.2L/100km and the engine rates Ultra Low-Emission Vehicle (ULEV) status in the United States.

Its integrated twin-turbocharged induction system features electronic boost pressure control and a secondary air-injection system for cleaner emissions and improved fuel economy.

One senior GT-R engineer revealed that discarding the decades-old tradition of inline six-cylinder engines for the more common V6 design was not a point of debate because the V6 was better-suited to achieving the car's performance, packaging and weight distribution targets.

Suspension is by an independent double wishbone set-up at the front, and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. It includes Bilstein electronically adjustable dampers for improved ride characteristics.

Brakes are by Brembo, and have big drilled floating rotors, aluminium monoblock calipers (six-piston at the front, four-piston at the rear) and a large-diameter master cylinder.

Runflat tyres are used, and are 225/40ZRF20 97Y at the front and 285/35ZRF20 100Y at the back, fitted to lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels.

The GT-R will only come as a two-door coupe.

Designer Masato Taguchi pointed to the front mudguard’s “aero grade fender” blister and feature line – which also contains a vent housing designed to help with airflow and brake cooling – as his favourite styling detail on the car.

Other high points for the designer include the rear-quarter view and the horizontal crease in the C-pillar, which is designed to help the flow of converging airflow at speed for aerodynamic optimisation.

Aluminium is employed for the bootlid, bonnet, front suspension strut and seatbelt housings, door panels and some underbody bracing brackets while carbon fibre is used for the front underbody sheeting area.

Kerb weight is 1740kg, front/rear weight distribution is about 53/47 and aerodynamic drag is rated at a competitive 0.27Cd.

The driver-orientated interior features high-up eye-line placement for all instrument and monitor displays.

The latter is a multi-function unit that has a vast array of vehicular motion-related technical data inspired – and created – by Sony’s Polyphony group that is behind the Gran Turismo PlayStation phenomenon. With today’s GT-R, it seems that life is imitating art that is imitating life… However, pimply teenagers will obviously not be the target customer group, nor will the wealthy banker, lawyer and advertising agency types that drive 911s.

Instead, Nissan is counting on the Baby Boomer generation: aged over 50, and over the superficiality of brand image.

Nissan has introduced for the first time an engine assembly process that is overseen by one specialised technician working in an environmentally controlled “clean room” to ensure highest-possible quality and control.

The company has also sought to improve build quality, not allowing even a 0.1mm panel gap discrepancy, and uses chip-resistant paint finishes, while a higher level of customer service is also being used to make GT-R buyers feel special.

Read more:

Tokyo show: Intima previews next Maxima

Nissan confirms GT-R for Oz - again

First look: Nissan begins production GT-R reveal

Designs on Nissan's future!

Here comes Godzilla MkII!

First look: GT-R Proto a production showcase

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