1 Feb 2009
Blink and you’d miss it. Nissan’s brutal ‘R35’ GT-R followed in the giant-killing footsteps of its illustrious forebears by combining electric speed with a vast array of technological wizardry. The icing on the cake was its price tag, which hovered around the $150K mark (less than half that of its competitors).
The result? 0-97km/h in 3.3 seconds and a production-car record lap time around the famed Nurburgring circuit. Indeed, its spine-shuddering ride suggested that the track may indeed have been its preferred home.
Godzilla’s’ 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 produced 357kW of power at 6400rpm and 588Nm of torque between 3200rpm and 5200rpm, while running through a heavy duty double-clutch semi-automatic gearbox.
Following its Japanese launch in 2007, there were reports of transmission failure as a result of using the launch control function which resulted in about a dozen cases of first gear failure overseas when drivers have attempted savage drag starts with the VDC switched off.
Consequently, the engineers in Japan introduced enhanced programming that optimised clutch engagement control for improved drivability for all GT-Rs, with the aim of preserving the hand-built six-speed dual-clutch manumatic transmission. All this occurred before local launch, so this VDC issues had no affect on the local market.
There was a genuinely groundbreaking (for 2009) information display system fitted to the cabin, via a large central colour display screen on the driver-oriented centre console, which revealed everything from instant and average turbo boost, engine and transmission oil pressure and temperature, front/rear torque bias, braking and acceleration force, steering angle, fuel flow and lap timing, plus the usual array of fuel range, fuel consumption, speed, ambient temperature and clock functions.
At the time of its global launch, we said that: “the twin-turbo engine is a masterpiece of automotive engineering and, because it is mated exclusively to a foolproof clutch pedal-less transmission, easily lives up to Nissan's claim that the GT-R is a supercar for everybody, everywhere in all conditions.”In March 2011, Nissan released an updated model that gained even more power, torque, revised suspension and a more upmarket interior. Its twin-turbo V6 was massaged to 390kW and 612Nm, resulting in a claimed 0-100km/h time of 3.0 seconds dead.
Probably best not to blink then.