Nissan GT-R: Kazutoshi Mizuno Interview

Last month PistonHeads was invited to visit Nissan's Nurburgring Technical Centre for an exclusive interview with the 'father of the GT-R', the car's program manager and chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno.

PH Editor Chris-R posed questions based on suggestions from the PH forums, and we captured Mizuno san's answers on camera. Check out the film clips below, for some fascinating insights into the mind of this famously single-minded chief engineer, and his philosophy about the GT-R project.

The fount of all GT-R knowledge very kindly answered all our questions in English, making frequent use of the office whiteboard to illustrate various points.

Without blowing the PH trumpet too loudly, we're forced to say that GT-R 'geekery' doesn't get much better than this. So pay attention class, and take it away Mizuno san..

Q1) For such a high performance machine, the GT-R is a big car and heavy one. Tell us why that is?

Q2) So what is the best way to reduce weight from the R35 to make it perform better?

Q3) In your previous answer, you seemed to be telling us the parameters of 1700kgs weight and 485hp were set from the beginning of the project, is that correct?

Q4) Why did you opt for a V6 engine, instead of an engine with more cylinders?

Q5) What about the transaxle - some competitors have seven or eight speeds, so why does the GT-R have only six?

Q6) The R34 had the HICAS rear wheel steering system. Why didn't that make it onto the latest GT-R?

Comments (85) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Dagnut 16 Oct 2009

    Interesting that grip seems to have been the optimum from the outset...all other areas of the car where designed to fit this, engine size, position weight and power, gearbox, aerodynamics.

  • DP 1 16 Oct 2009

    Really interesting watch- never been a big fan of the GTR- always imagined its too big and heavy to be any fun, but this has made me think again!

  • nismohks 16 Oct 2009

    Could someone explain the last video to me about human reaction time and why the HICAS was not fitted ?
    I didnt quite understand that one.

  • KB_S1 16 Oct 2009

    nismohks said:
    Could someone explain the last video to me about human reaction time and why the HICAS was not fitted ?
    I didnt quite understand that one.
    Not sure myself but, I think he is suggesting that you must introduce a delay into such a system to allow for human response time.
    Perhaps that delay affects all other systems?

    Worth noting that the racing R34 GT-Rs and many of the top tuner versions had HiCas disabled.

  • Niffty951 16 Oct 2009

    A seemingly really interesting and genuinly nice chap but I understand now why Nissan don't use him for press releases! You could have gone into 1000 times more detail in half the time by being a little more efficient with wording! He is clearly a man of science not words.

    e.g Why did you use a V6?

    Ans: Ballance. Not only from front to rear but on both Axis it was the best engine for weight distribution accross the front wheels. Grip was Nissans 1st concern with the GTR.

    If he'd have been faster you could have asked him about thermal efficiency / economy? Weight of components and characteristics of its torque curve when compared to a stright 6 like the last generation Supra for example.

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