Tokyo 2007: The Sky's The Limit

Which way to the UK?
Which way to the UK?
The world has been waiting for a new Far Eastern supercar slayer since the death of the legendary Skyline R34 nearly six years ago.

In that time disguised prototypes have been spied lapping race tracks around the world but no official details were released.

Recently some details of Nissan's Godzilla were illegally leaked early by the American press prior to its launch, but the car's intricate details were still under wraps.

Fifth Gear presenter and PistonHeads writer Jonny Smith was one of the few people to be flown to Japan 24-hours before the Tokyo motor-show and given a secret tour of the new car, even before the Japanese media...

 

Deep underground in a clinical car park beneath the neon-lit metropolis Nissan's designers and engineers tugged the sheets off the finest, most innovative supercar to ever come out of Japan.

The atmosphere was electric.

Years of anticipation turned straight into fever pitch awe.

Nissan had set out to create 'the ultimate supercar for anyone, anywhere, at anytime'.

They wanted to lap the Nürburgring quicker than a Porsche 911 Turbo on one hand and provide respectable fuel economy in the other.

The result is 473bhp, 3.8-litre V6, twin-turbo, 4-wheel drive and a claimed 0-60mph of 3.5 seconds and 194mph.

Porsche or Ferrari drivers take note – in two year's time this car will be hassling your rear view mirror.

 

GROWER ON THE EYE

Much like the Scoobies and Evos of yesteryear, no one can honestly say a Skyline is a pretty car.

Nissan Design Director Shiron Nakamura stressed the new GT-R is not derived from a current coupé or saloon.

'We wanted to create an original shape. A car influenced not by feminine beauty but by masculine beauty,' he explained.

With its slash edged body shape and hallmark quad porthole taillights, it's strangely attractive.

It's a fully-fledged muscle machine that looks to the future without forgetting its Skyline roots, which began way back in 1964.

 

WINDTUNNEL LOVER

Much of the steel, carbon fibre and diecast aluminium shell was sculpted for the wind tunnel, not the eyes, giving the new GT-R a 0.27 Cd drag co-efficiency rating and race-car quantities of downforce.

Hell, even Group Lotus was pulled in for consultation duties. So slippery is the GT-R that Nissan reckon in-cabin conversation is effortless at 186mph.

 

62-0 MPH IN 36.9 METRES

The GT-R's anchors are astonishing - officially the best braking performance of any car to undergo Japan's compulsory type approval tests.

Those 255/40/20 and 285/35/20 run-flat Bridgestones are clenched to a halt via Brembo monoblock six-pot callipers and drilled steel 380mm floating discs with diamond shaped vents that aid cooling.

 

ACTIVE SUSPENSION

Suspension duties are handled through a special electrically controlled Bilstein DampTronic system, which uses information from the car to provide appropriate damping force.

There are three suspension modes: R (high performance), Sports (the normal setting) and Comfort (for city driving to absorb problems that local councils have neglected).

 

VR38DETT 3.8 V6 ENGINE

Purists may mourn the loss of the straight-six RB26 engine (which had to go for emissions reasons) but the new distant relative of the 350Z 'VQ' V6 won't disappoint.

At 3799cc it's a bigger capacity, and to help it achieve 473bhp (delivered @ 7000rpm) there is a pair of IHI turbochargers and plasma coated bores.

Peak torque for the 1740kg car is 433lb ft and most of that is available between 3200rpm and 5200rpm.

The VR38 engine will be completely hand-built, a la brands like Aston, Merc AMG and Rolls.

'More important than the absolute power, is the manner in which it is delivered,' said chief vehicle engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno.

'The engine's very tractable and that means it's very easy to drive, a key quality of the GT-R. It needs to be enjoyable not scary'.

Nissan have also taken the time to ensure their supercar is also relatively fuel efficient though no mpg figures have been released yet.

 

PREMIUM MID-SHIP TRANSMISSION

This is the world's first car with independent transaxle 4WD.

In the name of supreme weight distribution Nissan have mounted their all-new 'GR6' transmission, transfer case and final drive at the back end instead of the front.

Like the R34, the 4WD system is mechanically operated but computer controlled.

Unlike the R34 the new GT-R has not got four wheel steering. When you're driving normally the GT-R is a rear-wheel drive car, but it can shift up to 50 percent of traction up front if/when things get out of hand.

 

AUTOMATIC? IN A SKYLINE?

Yep, the new GT-R is an auto. But fear not, this six-speed Borg Warner six-plate dual-clutch system can be paddle-shift operated like most supercars when you feel the need.

Shift times take just 0.2 seconds, achieved by odd numbers being pre-selected when even numbers are engaged and vice-versa, like VW's DSG system.

 

INTERIOR IN QUALITY SHOCKER

Nissan realised that the R34's Achilles heel was its Almera-spec dash.

You'll be glad to know the GT-R is a leap in evolution, featuring sculpted luxurious leather/Alcantara buckets and decent plastics.

The detailed instrument panel has been developed by the game makers of Gran Turismo and displays Skyline hallmarks like a g-force meter.

 

HONED AT THE 'RING

GTR chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno told PistonHeads that his baby had covered over 3000 miles at the Nordschleife and avoided other circuits as they were deemed 'too easy'.

Nissan's original target was to beat the 911 Turbo at the 'ring but they ended up worrying the Porsche Carrera GT.

They didn't beat the GT's 7min 32sec lap time, but got a 7.38 in semi-wet conditions.

'We used cut slick tyres' said Mizuno.

'I was not interested in full slick times as this bears no resemblance to a road tyre. 1.2G of force was being pulled in wet and over 2 in dry'.

 

AND IT'S OUT WHEN?

The GT-R goes on sale in Japan this December, but it won't reach the UK until March 2009 according to Nissan UK. Don't expect much change from £65,000 here in the UK, but in Japan the basic GT-R is likely to go for around £33,000.

Americans will be whooping with joy as Nissan have promised left-hand drive models of their scorching flagship for 2008.

Nissan head honcho Carlos Ghosn has the very first car - the lucky git.











 

 

Comments (75) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Neomagic 26 Oct 2007

    Absolutely sick, and I disagree it is a good looking car especially in comparison to most of today’s space age looking cars.

  • Fume Troll 26 Oct 2007

    I want one even more now.

    Cheers,

    FT.

  • chrisbr68 26 Oct 2007

    Wow! I want one of those!

    2G in the dry and over 1 on a wet track! So are cut slicks road legal then? Surely those numbers are second only to the Caparo?

    Cant wait to see it in the flesh biggrin

  • jking 26 Oct 2007

    Bloody Japs.....I told them NOT to lay out the intercoolers like that!!!! At least they have done a good job with the oil cooler, and it needs it!

  • ScoobieWRX 26 Oct 2007

    I would say YES!! Many times over on this one. Is there anyone rich enough to import one, seeing as they will be available in Japan from December this year, and give me some pax laps in it. PLEEEEEEASE!! bowbiggrin

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