Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted November 01, 2007 00:00
Supercar in every aspect
The car has gone through extensive testing and timing in some of the best racetracks in the world including the Nürburgring and Laguna Seca to fully validate its supercar status. It recorded a 7m38s laptime on wet road conditions on the Nürburgring with street tires besting even some of the popular European supercars and is rumored to even be capable of dethroning the current lap record holder, the Porsche Carrera GT.
A huge amount of research and development has also been poured to aerodynamics and body design of the vehicle resulting in a low coefficient of drag of 0.27 with high front and rear downforce to improve the overall drivability of the car in all conditions. To achieve weight reduction for the massive car, a combination of aluminum, carbon fiber and steel was used for the body and some components. This is all finished in a double clear coat and anti-chipping process to give the car a lasting exterior finish.
The newly developed 3.8-liter VR38 engine features plasma-sprayed bores and a special twin-turbo exhaust manifold system. A secondary air management system enables fuel-efficient performance during ordinary low-rev driving pushing about 40 kg/m of torque, helping the GT-R meet ultra-low emission vehicle (U-LEV) standards in Japan. The new powerplant is capable of 480ps at 6400rpm and 60kg/m from 3200 to 5200rpm. To put the power to the ground, the engine is mated to a new GR6-type dual clutch transmission, with paddle shift and a Borg Warner six-plate dual clutch for direct control. Each engine and transmission goes through a meticulous building and testing process done by a trained craftsman to ensure consistent quality.
The "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" concept of the car means that one does not need special skills to take advantage of the capabilities of the GT-R and it is also a car that has been developed to be used easily even in adverse conditions such as rain and snow by an average driver. A Setup switch in the instrument panel lets the driver choose from three settings, Normal, Comfort, or R which changes the transaxle shift points, suspension damping and vehicle dynamics electronically.
Nissan has extensively worked with suppliers in developing components that are both high performance and lightweight. The extra large Brembo brakes have been developed using floating disc rotors resulting in lighter weight, are coupled with six-piston Brembo calipers in front and four piston rear calipers for supercar stopping power. The Bilstein DampTronic electronically controlled suspension has been tuned through numerous track tests to achieve the ultimate setup. The 20-inch Bridgestone RE070R run-flat tires were specially developed for the GT-R.
The new Premium Midship package, an all-new, more advanced version Front Midship (FM) package utilized on other Nissan vehicles like the 350Z. This new package enables the use of the world's first application of an independent transaxle 4WD system. The transaxle's layout places the dual-clutch transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, resulting in even weight distribution. This gives the Nissan GT-R a superb front-to-rear weight balance, while enhancing leg and foot space and allowing for an optimal pedal layout.
The Nissan GT-R represents a new dimension of multi-performance in a supercar developed with a completely new approach, returning to the first principles of moving in a straight line, cornering and braking. In the Nissan GT-R I have instilled my hopes on how a car can excite people worldwide, how automakers worldwide might react to it, and for the car itself, that it continues to evolve to satisfy customers.
Nissan has set the production of the GT-R to be 1000 units per month. Each car will undergo a shakedown run in Nissan's Tochigi test facility prior to delivery to ensure that the car passes supercar standards set by the manufacturer when a customer receives his car.
Special Nissan High Performance Centers have been set-up to support the new GT-R, where all certified advisors and technicians have received extensive training. Total support for the GT-R owner is offered for the first three years of ownership, including measurement and adjustment of the engine, transmission and wheel alignment after the first 1000 km, and again every 12 months, free of charge.
Retail price for the GT-R starts at 7.77-million Yen for the standard model. The car will be sold mainly through Nissan High Performance Centers in Japan starting first week of December. Sales worldwide will commence in 2008.