The 2009 Nissan Skyline GT-R

The Nissan GT-R, heir to arguably the most popular of modified cars, the Nissan Skyline GT-R, has made it to North America! Earlier this week, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled the GT-R for the first time in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The GT-R made its world debut late last month at the Tokyo Motor Show and has already sparked a plethora of news articles. But let’s begin with the car itself.

The all-wheel drive 2009 Nissan GT-R follows long line of Skyline GT-R’s that date back to the 1964 Skyline GT 2000 that competed in the GT-II class at the 2nd Japanese Grand Prix. But the GT-R and the Skyline have parted ways, with the GT-R becoming a separate model in the Nissan lineup, with true supercar performance! Following in the tradition of the R32, R33 and R34 Skyline GT-R’s, the new GT-R is powered a detuned race bred, the twin-turbo VR38VETT V6 engine. The VR38VETT is based on the 3.5-liter VRH35 V8 engine that powered Nissan race cars such as the R89C, R90C and R390 GT1 and in detuned form, pushes out a healthy 480 hp at 6,800 rpm and 430 ft-lbs of torque! That translates to a blistering 0 to 62 mph time of just 3,5 seconds and a quarter mile of just 11,5 seconds! That means it’s faster to 62 mph that the Porsche 911 GT2!

But the GT-R, with its all-wheel-drive and all-wheel-steering, has really been built to take on the Nürburgring. A feat it has accomplished in just 7 minutes and 38 seconds during testing in September. That’s not as quick as the Porsche 911 GT2 that completed a tour around the Ring in six seconds less, or the 7.3-liter V12 engined Pagani Zonda F Clubsport with its carbonfibre chassis and body that did it in 7 minutes and 27:82 seconds!

Power is fed to all four wheels via an all-new GR6-type dual clutch paddle shift transmission and a rear-mounted independent transaxle that provides better weight distribution. The all-wheel-drive system can split torque distribution from 50-50 percent to 2-98 percent during hard acceleration, braking and cornering.

But this does not mean that the GT-R will be a handful on the road. The car comes with a special “Set-up” selection switch on the instrument panel that allows the driver to select “Normal”, “Comfort” or “R” (for Racing) settings. Each setting changes transaxle shift points, Bilstein damping rates and the vehicle dynamic control!

The GT-R was unveiled alongside the all-new 2009 Nissan Murano and will be available from the second quarter of 2008 but from a select group of Nissan dealers that meet specific and stringent certification standards. With pricing starting at only $69,850, the new GT-R is a true performance bargain! Pre-orders will taken from January 2008 so get in early! If that isn’t enough power for you, you can always wait for the 2010 Nissan GT-R Spec V that is currently under development and is expected to be available from the second quarter of 2009!


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