The Japanese Did It!?

I love to buy car magazines. It is nothing for me to spend 200 dollars at Barnes & Noble on car magazines every new month. So now you know that I read up on car information as much as I can. For the past few months every magazine that I picked up talked about the new Nissan GT-R, the car that was supposed to be so much better than the already impressive and oh so popular R34 Skyline GT-R. I was of course in disbelief when Nissan kept running its mouth about how incredible this thing was. The Japanese have always produced fun and good cars, but one that could beat the Americans to 60 and the Germans on the track? HA! Please there would never be a day that the Japanese would actually be able to do it. Again, they make great cars, hell I own one (2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed6) so don’t think I’m just hating on them, because everyone knows I am a BMW man, but, God do I love my Speed6. Seriously though, I never thought I would see the day until I started seeing real performance numbers from others outside of Nissan. It was finally possible to believe.

Everyone that drove this car loved the engine, the speed, the handling, feel and on board computer system/GPS that was developed by Gran Turismo game creator/producer Kazunori Yamauchi. The Japanese version of the car has a track recognizer in the navigation system and realizes when you have gone off road and on to a track. This system does away with the top speed limiter of 111mph to allow for top speed ability and also shows a navigation of the track turn by turn. The system also has the ability to check pretty much every major vital record of the car and also has a track timer. Talk about technology at its best.

Nissan has dropped the Skyline from the name and simply called it the GT-R or the R35 GT-R. R35 is the model and year designation. Now to the power numbers of the beast, the newly developed 3.8 liter twin-turbo V6, yes V6, produces 473hp (Nissan claims the car will have 480hp for the U.S. market) and 434lb-ft of torque making it good for a 3.3 second 0-60 and an 11.5s ¼ mile time and a top speed of 156mph in U.S. spec form. Done laughing yet? Yeah, me either. Wait, here is the kicker. The car weighs… 3836lbs. There it is the Germans and Americans are screwed. The new GT-R is as fast as a Corvette Z06 and Porsche 911 Turbo and weighs 674lbs more than the Z06 and 342lbs less than a manual transmission 911 Turbo. Even better the new GT-R has supposedly outdone everyone once again with a lap time on the Nürburgring in an amazing 7:38.54 on the stock Bridgestone Potenza run-flats. Some are even reporting a faster 7:35 lap time achieved.

All this love for a car that costs under $70,000, I know, I know, that is expensive yes, but, when you think about it, $70K is a Honda Civic price in the exotic and super car community apart from the Corvette and Z06 because those are rarities. This car performs as well as a Porsche 911 Turbo that has a base price of $126,200. Good luck finding one for that price unless it’s been wrecked out mistreated. Loving the cost yet?

Many Skyline enthusiasts may be displeased with the only transmission offered. A special 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission was developed for the car to ensure maximum ability and performance for all levels of drivers on the track. But, one thing Skyline lovers will be happy with is that the new R35 has kept with the All-Wheel Drive synonymous with the R34 especially. These are two big things that have helped the GT-R remain consistent and amazing on the road and track.

The styling of the car has been quite controversial with this new model, but no one can argue that it works. The GT-R is subtle and has a design that aides the performance with a 0.27 drag coefficient, which is on par with that of most exotics and super cars of today. As much as this may seem stupid, I personally think the styling is oddly futuristic. It represents a theme that is coming out of Japan right now with their cars. A design that remains slightly boxy but beautiful in the right spots. The car works every which way you look at it. The interior to me could use some up-do, but, when you are lapping a track beating up on ultra performance cars the only things that matter at that point are if the car is doing what you want it to do. I do strongly dislike the steering wheel though and the shifter is just too plain for me. Again, does this matter when it’s really as fun and quick as it is?

The new Nissan is so popular that European enthusiasts are damning the wait and finding people in Japan that will import it to them for whatever the cost. Nissan has been trying to take away from this threat but there hasn’t been much they can do. They have also tried to halt the increased amount people are paying at the dealerships. The biggest thing that Nissan has tried to combat is the resale of the GT-R after purchase. Many people will buy this car and then sell it as soon as they buy if for an upscale price. Nissan has talked about voiding the warranty to second owners purchasing the car within the first year of first person ownership, but, realized that wasn’t smart incase someone falls into some horrible financial situation and needs to sell the car. They still haven’t decided on the warranty situation.

Well there you have it. The Japanese have done it. After trying for so long the numbers have proven to us all that they can do it. My jaw is still rubbing against the floor. Is there really anymore I can say about a car that produces the numbers that the new Nissan GT-R does? I personally don’t think so. I’m still in shock as is I think everyone in America and Europe apart from the Japanese Import street racing scene here in America. Remember guys, this car has four exhaust pipes that actually produce a real exhaust that doesn’t sound like a runny fart, so let’s keep this one intact that way. This car is to not be confused with the fast and furious type crap that has been coming our way for years. This is a real performance car that has the ability to write the checks its mouth is cashing. This is a car to be heralded across the world just like the Honda/Acura NSX was of so many years ago. If the GT-R can do half of what the NSX did in its short time then we will be seeing a new era of performance cars at a much more affordable price. All this and there is still a faster and better Evolution Spec version with about 530hp to combat the Corvette ZR1, Porsche 911 GT2, Ferrari F430 Scuderia. All I have to say is go Nissan. The better they make this car the hotter the fight will get.





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