Nissan's mighty R35 GT-R is getting close dear readers, so close we can virtually taste it. The twin-turbocharged all-wheel-drive supercar will be landing in Nissan's Australian dealerships on April 1 this year, and the Japanese manufacturer's local arm has issued the first batch of info on the Australian-market GT-R.
There's a few downers, like the lack of satellite-navigation and the less ferocious launch control system, but there's at least one thing that'll make your inner boy-racer smile. There's no electronic speed limiter.
That's right, the forces of nature and the laws of physics will be the only thing holding Aussie GT-Rs back, with the car's stock-standard top speed confirmed by Nissan Australia as being a heady 314km/h (195mph).
Not bad when you consider Japanese-spec cars are restricted to 180km/h when not at a racetrack and US-market cars are electronically reined in at 250km/h.
There's already a number of aftermarket doo-dads that'll disable the limiters on foreign-market R35s, but Nissan Australia has done the enthusiasts a favour by leaving the buzz-killing technology out altogether.
Considering our GT-Rs will also receive the same 357kW, 588Nm twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 and GR6 twin-clutch gearbox as the rest of the world, there's now virtually no reason to fiddle with the 2010 GT-R's innards.
The GT-R's launch control system has been revised for 2009 after several early model R35s lunched their gearboxes after using the old launch control setup. The result is a slightly softer launch and a marginally slower 0-100 time, but rest assured: this puppy is still brutally quick. Sub-four second nought-to-one-hundred sprints? The GT-R will deliver.
Besides, at least now you can launch to your heart's content and Nissan will still honour your warranty.
As we mentioned late last year, Australian-delivered R35 GT-Rs will be available in two guises: base, and Premium. The base model GT-R gets heated leather seats in the front, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD system with 9.3Gb hard drive storage and a quartet of Dunlop's super-sticky SP Sport 600 tyres as standard.
The Premium adds an 11-speaker Bose stereo system, exclusive leather seats, black wheels and Bridgestone Potenza RE070Rs in lieu of the base model's Dunlops.
Both models come with the GT-R's excellent Multi-Function Meter data display as standard, however there's no sat-nav capability. Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers squeeze floating discs, and are identical between the two models.
The 2010 Nissan GT-R goes on sale in Australia in April, with the base model fetching an asking price of $155,800 AUD. The GT-R Premium will set you back $159,800, however those who pre-order their GT-Rs before April 1 will be able to snap theirs up for just $148,800 for the base GT-R and $152,800 for the Premium. Ladies and gents, it's time to visit your bank manager...
For more information on the Australian-market R35 GT-R, hit up the press release below.
Nissan GT-R: The Supercar for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere
* New 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 engine producing 357kW and 588Nm
* New six-speed paddle shift dual-clutch gearbox with full automatic function
* World first independent rear transaxle transmission and advanced four-wheel drive system
* Aerodynamic body of just 0.27 Cd ??? plus downforce front and rear
* New body using lightweight steel, carbon fibre and diecast aluminium
* Brembo??? drilled ventilated disc brakes offering immense stopping power
* Driver selectable dampers, gear shift and stability control
* Multi-functional instrument display (Multi-Function Display), designed by Polyphony Digital, the creators of Gran Turismo???, the iconic racing game
* Dedicated dealer network and servicing regime unique to GT-R
* Australian deliveries begin in April 2009
The Nissan GT-R is a multi-dimensional performance machine that lives up to the concept of ???the ultimate supercar that can be driven by anyone, anytime, anywhere???. Yet it also achieved a lap time of 7 min 29 sec around the famed N???rburgring Nordschleife, one of the fastest times ever achieved by a production vehicle.
???The new Nissan GT-R is an extraordinary car,??? says Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Dan Thompson.
???It is a technological flagship for this company that demonstrates our passion for sports and performance cars. It is designed for optimal high-speed performance in all road conditions. Few cars combine such speed, ease of driving, ability to excel in all road conditions, such exhilaration, and value-for-money.
???The Nissan GT-R has already joined the ranks of the world???s great supercars. We believe this car resets some of the existing benchmarks by combining performance, ease of driving and value for money to create an automotive icon never previously seen before in Australia.???
The Nissan GT-R is built on an all-new, unique Premium Midship package. Unlike previous models, the 2009 GT-R is not a derivate of the Skyline family, but a model in its own right.
The new platform enables the use of a world first independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, which optimises weight distribution and handling capability.
Under the bonnet, the Nissan GT-R features an all-new hand-built VR series 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 producing 357kW at 6,400rpm and 588Nm of torque between 3,200 and 5,200rpm.
The VR38DETT is backed by an all-new, paddle-shift GR6 sequential 6-speed dual clutch rear transaxle transmission, which can be driver selected to shift in a split-second. The race-bred, sequential-shifting transaxle transmission features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for immediate shifts. It also features Hill Start Assist for easy starts on inclines.
Nissan invested around $A450 million in the development of the new platform for the GT-R.
The Nissan GT-R has been widely lauded by critics scooping a bevy of awards thus far, including:
* ???Most Advanced Technology Award??? by Car of the Year Japan 2008-2009 (Nov.2008)
* ???2009 Automobile of the Year??? by Automobile Magazine (Nov.2008)
* ???2009 Motor Trend Car of the Year??? by Motor Trend magazine (Nov.2008)
* Automotive Lease Guide???s 10th annual Residual Value Awards for the 2009 model year - winner in the Luxury Sport Car category (Dec.2008)
* ???Performance Car of the Year??? by What Car? Awards 2009 (Jan. 2009)
* ???Best Sporting Car??? by Auto Express (UK) ??? New Car Honours (Aug. 2008).
The Nissan GT-R will be available in Australia in two trim levels, GT-R and GT-R Premium. Interior trim and wheel and tyre combinations are the key differentiators.
The standard specification for the Nissan GT-R is comprehensive, including: leather and synthetic suede heated front seats, aluminium pedals, Multi-Function Meter, configurable transmission and traction set up, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth??? phone connectivity, and a 7-inch colour monitor (full details appear in section 16).
The Nissan GT-R Premium adds Real Black colour-coat finish 20-inch alloys, shod with Bridgestone??? RE070R high-performance run-flat tyres, while inside there are revised seat facings in black with red trim. A high performance BOSE??? audio system is also included.
Since launch in the Japanese market in December 2007, more than 4,800 examples have been sold, while USA/Canada sales began in July 2008, where more than 2,000 GT-Rs have been delivered to date. Sales of the Nissan GT-R begin in Europe in March 2009. Australian pre-sales already total more than 150 units.
Nissan GT-R Pricing
The Nissan GT-R goes on sale in Australia in April priced at $155,800, while the GT-R Premium is priced at $159,800. Prices are effective April 1 and exclude dealer delivery and statutory charges. Gun Metallic & Titanium paint colours are priced at an additional $1,750, while Super Silver premium paint is an additional $3,000. (Customers who pre-order their GT-R before its April 1 launch date and are delivered before June 30 2009, are able to secure the vehicle at lower price points ($148,800 and $152,800).
1. Exterior Design
???It is clearly not an Italian, German or American car ??? it is unmistakably Japanese. It is very mechanical - almost like an animated robot ??? has big shoulders and looks strong and muscular,??? says Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, & Chief Creative Officer, Design and Brand Management, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
???We didn???t want a nice elegant shape ??? we wanted an original shape. Some people who buy this car will also have a Ferrari and a Porsche. This car must be different from all others. I see it as a car influenced not by feminine beauty, like Italian cars, but by masculine imagery ??? it is strong, well toned, well muscled. Japanese Muscle.???
The new Nissan GT-R has unmistakeable presence. Edgy, wide-shouldered, ground hugging and flat-sided; it is also one of the most aerodynamic coupes in the world. A Cd value of 0.27 is commendable for its size and weight.
The styling is based closely on the GT-R Proto shown at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. The only significant styling difference is the front, changed mostly to allow for superior crash protection.
The new car also continues the proud Nissan GT-R design lineage. There are the four round tail lamps mirrored in the four overt round exhausts directly below. Specific styling cues, borrowed from great Nissans of the past, include the edgy boxy shape of the PGC10 GT-R of 1969, the four round tail lamps of the KPGC110 GT-R of 1973 and the long thin slit grille opening of the R34 GT-R of 1999.
2. Interior Design
Like the exterior, the GT-R???s interior is stylish but highly functional. The cabin is unique, sharing no major components or design features with any other Nissan model.
The instrumentation is large, clear and simple, all dials are placed directly in front of the driver for maximum visibility. The circular analogue instruments are ringed in strong bezels and the tachometer takes pride of place, red-lined at 7,000rpm. Within the tachometer is an easy-to-see gearshift position display.
More unusual is the Multi-Function Display in the centre of the dash that gives a detailed log of driving behaviour. The design of the Multi-Function Display was a collaboration with Polyphony Digital Inc, designer of the Gran Turismo??? video game series for Sony PlayStation???.
In the centre of the dashboard, below the Multi-Function Display, is a cluster angled towards the driver. It contains the air conditioning, audio and set-up switches. The centre console, which sweeps through the middle of the cabin, contains the red start button, gear selector and parking brake.???
Seats are especially designed for the Nissan GT-R. They???re heavily side bolstered for maximum lateral support and comfort. To relax the lower legs during longer drives, the front edge of the seat is unusually flat. There are two model-dependent interior colour schemes for the leather: black leather for the GT-R model and black leather with red trim accents for the GT-R Premium model.
Like many high-performance four-seat coupes, the rear seats are ???occasional??? seats intended for children or for stowing items such as jackets or small bags.
The boot is unusually large for such a high performance machine - able to accommodate two golf bags.
Nissan???s VR38DETT is a brand new engine specially developed for the Nissan GT-R. The 3.8-litre unit uses twin IHI turbochargers to produce a maximum of 357kW at 6,400rpm. Thus the Nissan GT-R is one of the world???s most powerful road cars, and Nissan???s most powerful ever.
???More important than the absolute power, is the manner in which it is delivered,??? says Chief Vehicle Engineer, Kazutoshi Mizuno.
???The engine is very tractable and so it is very easy to drive, a key quality of the Nissan GT-R.???
Maximum torque of 588Nm is delivered seamlessly from 3,200-5,200rpm. The engine is also extremely efficient.
The Nissan GT-R???s engine efficiency is partly due to the innovative plasma-coated bores, which improve cooling, boosting fuel efficiency and power. The plasma-coated cylinder liner bores are just 0.15mm thick, compared with conventional cast iron liners of 2.6mm. Not only are they much better at dissipating heat, improving efficiency, they???re also lighter ??? saving about 3kg in a V6 engine.
Independent dual intake and exhaust systems increase air intake and reduce exhaust resistance, producing a smooth and fast fuel flow.
Emissions are improved by a secondary air system, featuring an air pump, which promotes faster catalyst reaction, better to cleanse the exhaust.???
The engines, like the transmissions, are all assembled by hand - one craftsman hand-assembles each entire engine. The dedicated engine builders work in a special Nissan GT-R ???clean room??? area of Nissan???s Yokohama plant. Engine assembly technicians are required to wear hairnets and shoe covers to minimize dust and particle contamination.
The Nissan GT-R uses an all-new GR6-type transmission, exclusively developed for the car by Borg Warner???. The paddle shift six-speed twin clutch gearbox is highly efficient ??? there is minimum power loss so response and fuel economy are improved.
In M setting (for manual transmission mode), the paddle shift gives exceedingly quick changes of less than half a second. Such quick gear changing maintains the turbo boost, so acceleration is seamless.
The twin clutches make a significant contribution to shift speed. There are separate clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears. When the car is running in an odd number gear, the adjacent even-numbered gears are pre-selected and are ready to make the shift immediately in the sequential-shifting gearbox. When downshifting, a synchronised rev control ???blips??? the throttle precisely to synchronise engine speed for extra-fast downshifts. Borg Warner??? triple cone synchronisers are used.
When R mode ??? the sportiest setting ??? is chosen, a computerised control predicts the driver???s next gear change, based on throttle opening, vehicle speed, braking and other information. The gear changes are carried out even more rapidly in R mode at less than 0.2 sec.
The Nissan GT-R uniquely offers both quick gearshift speeds and a fully automatic transmission.
In A (for automatic transmission), the car changes gear automatically, in the most fuel-efficient manner. Higher gears are used whenever possible, benefiting from the car???s massive 588Nm of torque, and its long and flat torque curve.
The E-TS electronic traction control and rear final drive with limited slip differential (for better power delivery) are both integrated into the surprisingly compact and light rear transaxle. By placing the input/output shafts diagonally, the transmission is flat and the car???s centre of gravity can be lowered.
One highly useful and unusual feature is the Nissan GT-R???s Hill Start Assist. On an uphill gradient, which the car automatically recognises, the system maintains brake pressure for about two seconds after the release of the brake pedal, making hill starts easy.
The Nissan GT-R has an advanced suspension set-up offering excellent straight-line stability, even at speeds in excess of 300 km/h (where legal), plus top-class handling and braking in all situations ??? from urban commutes to muddy, slippery roads, to the racetrack.
The suspension is designed around the new ???Premium Midship??? package, and takes advantage of the perfect load balance of all four wheels.
A set-up switch allows the driver to access three different suspension modes: R (high performance), Sports (the normal setting) and Comfort (for city driving to absorb road bumps).
The set-up switch electronically changes the settings on the Bilstein DampTronic dampers, specially developed for the Nissan GT-R.???
In R mode, the Bilsteins ensure flat, hard cornering for high-speed and maximum feedback. In the other two modes ??? Sport and Comfort ??? the dampers are electronically controlled to produce the best possible handling/ride balance (depending on which setting is chosen).
Special sensors measure 11 vehicle elements including vehicle speed, lateral acceleration, steering angle speed, demand torque, estimated torque, engine rpm, brake oil pressure, normal acceleration (front axle and rear axle), ABS anti-lock braking behaviour and vehicle stop information.
The new Nissan GT-R uses an advanced four-wheel drive system (ATTESA E-TS), which distributes power optimally to the front wheels when and if necessary. Though naturally rear-drive biased, up to 50 percent of torque can be fed forwards improving grip while cornering on sealed surfaces and improving traction and stability. Front drive is also used to improve traction in weather conditions such as ice, rain or mud.
Computerised control automatically alters the front/rear torque split from zero torque at the front wheels, to 50 percent of total torque. The control is varied continuously, as various sensors on the car measure speed, lateral and transverse acceleration, steering angles, tyre slip, road surface conditions and yaw rate.
The Nissan GT-R also features a yaw rate feedback sensor which measures the difference between the target yaw rate calculated from the steering angle, the actual yaw rate detected by the yaw rate sensor and G sensor. Front and rear torque is automatically adjusted accordingly.
The four-wheel drive system incorporates Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R), the GT-R???s electronic stability control system. This continually monitors the vehicle???s behaviour. If off-balance behaviour is detected ??? such as sliding or skidding ??? torque to the wheels will be altered to help stabilise the car.
Electronic traction control is also fitted to rear mechanical limited slip differentials, helping prevent wheelspin and improving grip.???
All Australian delivered GT-R cars come with enhanced programming that optimises clutch engagement control for improved drivability. This also improves vehicle acceleration with the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R) ON/activated.
Standing acceleration capability with VDC ON (VDC-R mode) has been improved over the original Japanese and US-specification vehicles. Acceleration with VDC OFF is now moderated.
Nissan strongly suggests GT-R drivers avoid driving with the VDC OFF (except when trying to free the vehicle when stuck in mud or snow) to avoid damage to the transaxle.
The Nissan GT-R has huge 380mm front and rear Brembo??? fully ventilated drilled steel disc brakes that deliver superb pedal feel as well as immense stopping power.
Fully floating rotors stabilise braking while also preventing heat distortion. The inner parts of the rotors have diamond-shaped ventilated ribs to ease cooling, while the rotors are also cross drilled to run cooler.
Brembo??? monobloc six-piston callipers are used at the front and four-piston callipers are fitted at the rear. To generate strong braking force and prevent calliper distortion, racing-style three bolt structures are used.
As befits a very special car, the tyres for the Nissan GT-R are unique, specially developed for Nissan???s flagship. They offer an extraordinary combination of high-speed balance, high-grip cornering on the world???s most testing racing circuits, and excellent traction in the rain plus pliant comfort in the city.
Specially developed by Bridgestone??? and Dunlop???, the tyres have very stiff treads, helpful for high-speed driving. They are also excellent at dissipating water, important for a car designed to perform equally well on smooth racing circuits or country roads.
Normally, run-flat tyres have very hard sidewalls, essential for maintaining tyre shape after a puncture. The Nissan GT-R???s tyres have unusually pliant sidewalls, improving steering, agility and ride comfort. The tyres are filled with nitrogen, which prevents pressure change during high speed driving.??? The tyres??? run-flat structures allow the GT-R to drive for up to 80km at speeds of up to 80km/h following a loss of pressure.
The tyres are 255/40ZRF20 front and larger 285/35ZRF20 rear. The 20-inch alloy wheel rims have special knurling to better secure the tyres during especially hard acceleration or braking.
The GT-R premium model runs Bridgestone??? RE070R high-performance run-flat tyres as standard and the GT-R model uses Dunlop??? SP Sport 600 DSST run-flat tyres.
7. Vehicle Body
The Nissan GT-R was engineered to offer superb high-speed stability, excellent ride comfort for a performance car and top levels of safety. Its multi material body is a mix of lightweight and advanced steels, carbonfibre and diecast aluminium for the key structural components.
Carbonfibre is used for the front end of the body structure, including the radiator support and the front of the engine bay. The advanced lightweight material gives great strength, especially in any front-end impact. Carbonfibre is also used for the rear aerodynamic diffuser undertray. Special glassfibre is used for the engine undertray, and helps give the Nissan GT-R a virtually flat bottom, further improving aerodynamics. The GT-R has a Cd of just 0.27, matched to good downforce which is crucial for providing stability and roadholding on a high-performance car.
Light and very strong diecast aluminium is used for the front suspension strut housings, and the rigid cross brace members for both front and rear suspension further improve rigidity. The door inners are also made from diecast aluminium, giving outstanding side impact safety protection.
From basic assembly to sealing, the Nissan GT-R body is built with far higher precision and lower tolerances than any previous Nissan model.
8. The Multi-Function Meter
To allow the driver to get maximum enjoyment from the new GT-R, Nissan is offering more mechanical and driving information than ever before. The new Multi-Function Meter was developed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc, designer of the Gran Turismo??? series for Sony PlayStation??? and Xanavi Informatics Corp (Navigation).
Installed as a part of the Multi-Function Display in the centre of the dashboard, the Multi-Function Meter serves up a wealth of information including:
* Mechanical information ??? including engine coolant temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, transmission oil temperature, transmission oil pressure, turbocharger boost and front/rear torque split.
* Driving information ??? including throttle opening, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and g-forces (both longitudinally and transversely).
* An optimal gearshift map is shown for fuel efficiency. It shows best gearshift points using clear and readable graphics.
* Driving records ??? including routes used and duration time.
???The system is easy to use thanks to both a rotary selector switch and touch screen.
9. Audio System
The Nissan GT-R Premium is fitted with a concert hall-like entertainment system from BOSE???.
The Nissan GT-R model comes with a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system and a 9.3Gb hard drive which automatically copies and saves the music tracks that are played on the CD player, allowing drivers and passengers to create a digital music jukebox without storing a plethora of CDs in the car. (Use in conjunction with copyright laws.)
For the GT-R Premium model, Nissan has continued its collaboration with leading audio system specialists BOSE???, resulting in a tailor-made audio solution.
The sound reproduction is tuned to the exact acoustic requirements of the cabin, including shapes and materials. The 11-speaker system includes tweeters, squawkers and woofers. There are also two subwoofers in the rear centre armrest facing forward. The innovative layout uses the boot for speaker enclosure. The rear centre subwoofers and door speakers are mounted in rigid aluminium die-cast panels, which improve sound quality, especially tight bass sound.
The Nissan GT-R achieves some of the world???s best level of paint resistance to chipping and scratches.
The Nissan GT-R enjoys a lustrous paint sheen when new ??? partly through the application of a ???double clear coat??? ??? and maintains this finish due to its uniquely resilient paint. Tests have shown that the Nissan GT-R continues to have a blemish-free lustre long after rival paints are peppered with stone chips and small abrasions.??? A new colour, Ultimate Silver, is also available on the new Nissan GT-R, at additional cost.??? All models get an electro deposition first coat, which bonds especially well to the metal, a special anti-chipping coat, primer, colour bases and then clear coats, both hand polished to achieve an exceptional finish.
The new Nissan GT-R has one of the automotive industry???s most advanced anti-theft security systems fitted as standard.
The Nissan GT-R has a sophisticated engine immobiliser that uses an electronic ID signal between the key and the immobiliser system installed in the BCM (body control module) for code verification. If the system is verified, the BCM then signals the ECM (engine control module) to start the engine. If the electronic ID is incorrect, the engine is immobilised.
When a vehicle is locked with a keyless remote control or Intelligent Key, the car is dead-locked, meaning it can???t be opened or started from inside. This prevents forced entry by wrenching the interior door handles for example if the window has been smashed.
A wheel lock nut ??? an anti-rotation shroud ??? is also needed to undo the wheels, preventing theft of the valuable alloy wheels.
12. Manufacturing and Pre-Delivery Testing
The Nissan GT-R benefits from production procedures that include higher precision tolerance control for all body parts, vibration testing of all bodies to ensure superb torsional rigidity and strength, the use of specially designed precision machine tools and extra assembly steps that reflect the high technology and premium nature of the vehicle.
All Nissan GT-Rs are built in Nissan???s Tochigi factory in Japan where Infiniti models are built. In addition, much of the Nissan GT-R???s assembly is done by hand, reflecting the complex nature of the vehicle and its hand crafted precision.
Engines (built at Yokohama) and transmissions are assembled by hand. In every case a single engineer hand assembles each engine and transmission.
Each car undergoes a run-in drive before shipping in addition to its regular inspections, so the very earliest use of the brakes, transmission and suspension will be smooth for the customer.
13. Customer Experience Par Excellence
To reflect the premium nature of the new Nissan GT-R, Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) has made the unusual decision to create an exclusive network of GT-R specialists within its dealer network who will be responsible for the care and well being of all GT-Rs sold here.
At launch, there will be just 11 GT-R dealers in Australia and each has undergone a special preparation program, setting aside specific work bays for the vehicles as well as training staff to be GT-R specialists.
Dealers maintaining GT-R cars will keep Nitrogen on hand for the tyres. In some instances the access ramp to the service bay has been modified to protect the aerodynamic package on the front of the car.
The GT-R will follow a bespoke service program that comprises of three separate elements.
* The first is a special vehicle inspection after 2,000km (and annually thereafter) which Nissan will provide to GT-R owners at no charge for the first three years of the car???s life. This inspection service will comprise a check and adjustment to the wheel alignment all around the vehicle, check the engine tuning and settings as well as transmission and clutch settings.
* Regular servicing (the costs of which are borne by the owner) occurs at 10,000km or at six-month intervals (whichever comes first), and comprises the usual engine oil and filter changes and fluid checks etc.
* Finally, for customers who take the opportunity to enjoy their car at a track day, Nissan GT-R dealers will be able to offer a post track day inspection service (the cost of which again is borne by the customer), which looks at suspension geometry, vital brake components and lubricant and fluid checks.
The GT-R network in Australia comprises dealers located at:
NSW: Campbelltown and Brookvale
VIC: Werribee, Ferntree Gully
QLD: Moorooka, Southport, Mackay
WA: Melville, Wangara