It's the moment we've all been waiting for... and the moment "grey" importers have been dreading. That's right, from October 9 onwards, Aussie motorists will finally be able to pre-order themselves their very own officially imported R35 Nissan GT-R.
Just over a year after the order books opened in its native Japan, Nissan's budget supercar is finally heading to the Land Down Under (where women go and men plunder). The good news doesn't stop there either. Despite rumours that Australian-delivered cars would be electronically neutered to ensure compatibility with our (relatively) low-grade fuel, Nissan Australia has confirmed that officially imported GT-R's will sport the full 353kW of power and 588Nm of torque enjoyed by Japanese and American R35s.
Australia-spec equipment levels will also be shared with the JDM cars too, with the base model GT-R and up-spec GT-R Premium receiving the same goodies as their Japanese counterparts - with the exception of the GT-R Premium's two-tone leather seats, which are taken straight from the Japan-only Black Edition, and the fact that the base model gets seat heaters as standard.
So, what's the catch?
Well, even though there's still some time yet before pre-orders are taken, you may have already missed the boat. Many Nissan dealerships have confirmed that they have been approached by hundreds of interested parties, and with Australia's allocation of R35 GT-Rs numbering a lowly 200 for the first year of sale they may be already spoken for.
The other downside? Well, at $148,800 AUD for the base GT-R and $152,000 for the Premium, the Aussie-delivered cars aren't quite as cheap as those sold in Japan or the USA, where the GT-R sells for $95,347 and $99,217 AUD respectively. Is it still a performance bargain? Absolutely, but it still stings a little to know that other markets get it even cheaper.
Oh, and if you were thinking you'd just bring in a grey import GT-R instead, then you might want to think again: Nissan has also announced that it will refuse to extend parts and service support to any SEVS-complied R35s, meaning you won't be able to take advantage of any of the 11 specialised service workshops equipped by Nissan to work on the R35.
Considering the immense complexity of this machine and the highly specialised tools needed to maintain it, it's definitely a factor worth considering.
RETURN OF A LEGEND: ALL CONQUERING NISSAN GT-R ON SALE NEXT APRIL
Australiaâ€™s longest automotive wait is almost over.
The legendary Nissan that conquered Bathurst and the Nurburgring and the car so many Nissan fans have been anticipating, returns next April and will be available at a select group of 11 accredited â€œNissan High Performance Centreâ€ dealers.
The new Nissan GT-R supercar will be on show in Sydney for the first time when it takes centre stage at the 2008 Australian International Motor Show. Nissan will begin a pre-sell program and take orders from the first day of the show, October 9.
The GT-R will be available here in two grades â€“ GT-R and GT-R Premium. The GT-R is priced at $148,800 and the Premium grade model at $152,800. There will be a choice of six colours, Super Silver, Vibrant Red, Gun Metallic, Black
Obsidian, Titanium, and Ivory Pearl.
The supercar will feature true luxury performance equipment including a driver
configurable Multi-Function Meter which can display lateral G-forces plus acceleration and braking performance among 11 data screens available.
Premium grade adds smoke/grey forged 20-inch aluminium wheels, Nitrogen-filled
Bridgestone Potenza run-flat tyres, (over the standard modelâ€™s Dunlop SP Sport), a BOSE audio with 11 speakers and a 30 gigabyte hard drive; and front black leather sports seats with red Alcantara inserts.
The Nissan High Performance Centres, where the GT-R will be exclusively available, are spread strategically around the country to maximize service delivery.
They are located at:
NSW Campbelltown, Brookvale
VIC Ferntree Gully, Werribee
WA Melville, Wangara
QLD Moorooka, Southport, Mackay
Each of the 11 dealers had to meet exacting standards including the allocation of dedicated GT-R sales and service staff: installing specific technical service monitors to communicate with the GT-R â€œblack-boxâ€ data recorder and stocking nitrogen to maintain tyres.
Worldâ€™s First Independent AWD System
The GT-R is powered by a hand-built twin-turbo VR38DETT 3.8-litre V6 engine
delivering a mighty 353kW and 588Nm across a wide mid-range expanse from
3,200rpm to 5,200rpm. It also introduces the worldâ€™s first independent rear transaxle all-wheel drive system. The GR6 sequential six-speed has paddle shift control for the dual clutch rear transaxle, while drive to the wheels is via the electronically-controlled ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system.
Brembo Sports brakes are fitted all round, with six pistons in the front callipers
and four at the rear. There are full-floating drilled rotors clamped by low steel high
stiffness brake pads.
A Bilstein DampTronic suspension control system gives three selectable settings: Circuit, Normal and Comfort. The 20-inch front wheels are shod with 255/40ZF 20 tyres while the rears are fitted with 285/35ZF 20s, with all tyre pressures monitored electronically. An advanced hybrid body construction melds steel, die-cast aluminium and carbon fibre for strength, lightness and durability. The GT-R has a super low coefficient of drag of 0.27, while achieving high front and rear downforce.
The production Nissan GT-R has already won its spurs on the track with GT-R chief test driver Tochio Suzuki cracking the seven minutes 30 seconds barrier at the famed Nurburgring track earlier this year.
The car he drove was a standard specification model, fitted with standard Japanese
market tyres. Suzukiâ€™s lap time beat his previous fastest time for the GT-R by an amazing nine seconds, recorded in damp conditions.
By achieving a sub seven minutes 30 second lap time, the GT-R has proved it is
arguably the fastest mass-production car in the world. Nissan set out to build a multiperformance supercar accessible to anyone, anytime and anywhere â€“ and the GT-R delivered that promise.
Specification is comprehensive, as is to be expected from a vehicle of this standing. All models have a rear wing and carbon fibre rear diffuser, and a dark grey front grille. The standard equipment list features leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, adjustable steering column, high-back driverâ€™s sports seats, with six-way power adjustment for the driver and four-way power adjustment for passenger. Front seats are heated and there are aluminium interior trim accents.
An intelligent key system allows access to the car and integrates with the push-button for engine start and stop.
The Premium model adds black forged 20-inch aluminium wheels, Nitrogen-filled
Bridgestone Potenza Run-Flat tyres, BOSE audio system and front black leather sports seats with red leather inserts.
Safety equipment includes ABS with EBD, dual front, side and curtain airbags, while the sports-oriented dynamic stability system, VDC-R, is adjustable through Circuit, Normal and Off settings, selectable by the driver to suit prevailing conditions.
Nissan Australia expects local sales of the GT-R to reach around 200 units in its first year.
Nissan Australia Managing Director, Dan Thompson said, â€œWe are proud and
excited to see the GT-R back in Australian showrooms. It is a powerful tonic for the
Nissan brand and underlines our outstanding record as an authentic sports car and
performance car manufacturer.â€