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A decade ago, it would be considered sacrilegious for a sports car to be a hybrid, but now electrified powertrains are all the rage.
Faster and a Lot More Expensive
Ever since it burst onto the scene in 2008, the Nissan GT-R has been a force to be reckoned with.
Heralded and acclaimed as one of the greatest sports cars to ever come from Japan when it first debuted, Nissan has continued to give its famed GT-R model tweaks and changes over the years, making it even more formidable. To pay our respects to one of the greatest machines any automotive enthusiast can buy in today’s marketplace, AutoGuide has decided to take a look at the Nissan GT-R over the years, how it’s changed inside and out, along with its price tag.
This week, AutoGuide readers were glued to our 2014 Jaguar XK-R convertible review, while Nissan GT-R fans continued to check out more on the 2015 model along with the new GT-R NISMO from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Lastly, the Porsche Macan from the LA Auto Show is ranking high amongst new car shoppers.
Watch the videos below and subscribe to the AutoGuide YouTube channel here.
If there’s anything the Japanese enjoy more than cars, it’s video games and anime. For decades Japanese video game developers have been considered the best in the world with their creative story lines and video game development.
Rumors regarding the next-generation Nissan GT-R started surfacing late last month, perhaps hinting that there wouldn’t be a successor to the popular sports car. The GT-R’s chief engineer debunked those rumors though, and it appears that the automaker is planning for the next GT-R to debut in 2018.
What’s in a name? Out in Japan, the name ‘Fairlady’ goes a long way back in a storied sports car history; it belonged to the Datsun Fairlady which eventually became the Z models of today.
Nissan is out to prove a point on just how formidable the Club Track Edition GT-R is. This year, the Japanese automaker will bring a production version of the Club Track Edition GT-R to compete in the 24 hours at Nürburgring endurance race.
Nissan said that competing in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with a factory model GT-R will allow them to collect data to help improve the GT-R over the next five years. We’re sure that’s part of the reason, the other is clearly to prove how great the GT-R is in factory form.
Now skeptics will probably say it’s not a production model vehicle if Nissan so much as swaps its tires, but so long as they don’t touch the powerplant, suspension, or brakes with any modifications – it’s factory in our eyes. But no doubt Nissan is looking to play a little bit in the Europeans’ backyard, potentially trumping modified Porsches, BMWs, and Mercedes-Benz’s in a GT-R model that rolls off the dealership showroom floor.
Watch the video below of the Nissan team readying the GT-R for the race.
With the advent of hybrids and electric vehicles, many skeptics thought the age of high-performance sports car would die out. Reality couldn’t be any more different, as America has more than 70 cars on sale today that make 500-hp or more.
The number of vehicles pushing out 500-hp or more has nearly doubled in the last five years. What is more remarkable is more than a decade ago, there were just two vehicles in the club: the Ferrari 575M and the Lamborghini Murcielago. Now Ferrari alone has four models pushing out over 500-hp.
The ability to pump out so much horsepower has been aided by the leaps and bounds that engineering and technology has made over the last decade. Automakers are now able to equip their vehicles with smaller, more fuel efficient engines, which thanks to forced induction, can reliably crank out plenty of peak horsepower.
Recently, Nissan and NISMO announced its 2012 global motorsports program along with a video highlighting the joint companies past years of success.
For the 2012 season, the Japanese automaker will make their presence known worldwide in racing, competing in both the GT300 and GT500 classes in Super GT, in the European Le Mans Series, continue their support for the GT Academy program and endorse several series in North America including the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Four GT-Rs in total will compete in the Super GT GT500 class, fielded by MOLA, NISMO, Team Impul, and Kondo Racing. But more interesting is the GT-R competing in the GT300 class, where vehicles are limited to just 300-hp and will be fielding the likes of the Toyota Prius, Honda CR-Z, and Subaru BR-Z this year. And while the GT500 GT-R is powered by a V8, the GT300 GT-R will be more like the road vehicle but restricted down to 300-hp.
In America, Nissan will have their 370Z competing in the GS Class of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series; while the Altima Coupe will be seen in the ST Class. In the Pirelli World Challenge, a GT-R will be driven by Mike Skeen in the GT Class, while Rick Bushey, Greg Shaffer, and Brian Kleeman will be competing in the GTS Class behind the wheel of a 370Z.
We will also see the Nissan Titan and the Nissan Frontier competing in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the Off-Road Championship Series.
And as we mentioned previously, the GT-R will be competing in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship.
Watch the promotional video on the upcoming Nissan Motorsports season after the break.
Nissan Middle East is offering a special edition VVIP GT-R at an extravagant $266,000 (Dh977,000) price. That means this GT-R is more than double the normal MSRP, and with it you get some gaudy options including 24-karat gold trim.
Something like this probably wouldn’t ever fly in the American market, but it’s a different story in the Middle East. Apparently someone is willing eat the price for a glitzy Godzilla car. The GT-R VVIP features a specially-tuned Bose stereo system, 24-karat gold-plated side panels, front grille, and VVIP badges, and German leather that has been trimmed with a Japanese influence.
You might assume that the added cost comes with performance upgrades, but you would be wrong. The 3.8L twin-turbo engine will remain untouched with 550 horsepower, but something tells us the target market for the VVIP model aren’t performance-minded folks. There are 12 different interior color combinations available, quite a few more than what is offered in dealer showrooms.
Optional carbon ceramic brakes and titanium mufflers are included in the aforementioned price tag. Remove those options that are worth around $40,000 (Dh150,000) and you’re still sitting in one flashy performance car.
Nissan‘s Juke-R might just be one of the greatest project cars in all of automotive history, and the monster has finally hit the track at Silverstone with a video to prove it. The GTR-powered crossover did some laps out in England for journalists and it proves that the Juke-R is a formidable piece of machinery.
Despite the rain in the footage, it’s perfectly clear that the Juke-R can hold its own and the project can be deemed as successful. The crossover’s completely capable of accelerating, braking, turning and performing the duties of any track car with ease. And while most people are still anti-Juke based on its styling, there’s no denying you wouldn’t think twice about owning this Juke-R.
Check out the video below:
High End Performance is known around the nation for building some of the world’s top show cars while running a shop that supplies some of the rarest and highest quality parts around. But what sets them apart from the crowd is their custom, hand-crafted wide body kits that can see on many of their show cars. This matte orange Nissan GTR was spotted in the Eneos booth, and is arguably the best creation to come out of High End to date.
High End owner Ben Abutin is known for meticulously hand-crafting custom widebody kits for his customers. And we’re digging everything about this GT-R from bumper to bumper. The front bumper does a fantastic job in flowing with the GTR’s headlights, while the widebody almost looks factory. The car then headed over to DTM Autobody to gets it body sprayed a nice, bright matte orange that fits in perfectly with Eneos.
Based on the logos on the car, it looks like this GTR sports suspension from Cusco, carbon fiber accents from Seibon while the HRE Wheels are wrapped with Falken Tire rubber. We’re sure we’ll be seeing more of this GTR now that it’s made its official debut at SEMA 2011.
GALLERY: Eneos / High End Performance Nissan GTR
The folks over at PistonHeads.com headed to Silverstone to catch up with Kazutoshi Mizuno, otherwise known as the father of the GT-R. Mizuno spent some time detailing the improvements the 2012 Nissan GT-R (2013 U.S.-spec model) sports, and how he anticipates it to be a very noticeable difference to the car’s performance.
For 2012, the GT-R will receive a nice increase in power, though no figure has been set in stone. The estimates are to be around 550-hp while the right-hand-drive markets will receive an asymmetric suspension setup. The suspension is designed to counterbalance the extra 110-lbs of the steering assemblies. Minor revisions were also made to the front end, slightly improving steering.
And while all these changes are probably very minor and unnoticeable to the everyday person, Nissan claims that the 2012 car was faster throughout the track at Silverstone and because of that data, Mizuno believes that the 2012 GT-R could be 7-8 seconds faster than the 2011 lap time of 7 minutes and 24 seconds.
To put this into perspective, the current production car Nurburgring record holder is the Viper ACR with a 7:12 time.
There will also be an announcement of a Track Pack for the 2012 GT-R which will include Spec-V style interior, racing seats with high friction fabric, upgraded brakes and a sport exhaust. Mizuno also teased about the possibility of expanding the GT-R model line.
GALLERY: 2012 Nissan GT-R
Outlandish engine swaps are usually a fool’s errand that cost far more time and money than most people ever expect. Of course, if you’re a major automaker with endless financial and mechanical resources behind you, you can do whatever you want.
When Nissan set out to create the Juke-R, considerations like “budget”, “space” and “access to materials” didn’t matter. Since they had a Juke, a spare Nissan GT-R and a full workship at their disposal, they were able to go buck wild. Fitting the GT-R drivetrain into the Juke required serious work far beyond the pale of even an experienced hobby mechanic, but we’ll let the video explain how it all went down.
Hit the jump to see the official video
Over at kickstarter.com, ideas are brewing, looking for your hard-earned dollars to make dreams a reality. BlueDrone has come up with a concept to allow remote controlled cars to be, well, remotely controlled through Bluetooth technology. Stephen Mark is the founder of the concept, and hopes to produce many 1:20-scale Nissan GT-R Bluetooth-controlled (BC?) cars.
The idea of it is simple, allowing the owner to control their RC car through the use of an Android phone or tablet. Through the smartphone’s touchscreen or accelerometer, the owner will be able to zip and zoom through any parking lot of course with just their phone. The RC car requires 3 AA batteries to operate, and battery life can log three hours.
The cost to make this product a mass-produced reality? Mark’s looking for $200,000 in pledges – a lofty goal, for sure. But for $59, it’ll lock you a spot in line for the GT-R and the app once the project is complete, if he gets there.
Check out a promo video of the RC car after the break.
If you’re like us, you cringe at the idea of handing your keys over to a valet. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a Toyota Prius or a Lamborghini Gallardo, the thought of some random person driving your car is a scary one.
Unfortunately the owner of this Nissan GT-R from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia most certainly wishes he (or she) hadn’t. As is obvious from the photos, this GT-R was flipped on top of another car thanks to the handiwork of said valet driver.
It’s actually a little perplexing looking at the photos to try to figure out what caused the accident other than an overzealous driver getting behind the wheel of serious horsepower. Once they were able to get their car back on its four wheels, the devastation is a little heartbreaking and hopefully the driver was OK and learned a lesson. We’re certain the GT-R owner learned a good lesson too.
GALLERY: Valet Crashes Nissan GT-R
[Source: Zero to Hundred]
It’s hard to believe that the Nissan GT-R is nearing the end of its life cycle, but its introduction in 2007 means that the car will be in production for nearly 6 years, and it will be time for an updated model.
Before the next GT-R debuts, the current R35 model will go out with a bang, as Nissan is reportedly planning a power bump to 560 horsepower, a 30 horsepower increase over the current Japanese-market Spec V model. Also planned is a Spec R model, with a weight savings of as much as 88 pounds, but development of this car was reportedly disrupted by Japan’s natural disasters in March.
Engineers were said to be preparing prototypes for shipment to the Nurburgring race track in Germany, but the earthquake and tsunami forced them to push back plans for a May test date. Rumors state that testing should resume sometime around September, but we won’t hold our breath.
Despite being an ultra-niche vehicle, interest in the Nissan GT-R always remains strong, and car enthusiasts have been fretting about whether Japan’s natural disasters have impacted production of the revised GT-R.
According to an interview with David Reuter, Nissan Americas vice president of communications, supplies of the GT-R are safe, with roughly 70 percent of North America’s allocation on the ground already. “There are no shortages of anything specific at this point,” he told Inside Line. “As we work through the final assessments, we’ll have a better idea if we have any dips to smooth over with individual vehicle lines.”
Reuter also confirmed that the Nissan LEAF is safe, with 1,500 cars either in transit or at the port. Infiniti vehicles, which are all built in Japan, are considered most at risk for production disruption, but Reuter said that a 50-day supply of vehicles exists.
While companies like Nissan have emerged unscathed, General Motors announced major cutbacks at plants in Spain and Germany due to a shortage of Japanese made parts. While Japan’s automakers may be sending a positive message for now, the long-term situation could potentially get much worse due to factors beyond the control of the auto industry.
[Source: Inside Line]
Given the recent events in Japan, it may not be entirely surprising that there are greater priorities than building fast supercars. As such, shipments of the 2012 Nissan GT-R to America have been delayed as the country struggles to rebuild after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Nissan North America reports that there is a “sufficient supply” of 2012 GT-Rs that have already been shipped to the US, but would not reveal precisely how many. The 2012 GT-R officially went on sale a few weeks ago. The Tochigi Plant, where the GT-R is built, has reported some damage to the building and equipment, and has suspended operations until Friday.
Nissan issued a statement on Monday declaring that “some Infiniti models and Nissan GT-R and 370Z may experience delays in shipment to the U.S. and Canada, with full impact still being assessed,” but their plans for the New York Auto Show are still on schedule.
A shipment of 600 Nissan Leafs left Japan just before the earthquake, and are on their way to the US safely, just in time to help fulfill its massive demand.
[Source: Inside Line]
The 2012 Nissan GTR is getting more than just cosmetic changes. According to the NAGTROC, the 2012 variant of Godzilla will get a revised chassis and suspension along with a “RWD mode”.
The front strut towers have been stiffened, for a more rigid chassis, while the brake rotors are 10mm larger up front. New spring rates, dampers and caster settings will help the handling, along with lighter, forged Rays Engineering wheels. A new tire package from Dunlop will help transfer all that power and grip to the pavement, while an option for Recaro seats (from the Spec-V model) will help keep you in place.
The most interesting option is the 2WD mode, which can turn the car into a rear-drive only machine. The 2wd mode can be activated by pressing the “fuel save” switch for more than 4 seconds, but somehow, we have a feeling that economy will not be the main objective of this kind of driving.
Automotive News, not generally known for its “enthusiast content” published a blog about Germany’s famed 13-mile Nurburgring race track, and how car companies are touting their ‘Ring times more and more in their advertising campaigns. We can’t help but wonder how many cars will be sold on that basis, and whether it’s worth paying attention to Nurburgring lap times anymore.
Hit the jump for more
Porsche is requesting that Nissan remove billboards in the United Kingdom featuring an unauthorized usage of Porsche’s famous crest emblem. While Porsche is within its legal rights to crack down on Nissan for an unauthorized use of a Porsche trademark, Nissan has been mounting a series of guerrilla marketing campaigns designed to poke fun at German brands such as Audi, BMW and Porsche.
While Nissan’s billboards display slogans with puns like “The Winner Hans Down”, problems arose when Nissan displayed vehicles with the Porsche crest (and other emblems) next to a simulated “kill count”, similar to a WWII fighter plane, showing how many “kills” the Nissan vehicles have recorded on the Nurburgring.
Porsche was understandably mad, and challenged Nissan on the legality of their campaign. “The problem arose with them using our Porsche crests,” said Andrea Baker, head of public relations at Porsche. “They are our property and we do not give permission to any company to use our crests without our permission. This applies to any company.”
[Source: The Guardian]