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AWD, twin turbo 480PS/588 Nm engine and 6-speed twin clutch gearbox 
New Nissan GT-R: the 300 km/h supercar
With user-friendly high tech and... finesse

2008 Nissan GT-R front driving shot.

This time, Nissan's GT-R will be sold around the world.

30 October 2007.

What does Nissan mean when it describes its all-new GT-R, one of the rare cars to arouse such an interest anywhere in the world - in a showroom, on the road or simply in a browser's favourite / bookmark - as: an ultimate supercar for anyone, anywhere, at anytime?

By anyone, Nissan means that drivers of all abilities can enjoy its performance, from racing drivers to amateurs of particularly exceptional sports car. Although it is going to be significantly cheaper than other supercars, this anyone should of course afford about US$ 70,000 to buy it.

Anywhere refers to the GT-R development around the world, from the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, to Nissan's high-speed hot weather circuit in Arizona, to the snowy roads of Michigan. Anywhere means also that with its four-wheel drive system, the GT-R should be at home on dry Tarmac, snow and on wet rainy roads.

Another meaning for anywhere: unlike previous GT-R generations, the new one will be sold in both right- and left-hand drive forms around the world, including North America and mainland Europe. After its Japanese launch on December 6th, with prices starting from ¥7,770,000 (nearly US$68,000), it will reach U.S. showrooms in June 2008. It should reach most parts of the world during the 2008 fiscal year (from 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009).

2008 Nissan GT-R back driving shot

The new body is not derived from a production sedan or coupe.

Finally, anytime implies that GT-R is as capable on hot summer days as snowy winter ones, by day or at night.

Heritage and targets - GT-R history started with the PGC10 GT-R in 1969. However, the new body is not derived from a production sedan or coupe, but is one of a kind, the first in GT-R history (the last GT-R was based on the Skyline).

Landmark features carried over from the GT-R design heritage are the edgy box-shape of the PGC10 GT-R, the four round tail lamps of the KPGC110 GT-R (1973), and the grille opening of the R34 GT-R (1999), a symbolic cooling feature in the design.

2008 Nissan GT-R side driving shot.

Has to handle straight-line stability even over 300 km/h.

In all cases, the new GT-R inherits the tradition of being Nissan's technology flagship in dynamic performance and active safety, as well as environmental- friendliness.

Moreover, the new GT-R sets another target: the creation of a new supercar market. Traditionally, specific roads, weather conditions and driving techniques put supercars in a market for a very limited class of users. Nissan developed the new GT-R as a supercar that offers speed and fuel efficiency, power and clean air flow, high performance and safety.

2008 Nissan GT-R dashboard.

2008 Nissan GT-R front seats.

2008 Nissan GT-R back seats.

The driver's seat is height and rake-adjustable and the steering wheel also has a wide range of adjustments. The rear seats are more 'occasional' seats than full-size chairs. Comfortable for many adults on short journeys, they are better for children or for carrying bags, jackets and other goods.

The body is made with a combination of advanced steels, carbon fibre and aluminium, to provide both stiffness and lightness. It uses a Premium Midship package, an all-new platform which enables the use of the world’s first application of an independent transaxle 4WD system. The transaxle’s layout places the dual-clutch transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle (instead of the usual front location), offering better front-to-rear weight balance while enhancing leg and foot space and allowing for an optimal pedal layout.

Carbon fibre 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 strength, especially in any front-end impact.

Carbon fibre is also used for the rear aerodynamic diffuser undertray. Special fibreglass is used for the engine undertray, and helps give the Nissan GT-R a virtually flat bottom, further improving aerodynamics. Cd is an excellent 0.27 and that's matched to good downforce, crucial on a high-performance car).

Engine - Under the hood, the brand new 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 VR38DETT engine is specially developed for the Nissan GT-R. It produces 480PS (353kW, 473 bhp) at 6400rpm and maximum torque of 60kg/m (588Nm, 434 lb/ft) from 3200 to 5200rpm. This makes the Nissan GT-R one of the most powerful Japanese road cars and the most powerful production car ever built by Nissan.

The engine features plasma-sprayed bores and special twin IHI turbochargers. A secondary air management system helps providing approximately 40kg/m of torque (392 Nm, 289 lb/ft) during ordinary low-rev driving, with an optimum air-fuel ratio for around-town efficiently and helps GT-R meet ultra-low emission vehicle (U-LEV) standards in Japan. It features an air pump which promotes a faster catalyst reaction

2008 Nissan GT-R powertrain (top view)

Independent transaxle 4WD system: the transaxle’s layout places the dual-clutch transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, offering better front-to-rear weight balance while enhancing leg and foot space and allowing for an optimal pedal layout.

The plasma-coated cylinder liner bores are just 0.15mm thick, compared with conventional cast iron liners of 2.6mm. They are better at dissipating heat, improving efficiency and they're lighter, saving about 3 kg in a V6 engine. To ensure sufficient lubrication of the sprayed-on cylinder liner in the aluminium block, special synthetic engine oil is used: Mobil-1 RP OW-40.

Nissan considers its GT-R as the "world's most efficient supercar in balancing speed, acceleration and fuel consumption", and gives the official fuel consumption rate (Japanese specifications) of 8.2 km per litre, which is the equivalent of 19.29 US mpg, 23.15 UK mpg, or 12.2 litres/100 km.

2008 Nissan GT-R instruments dials.

Circular analogue instruments, ringed in bezels.

The engine has an oil cooler system and in extreme cornering, a scavenger pump maintains turbocharger oil flow. The oil collecting structure inside the engine is optimised by a lateral wet and dry sump system, which helps secure stable oil collecting and maintains pressure in various driving scenes.

A collector tank inside the fuel tank always stores enough fuel to maintain fuel flow even under strong g forces.

The engines, like the transmissions, are all hand made. One craftsman hand-assembles the entire engine. The dedicated engine builders work in a special Nissan GT-R 'clean room' area of Nissan's Yokohama plant.

2008 Nissan GT-R gearstick and start-stop button.

Shift lever selector and red start / Stop button.

Transmission - The Nissan GT-R uses an all-new GR6-type transmission, exclusively developed for the car. Unlike an automatic transmission with conventional torque converter, the six-speed twin clutch gearbox has minimum power loss to improve response and fuel economy.

The shift lever selector positions (opposite photo) are Park, Reverse, Neutral, Automatic or Manual, and manual gear shifts are via paddles directly behind the steering wheel.

M Mode - In M range (for manual transmission mode), the paddle shift gives very quick changes, maintaining the turbo boost, so acceleration is one strong powerful seamless burst.

2008 Nissan GT-R paddle shift.

Manual gear shifts via paddles behind the steering wheel.

The twin clutches contribute 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.

R Mode - When R mode, the sportiest setting is chosen on the set-up switch, a computerised control predicts the driver's next gear change, based on throttle opening, vehicle speed, braking and other information.

2008 Nissan GT-R setup switch.

Set-up switch allows the driver to select different settings.

A Mode - In A (automatic transmission) mode, the car changes gear automatically, in the most fuel efficient manner. Higher gears are used whenever possible, benefiting from the massive 588 Nm of torque, and its long and flat torque curve. Nissan says the car can be driven in sixth gear for long periods at low speeds, and still offers good throttle response.

Four-wheel drive - The new Nissan GT-R is naturally rear-drive biased. However, its all-wheel drive system (ATTESA E-TS) distributes power to the front wheels when and if necessary. Up to 50 percent of torque can be fed forward, improving traction in difficult conditions - such as rain, frost, ice or snow. Front drive is also utilised to improve cornering performance on Tarmac, improving traction and stability.

2008 Nissan GT-R steering wheel.

Sports steering wheel: 60mm tilt and telescopic adjustments.

A special 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 and other road surface and yaw rate.

On the new Nissan GT-R an additional sensor is the yaw-rate feedback control, 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 corrected accordingly.

The four-wheel drive system includes a Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R), the Nissan GT-R's electronic stability control system. It 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.

2008 Nissan GT-R front suspension.

2008 Nissan GT-R back suspension.

Front (top) and rear (above) suspension.

An E-TS electronic traction control  system is also fitted to rear mechanical limited slip differentials, preventing wheel spin and improving grip. The E-TS and rear final drive with limited slip differential are both integrated into the compact and light rear transaxle. The input/output shafts are placed diagonally to get a flat transmission while lowering the car's centre of gravity.

Suspension - Nissan says the new type of suspension of its GT-R offers "excellent straight-line stability, even over 186 mph (300 km/h), plus top-class handling and braking in all situations - from urban commutes, to snowy and slushy roads, to the racetrack". It is designed around the new 'Premium Mid-ship' package.

Light and very strong die cast aluminium is used for the front suspension strut housings, and the rigid cross brace members for both front and rear suspension to further improve rigidity. 

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.

2008 Nissan GT-R Bilstein DampTronic suspension, front.

2008 Nissan GT-R Bilstein DampTronic suspension, rear.

Bilstein front/rear dampers developed for the GT-R.

In R mode, the Bilsteins provide 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 speed, steering angle speed, demand torque, estimate torque, engine rpm, brake fluid pressure, normal acceleration, ABS anti-lock braking behaviour and vehicle stop information.

Brakes - GT-R features large front and rear Brembo fully ventilated drilled steel disc brakes. Full floating rotors stabilise braking while also preventing heat distortion. The inner parts have diamond-shaped ventilated ribs, to ease cooling. They are also cross drilled to run as cool as possible.

Brembo monoblock six-piston callipers are used in front and rear four piston type. To generate strong braking force and prevent calliper distortion, racing-style three bolt structures are used.

2008 Nissan GT-R brake disc and calliper, front.

2008 Nissan GT-R brake disc and calliper, rear.

Front (left) / rear Brembo ventilated and drilled disc brakes.

On an uphill gradient, which the car automatically recognises, the GT-R's Hill Start Assist system maintains brake pressure for about two seconds after the release of the brake pedal, making hill starts easy.

Tyres - Tyres are specially developed by Bridgestone and Dunlop for the GT-R, to offer a combination of high-speed balance, high-grip cornering on racing circuits, great traction in the rain and comfort in the city. The run-flat structures allow for 50 miles (80km) of driving at 50 mph (80 km/h).

2008 Nissan GT-R side scoop.

Front wing ending with a side scoop for better colling.

Normally, run-flat tyres have very hard sidewalls, to maintain tyre shape after a puncture. The Nissan GT-R's tyres have unusually pliant sidewalls, improving steering, agility and ride comfort. They are filled with nitrogen rather than conventional air, which prevent pressure change during high speed driving.

Dimensions are 255/40ZRF20 at the front with larger 285/35ZRF20 at the rear. The 20-inch alloy wheel rims have special knurling to secure the tyres during very hard acceleration or braking.

Specially designed Studless tyres for the GT-R are also available through selected Nissan dealers in Japan.

Exterior – The design bears a close resemblance to the GT-R Proto of the 2005 Tokyo Show. GT-R’s low coefficient of drag of 0.27 enhances fuel efficiency, but is also balanced with effective front and rear down-force, for a better grip in all weather situations.

The pillars are quite upright, emphasising that this is not an impractical low-slung supercar. 

2008 Nissan GT-R c-pillar, taillights and rear spoiler.

Upright pillars, unlike an impractical low-slung supercar.

Design director Shiro Nakamura says that the mission was to achieve a supercar, not a normal fast car, and that functionality has to be core to the GT-R. Not too low, to keep it easy to get in and out of, with good visibility and easy driving.

Nakamura adds: "It is clearly not an Italian, German or American car - it is unmistakably Japanese. It is very mechanical, almost like an animated robot... The previous R34 GT-R had the same image. It's like you could be playing this car on a video game... 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 beauty".

The front bumpers "aero-blades" on the leading edges provide airflow around the tyres and along the body. The scoop in the bumper trailing edges assists in providing front down-force and optimisation of side airflow.

New "super wide beam" headlights feature three additional sub-reflectors (compared to conventional lights) to give a wider spread to the illumination area (see safety section below).

2008 Nissan GT-R rear diffuser.

Carbon fibre for the rear aerodynamic diffuser undertray.

At the rear, there are the four round tail lamps mirrored in the four round exhausts directly below. Advanced technology comes also in GT-R’s paint – which utilises a double clear coat and anti-chipping process and is hand-polished.

Interior Design and instruments - The cabin gets sculpted performance bucket seats and soft pads on the lower portion of the instrument panel and doors to give an extra level of comfort and safety.

A special set-up switch located in the centre of the instrument panel, enables the driver to adjust transmission shifts, shock absorbers and the Vehicle Dynamic Control in three settings – Normal, Comfort or R, the high-performance setting (see suspension above).

A high-speed, high-capacity CARWINGS navigation system is available in Japan, with a 30GB hard disk drive, featuring an easy-to-use touch pad, as well as traditional navigation switches. The screen interface features also an entertainment system with a Music Box hard drive, DVD and CD player, and Bluetooth audio function.

Like the exterior, Nissan GT-R's interior is meant to be stylish but highly functional too. The cabin shares no major components or design features with any other Nissan model. Instruments are directly in front of the driver. The circular analogue instruments are ringed in chunky bezels and there is a tachometer red-lined at 7000rpm. Within the tachometer is an easy-to-see gearshift position display.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset 1.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset 1, boost.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset 2, multi-view.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset A, acceleration, G-force.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset B, deceleration, brake G.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset C, steering, cornering G force.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset D, gear position and engine map indicator.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset E, fuel economy graphic.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset F, time log and speed.

2008 Nissan GT-R multi-function display, preset G, drivers notes, list.

Multi-function display details the driving conditions.

Multi-Function Display - The multi-function display in the centre of the dash, gives a detailed log of the driving behaviour (details follow).

The design of the multi-function display, which also includes the satellite navigation and audio controls, was done in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc, designer of the Gran-Turismo video game series for Sony PlayStation.

The multi-function display useful information includes (see opposite photos):

Mechanical information - including engine water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, transmission oil temperature, transmission oil pressure, turbocharger boost and front/rear torque split. In every case an individual reading can be highlighted or several different functions can be shown in the multifunction window.

Driving information - including accelerator opening, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and g-force both longitudinally and transversely. An on-board driving recorder also logs driving performance and can be a useful tool in improving driving technique.

Optimal gearshift map is shown for fuel efficiency. It shows best gearshift points using easy-to-understand graphics, and includes both enthusiastic and urban driving. The monitor also shows a log of eco-driving over the previous 20 minutes.

Driving records - including routes used and time duration.

The system is easy to use thanks to both a rotary selector switch, as well as it being a touch screen.

In the centre of the dashboard, below the multi-function display, is a cluster angled towards the driver. It contains switches for the air conditioning, audio and set-up switches, used to change the tuning of components including dampers, gear shift and VDC.

The centre console, contains a red start button, leather shift lever (the same leather used for the steering wheel) and parking brake. The steering wheel is small and trimmed in soft hand-stitched leather.

Seating - Seats are especially designed for the Nissan GT-R. They're heavily side bolstered for lateral support and comfort. To relax the lower legs during longer drives, the front edge of the seat is unusually flat; it also makes getting into and out of the seat easier.

Nissan claims that its GT-R has the greatest range of seat adjustment of any supercar, to ensure that virtually all drivers can get comfortable behind the wheel. The driver's seat is designed so that anyone from 144cm to 190cm will feel comfortable behind the wheel. The seat slide is long (228mm), the seat is height and rake-adjustable and the steering wheel also has a wide range of adjustments (60mm tilt, 60mm telescopic).

Like many high-performance four-seat coupes, the rear seats are more 'occasional' seats than full-size chairs. Though comfortable for most adults on short journeys, they are better for children or for carrying bags, jackets and other goods.

The centre console sweeps through the middle of the cabin, dividing left and right rear seats. Between the seats there is the provision for optional two BOSE sound system woofers.

The trunk is large  for the GT-R category (VDA: 315L), big enough for two sets of golf bags or for substantial holiday luggage. Luggage space is further improved by the car's run-flat tyres which eliminate the need for a spare tyre in the trunk.

2008 Nissan GT-R boot / trunk.

Boot / trunk volume of 315 litres, good for the GT-R category.

The seats have three colour schemes: black, black with red highlight or grey.

Navigation, audio and video -  The navigation system uses the same screen as the multi-function meter, with a 30 GB hard disk drive to speed route searches. It also includes an entertainment system capable of recording up to 3000 songs (from music imported from CDs) as well as playing DVDs.

The high resolution screen with newly developed WVGA (wide video graphics array) high resolution display is a liquid crystal monitor that has four times the number of pixels of a conventional satellite navigation screen. Innovative 3D graphics can depict streetscapes and junctions with more accuracy than conventional displays. The system can be controlled via a rotary switch or its touch-screen display. There is also voice command and a steering wheel switch.

2008 Nissan GT-R center cluster controls for audio, TV, automatic climate control, setup switch.

Automatic climate control, 30GB system for audio/video...

The 30GB system also allows for a rich entertainment system. It provides various music selection functions, can play DVD audio and video as well as music from memory CF cards, WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MP3 formats. By using a Bluetooth transmitter, it can wirelessly connect and play music from an iPod. Wireless connection also allows hands-free cellular phone calls.

A digital TV tuner allows occupants to watch TV on the high definition screen.

Specially developed for the new Nissan GT-R by BOSE and Nissan engineers, the sound system is matched to the acoustic requirements of the cabin, including shapes and materials. The 11-speaker system includes tweeters (high frequency range), squawkers (mid range) and woofers (low frequency). There are also two woofers in the rear centre armrest facing forward. The layout uses the trunk for speaker enclosure. The rear centre woofers and door speakers are mounted in rigid aluminium die cast panels, which improve sound quality, especially with tight bass sounds.

2008 Nissan GT-R LED taillights.

4 round tail lamps heritage from the KPGC110 GT-R (1973).

The built-in DC-DC converter enables voltage to be amplified from the ordinary 12 volts to 52 V, realising a higher output. The new PWM amplifier (switching amplifier) balances high output, high efficiency, and light weight.

Standard safety equipment includes driver and front passenger SRS airbag system, front seat belts with load limiters and three-point rear seat belts. Curtain Air Bag System are also offered. Standard equipment includes also a pop-up engine hood system for enhanced pedestrian safety.

The door inners are also made from die cast aluminium, enhancing side impact safety protection.

2008 Nissan GT-R super wide beam headlight.

Nissan says that after investigating active headlamps that turn in the same direction as the steering wheel, it concluded that the super wide beam headlamps did a better job in a high performance car.

To improve active safety, the new GT-R is fitted with new super wide beam headlamps that give a better spread than normal sports car headlamps. Nissan says that after investigating active headlamps that turn (usually up to 15°) in the same direction as the steering wheel, it concluded that the super wide beam headlamps did a better job in a high performance car - largely because they provide a better light spread in high-speed straight-line driving. They also offer unmatched light spread in dark cities, on winding roads, and on pedestrian crossings.

Nissan adds that compared with conventional lights, the GT-R lamps have three additional sub-reflectors, enhancing the illumination area. They 'turn night into day' more effectively than any current headlamp design, giving unmatched night visibility.

The new GT-R has an advanced anti-theft security system. In addition to the usual vehicle-entry detection sensor, a further sensor detects vehicle inclination. So if the vehicle is towed away, or inclined for any reason (such as to steal tyres or wheels), the alarm sounds.

The engine immobiliser 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 an intelligent key, the system disables use of a mechanical key or door knobs inside the vehicle to unlock. This prevents forced entry by handling door knobs inside the vehicle to unlock.

A wheel lock nut helps preventing theft of the alloy wheels.

Manufacturing - All Nissan GT-Rs are built in Nissan's Tochigi factory in Japan, where Infiniti models are built. Much of the assembly is done by hand, reflecting the complex nature of the vehicle and its hand crafted precision. Each car has a conducted 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. The vehicle is fully inspected before customer delivery.

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