Photos of a masked Nissan GT-R lapping the Nürburgring last fall received more hits on the Internet than Miss USA did after a night out on the town. The reason: Despite its expected price tag of about $70,000, the GT-R will be the most alluring Japanese sports machine to come our way since the Acura NSX in the mid-1990s. Previously sold only in Japan, the GT-R (Skyline GT-R as it was formerly known) has been an icon to boy racers and aftermarket tuners alike since the R32 appeared in 1989. The upcoming version, which will hit dealer showrooms in late 2007 or early 2008, will be the first model marketed worldwide, thus the first official version available in the U.S. Nissan has remained mum regarding this sixth-generation model, but we have discovered some interesting new tidbits about the car.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed that the GT-R will be built in Japan. The chassis will be assembled in the company's Tochigi factory while the powerplant will be produced at its Yokohama engine plant. The official logo for the car has also been released. As for the performance of the GT machine, here's what we know so far.
Power will come from a 3.7-liter version of Nissan's VQ powerplant. A pair of turbochargers will help it produce about 450 bhp and 360 lb.-ft. of torque. Because longtime fans of the GT-R are accustomed to more output via aftermarket tuning, Nissan has seemingly left some room on the table for buyers wanting to increase the power of their GT-Rs.
Stock boost pressure will be limited to about 10 psi, but we hear that the engine is capable of handling a lot more. A tamer version of this V-6, codenamed VQ37HR-TT, will make its way into the upcoming Infiniti G35 Coupe. Key differences between the engines are that the GT-R's VQ will have the twin turbochargers, lighter pistons and connecting rods, as well as a beefed-up crankshaft. Other custom parts may make their way into the engine, including racing profile camshafts and new valvetrain. It will come mated to a Getrag 6-speed transmission or a paddle-shift sequential automatic with seven or eight gears.
The GT-R will have awesome stopping power, especially if it wears the same brakes spotted during testing at the Ring. Gold-colored Brembo calipers sparkled in the sun as the GT-R attacked the famed Nordschleife. Upon closer inspection, the fronts appeared to be 6-pot calipers. As for the car's handling, we're pretty sure that it will be all-wheel drive, with a new version of Nissan's ATTESA system. For the record, the car had little trouble negotiating the Carousel at more than 110 mph. Its lap times were reported to be around 8 minutes flat, quite impressive for a test mule on a somewhat crowded track. Could it match or eclipse the Porsche 911 Turbo's time in the 7-minute-40-second range in an all-out effort? The answer awaits us in just a few months.