• Sep 11, 2007
The upcoming Nissan GT-R is already a streetbound race car, but rather than just toss the tasty-enough VK V8 in the engine bay and call it a day, Nissan's going all out with an engine befitting an actual racer. The VK45 was rumored to be the engine for the GT-R, but Nissan felt its overall style was more Grand Touring than was appropriate, so they reached back into history and pulled out a little number from the R390 LeMans racer.

Follow the jump for the story. Thanks to Chuck for the tip!

[Source: 7Tune]

The R390 sported a 3.5 liter V8 known as the VRH35L, which was essentially recreated as a V6 production engine in the form of the upcoming GT-R's VR38VETT. Even though it loses two cylinders, it gains 300cc of displacement, for a total of 3.8 liters. Oh yeah, there's a couple of turbochargers thrown in for good measure, too. Despite the amount of air it can pump, the VR38 is a compact mill with lots of trick touches. Among the most interesting features, and probably the ones that tuners will hate the most, are the integrated turbine housings in the exhaust manifolds. Having the impellers right in the manifold keeps weight down and improves response, while also making the overall package more compact and thus easier to nestle down into the frame. Each cylinder bank has its own independent intake manifold, which is the main thing you see when lifting the hood. The cylinders fed by that plumbing are occupied by lightened pistons, which are in turn flung around by svelte connecting rods and crankshaft, too. Cosworth had a hand in engineering the engine, which has an alloy block with linerless bores, plenty of magnesium alloy pieces, an oiling system capable of coping with high g's, and an eagerness to rev in a way 3800ccs usually aren't.

The GT-R will be impressive when it debuts in just a couple of months, and from the numbers, it looks like it'll give a Porsche 911 Turbo quite a run for its (big pile of) money. The horsepower figure for both cars is 480ps, and while the GT-R gives up some torque to the Porsche, the GT-R rips off equally quick dashes to 100 km/h (3.9 seconds) and has been designed with vehicular balance as an overarching theme. While the chassis of the GT-R can handle more power, Nissan's considerable Group C racing experience showed that cars with better balance are faster than horsepower champs. With a front engine/AWD layout, it'll be less a widowmaker than the 911, which can get wiggly at times. How's this sound – performance equal to (and potentially better) than the 911 Turbo for half the price (7.9 million Yen versus 18.2 million Yen)? Yeah, we thought so. Besides, the GT-R isn't stuck in some kind of iconoclastic styling purgatory the way the 911 is.


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  • 58 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      If i'm looking at the chart after the read link right then it looks like the GT-R is 6MT only, or else they are not considering their paddle shifted sequentel manual an 'auto' box. I really hope for a 3rd pedal! I just refuse to lust after this beast anymore if it's an auto and will wait for someone else to get the recipe right.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It says "sequential" after the "6MT", if that helps.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Luxury or not, for $70k, I want a better interior.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is one fundamental truth about the GT-R. Its a techno-geek's dream, and a pushrod lovin' american v8 huggin boy's worst nightmare. I love BOTH the Corvette AND the GTR. I see TONS of tuning potential for the GTR simply because Nissan has been exemplary in building the engines (the legendary RB series) in these cars that are BOMB proof. More of these engines punch out 600, 700 and even higher in a few cases on the stock bottom end. Newer Corvettes have begun using higher rated parts in recent years, especially the z06. ALl things equal, I'd take the GTR. All wheel drive, a turbo motor and every gizmo and gadget that I could think of packed under the hood. A Z06 is a great car, and stock for stock will probably outperform the GTR. But to say "no doubtedly" or "obviously" to the performance numbers, I would say most of you corvette boys are in for a shock.
      • 7 Years Ago
      now this i never understand

      if you care so much about practicality, then why would you be buying a 480 hp 80k sports car?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "now this i never understand

        if you care so much about practicality, then why would you be buying a 480 hp 80k sports car?"

        Plain and simple...1) cause I want to, and 2) cause my wife won't let me get a 2-seater. She'll let me get anything as long as we can fit my son in it. Yes, I do wear the pants....but she carries the wallet. :)

      • 7 Years Ago
      yeah only low iq people shop at walmart and eat at sonics?!? i'm an import driver (not saying i'm smarter then anyone, it is just my PREFERENCE) and i eat at sonics and shop at walmart all the time. if you are so pathetic that you are buying a non-american car because you believe it will be you an upper class image, you are pretty retarded. Yes, the corvette is an american car, but its $60k. its not random people that own such a car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i wonder how much attention will be placed on the ride comfort of this beast? :o wouldnt want it to have those in the 350z with thin paddings >.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ok, let's set the record straight here and touch on a few points.

      This is not a Corvette.
      This is not a Camero.
      This is not a Porsche.

      It's a GT-R!

      That said, this car is going to do great at the dealers, with Nissan pushers clamouring over the limited number that will actually come to North America (yes, there are two other countries on this continent that buy cars too!).

      When you really think about it, there is not much competition in our market for this car. You may not agree, but I think the new STi and (hopefully, if it arrives) the new Evolution. Even though these are bumped up econoboxes, they basically have the same type of drivetrain and they appeal to the same kind of people.

      A Corvette lover is not going to go to a GM dealership, look at the new 'Blue Devil', rub his/her chin, and say to themselves, 'I think I am going to visit the Nissan dealer and see what-the-happenens-goin'-on.' Same vice versa.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Z06 = NA 7.0L V8
        GT-R = TT 3.5L V6

        Now, assuming you aren't driving 100 mph through city traffic everyday, I am willing to bet that the GT-R would get better MPG than the Z06. I bet it would even do better than the regular Corvette.

        The all-wheel drivetrain in the GT-R is not going to be like that of a normal 4x4 SUV or diesel pickup. The components will be lighter weight, though strong, thus causing less drivetrain power loss. The less weight you have in rotational mass the better MPG you are going to get.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, people cross-shop high performance vehicles. But, you aren't going to see someone cross-shop a 350Z with the new Dodge Challenger.

        And you illustrated my point perfectly...

        "if this thing drove better (i dont believe it will) then i would get it."

        In your eyes, the Corvette would drive better than the GT-R because you are looking for something with brute force power. The GT-R is not going to be that car. It never will be that car. Sure, the are both 'high-performance' vehicles, but they are in completely different classes.

        I know my bias is toward the GT-R and similar type vehicles. I like technological wonders like the Lancer Evo with its INSANE drivetrain and all the electronics. I would never buy a Corvette just because ... honestly ... I don't like them. They are a great looking car with tons of power, but I don't want that much of a carbon footprint (it sucks being somewhat environmentally conscious and loving fast cars).
        • 7 Years Ago
        naggs, the R34 Z-tune was pretty much dead even in perfomance with the C6 Z06 (shading each other in individual areas, but equal all things considered), you really think Nissan would make this car slower than the previous generation? Especially when this is a car designed specifically for performance, not an M3-like family car that was turned into a homologated performance car in order to race as all the previous 5 generations of the GT-R have been.

        If performance for least amount of money is the only thing you care about, you wouldn't buy a brand new car for starters, nor would you buy something as big and heavy as a Corvette. You can get bikes that will demolish a Corvette for a fraction of the price, you can get little track-focused cars for less than a Corvette that are faster still.
        • 7 Years Ago
        acidic,

        What exactly do you mean by carbon footprint? I have trouble believing that the awd GT-R, while a very cool and fast car, is going to get much if any better mpg than a Z06 (another very cool and fast car). I know the 911 turbo sure doesn't for a fact (yet another very cool and fast car :).
        • 7 Years Ago
        hokiebird,

        But, the comparison does not make sense. It's like comparing a Mack truck to the new Tundra because they both have the ability to tow trailers and put stuff in the back.

        No self-respecting auto publication would pit the Z06 against the GT-R (except for maybe all-round shootouts that level the playing field based strictly on performance, and even those cars are usually tuned by the aftermarket for specific kinds of buyers).
        • 7 Years Ago
        dont be silly,
        of course people cross shop high performance vehicles. i am a self admited zo6 fan boy but if i were going to drop 80k on a sports car i would test drive it all. if this thing drove better (i dont believe it will) then i would get it.

        everyone knows it wont be as fast as a zo6, should be close in performance to a ls3 z51 vette. im sure they will make a z tune that costs 100k and drops some weight and picks up a stiffer suspension and some hp. and we will compare that to the 100k vette (obviously the zr1 will destroy a 'z tune' gtr).

        performance might not be everything, but if it is your primary concern, then it is a no brainer to go with the vette.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why are you guys comparing z06 with the GTR?

      >,>

      4WD vs RWD
      Turbo vs NA
      4 seat vs 2 seat

      horse vs your dumb pink unicorns

      did pig started to fly or something?

      As much as I respect vettes I'm beginning to think their owners and worshipers have down syndrome.

      Let's stick with the porsche 911 4wd versus the upcoming GTR 4wd kay? Or something similar to it that have 2+2 seat,4wd, and turbo. None of this push rod 8 versus a turbo 6 shit.

      Unless you feel that your vette is threatens by the GTR performance then feel free to continue to compare apples to oranges.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually its a good comparo. People cross shop based mainly on price range. (Lambo v Ferrari, Porsche v Aston....Camry v Accord) Z06 and GTR will be very similar in that respect. Also very close performance wise. Just because Nissan used the 911 as the benchmark for the GTR doesnt mean a lot of 911 buyers will be looking at a GTR and vice versa. Its like not comparing a mustang and camaro because one has an ohc and one an ohv. But I guess you'd rather know how the GTR stacks up to the Saab Turbo X.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We've already got a car that performs better than a 911 Turbo and costs half as much. It's called a Z06. I am a Porsche owner and fanatic. Porsche has never won the performance per dollar war, this is nothing new.
      • 7 Years Ago
      By contrast, the Z06 does 0-60 in 3.7 Seconds, and is naturally aspirated and most likely gets better gas millage then this thing. Oh, and it has a American V8 Growl. Its an easy choice for me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        And by further contrast, the Z06 has the interior quality of a $15,000 Cobalt.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Of course Nissans are not known for their high quality interiors either. It fact that was the failing of the gen 1 G35, and that was supposed to be a luxury car!
      • 7 Years Ago
      For the record, non-Z06 Corvettes do not weigh 3500+ pounds, as Ken implied in a post above.

      The regular Corvettes are in the 3200-3300 lb. range. :)

      As for Adam's comment that the Z06 has the interior quality of a $15,000 Cobalt, I wonder if he has ever driven either car. I've driven both, and that statement is a pile of bs.

      The Z06 interior may not be as posh as an F430's or a 911 Turbo's, but you might as well get SOMETHING for the extra $50k - $100k you have to cough up to buy one of those. After all, everyone knows the extra money isn't buying you more performance (in fact, you get less).

      The GT-R looks like it will be a formidible ride, even if the front end ran into the ugly tree after leaving the factory. For my tastes, I think I'd be happier in the 430+ hp base/Z51 Corvette with the upgrades it has received for 2008. But of course all of this is speculation until someone actually tests and reports on the new Nissan.
        • 7 Years Ago
        LOL!

        I agree the the front end isn't aging well! The car is looks too 350Z-derived too. There is a disconnect between this car and the R34 that I liked alot.

        Z06 is a moniker that says it all - you don't say Corvette Z06, just Z06. The car is a monster. Comparisons are inevitable.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Adam, +1 ... that is one shitty interior for a $70k car.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've driven both. The Cobalt does have a decent interior and the Vette barely fails to surpass it. For a $70,000 car, you'd think GM would part with subpar plastics and 3 year old parts bin electronics that look at home in a $25,000 Chevy. $70,000 is M3 and 911 territory - the Corvette's interior, while vastly improved it is still an embarassment in the limelight of the European and Japanese interiors.

        I'm not taking anything away from the Vette's performance. The Vette is nothing less than stellar on a track and should be considered direct competition (as well as the 911, which Nissan tested the GT-R thoroughly against at the 'Ring) for the GT-R performance wise. As far as on road manners, I guess we'll have to wait and see. The Vette (Z06) can be pretty harsh on the street. It's about time they ditch the leaf spring suspension.
      • 7 Years Ago
      adam, do u not understand that the chevy is not meant to be a "luxury" sport car, hell, the M3 doesnt even have the greatest interior and yet it still cost 63k and couldnt hold its own against crap, let alone a z06, the porsche is closer in performance with the z06 and does have a nicer interior, but as already stated, the 50k difference had better get u something other than a name, btw the z06 has a hell of a lot nicer interior than the cobalt, i have driven both and know firsthand
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