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Click above to view our massive gallery of the 2009 Nissan GT-R.

Back in the late sixties, automakers sometimes purposely under-reported the true horsepower that their solid-lifter, over-cammed and over-carburetor'd monster V8 engines actually delivered. More recently, some manufacturers have overestimated the real power of their vehicles, which has led some to distrust factory horsepower numbers. Owners of the uber-impressive Nissan GT-R have been wondering if they've been lied to regarding real horsepower figures too. But in this case they may actually be getting more than the 480 horses that they had bargained for. In fact, after considering that the coupe is capable of hitting 123 miles per hour in the quarter mile and the fact that it weighs roughly four-thousand pounds, the New York Times Wheels blog estimates that the GT-R really makes 550-580 horsepower at the crank.

While we are certain that the rabid horsepower wars and the debate over the GT-R's true power as compared to its rivals will rage on, NYT's estimates are actually pretty much in line with what Motor Trend got after putting the Nissan supercar on the dyno, and that's a figure that really can't be argued with. Thanks for the tip, Pete!


[Source: NY Times Wheels]


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  • 105 Comments
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 7 Years Ago
      Only way you'd ever figure out what the car is actually making is if someone tore one of these engines and tested it using SAE standards. That would put all this B.S. to rest. I'm still more impressed that GM covers all their motors including the super crazy ones with a 100k mile warranty. But that's just me and my crazy self.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Would be nice to see more manufacturers steping up to the plate to do the SAE testing. GM does it with all their motors, they aren't afraid of what the dyno has to say.

        I don't expect it to become a requirement, but it would be nice to see some more accurate numbers to compare against. We know that Chevy's numbers are SAE certified.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        HotRodz: Don't believe the Z06 is covered under GM's 100,000 deal.

        LS2/ LS7: you are right... Millen commented how much benefit AWD was laying down the power. This guy has raced 900HP Pikes Peak racers... I trust his opinions.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 7 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        azzo45: Just looked it up the Z06 is covered under the 5 yr./100k mile warranty
      • 7 Years Ago
      So I guess Prodrive doesn't have the 'balls' to compete in the ALMS either?

      Yet the only event they face Corvette on, 24 hours of Le Mans, they've beaten Corvette 2 years straight.

      Not everybody who opts out of ALMS is scared of Corvette.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Aston Martin Racing Team:

        "Plans for 2008: Le Mans 24 hours"

        That team with that car now only has plans to run 1 race in 2008. I did not see them listed in ELMS.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Prodrive's Lemans 24 winner competes in the entire ELMS series complete with current Corvette competition"

        No, it doesn't. we're not talking about the same teams or cars. Just the car type. When did I say "any C6-R" and "any DBR9". I said "Prodrive" versus "Corvette".

        ALMS is dominated by "Corvette Racing". 24 hours Le Mans has been conquered twice by the 009 "Prodrive" AM. Your facts are incorrect.

        Not just the Ferrari's. I said I don't care about any Prodrive supplied cars to privateer teams.

        "For 2008, while Larbre and Scuderia Italia have moved on from Aston Martin, Prodrive will continue to field a factory team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans."

        Not Modena, not Jetalliance. "Prodrive". The team.

        Vetteracer said "show us even racing like ALMS where NISSAN has even had the balls to enter such a series?"

        The only team that beat Corvette Racing at 24 hours of Le Mans 2x in a row was "Prodrive Aston Martin Racing" with the 009 car.

        Is the team that beat Corvette Racing lacking balls for not entering ALMS? NO!

        Make sense yet? Damn.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Its cool that Pratt & Miller/Compuware / GM Racing enter the Corvette C6R in the ALMS... even with no factory competition. Makes sense for S/E MI based P&M to enter the AMERICAN Lemans Series. I agree with you that Prodrive or any other GT1 team is not "nutless" if they choose to stay away from ALMS.

        However Big Mc, if we are talking about ACO/ ALMS/ ELMS spec GT1 cars ... we are sure as hell talking about C6-R's & Aston Martin DB9-R's when refering to these race models. Grand Am & SPEED World Challenge run the more "stock" version of those cars.

        Corvette Racing is a GM marketing snow job... they pay Pratt & Miller to call them "Corvette Racing". P&M make ALL the GT1 spec Corvettes. That Valeo team doesn't run under "Corvette Racing" banner. Prodrive sold Modena (& any other AM team) the basic DBR-9 chassis. We are arguing over team names & we generally agree Vette Racer is off base with his original comment(s)

        Prodrive's Gulf #009 just didn't show up & beat Corvette at this year's LeMans 24... you obviously have knowledge of sportscar racing... you know this. Prodrive supported one of the ELMS cars or ran there own effort. I've also seen photos & read race reviews of 2008 ELMS races with a DB9-R competing in GT1.

        If Gulf Prodrive beat "Corvette Racing" with no 2008 start up... that would have GM reconsidering that program & budget, eh??? Peugeot came to Sebring to prepare for Audi's R10 right?? AM did it in Europe.

        Peace brother... no need for two sports car fans to get pissy with each other, right??!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Still doesn't change the fact that Vetteracer's claim that any company that doesn't choose to spend the millions to compete in the ALMS is 'nutless', is absolutely unfounded.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about the chance that they may deliberately under report their power figure as to not get sued by some knob in California who cannot get 550 hp out of the car because it is too hot and dry.

      We all know turbos produce the most power when it is cool and humid, conditions not commonly seen in LA. If Nissan said they produced 500+hp and some customers could never reach that figure, then I am sure some stupid judge would award damages.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I'm still more impressed that GM covers all their motors including the super crazy ones with a 100k mile warranty"

      Easily impressed? GM's warranties are not worth the paper they are written on. This will be even more true in a few months when GM goes under.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, dude, GM is definitely going under.

        Think about this one brother. Do you even realize how tightly integrated into the US economy GM is? Do your realize how big GMAC is?

        If there was even a WHIFF of GM going under, Uncle Sam would be right there to bail them out. Because IF they could POSSIBLY 'Go Under', so would the entire economy.

        Take a class, learn something.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, GM warranties are valid. My 03 Silverado had a bad gauge cluster that was 25k miles PAST the cutoff for free replacement. I didn't even get the notice in the mail, my parents did cause it's registered in their county. I went down to my local, 5 miles away from me and 150 miles from my parent where the notice was delivered, and they replaced it for free THAT DAY. You should ask around about things before spouting off that your experience with them is be all end all. You might learn sumthin!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ever tried to get GM to fix a plastic intake manifold-equipped V6 that's bled coolant?

        GM warranty performance is hit and miss. It's not Volkswagen bad, but it's not great, either. A lot depends on whether or not it's a widespread issue and how amenable your dealer is to going to bat for you.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Where did you hear that? GM warranties are air-tight and readily honored. I have had my nowhere-near stock GTO worked on 3 times to fix issues that arose because I am pushing entirely too much power.

        And GM isn't going to go under. Christ...
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 7 Years Ago
        I had a Suburban that I had a blower on and they STILL honored the warranty when I threw a rod. GM warranties are the best in the industry and if a warranty on a 500+ hp motors for 100k miles is not amazing I don't know what is.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Slowly but surely BS swims up. I wouldn't be surprised if Nissan gave a higher powered GTR for magazines to test and I wouldn't be surprised if they used a high powered version of it on Nurburgring. It's the only thing that makes perfect sense.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How about all of their cars are the same and they just under reported the power figures?

        That makes sense too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This isn't news. Even before the dyno test, knowledgable car guys knew that with the 1/4 times presented that the car had to have 550hp at a minimum.

      So basically, this info is over a year old.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You know, I think it's bugly but you can't argue with those numbers. Very impressive indeed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @MikeofLA

      Wikipedia is wrong cuz ppl can change it whenever they want. if it's on the GM's website they own it...

      http://www.gm.com/shop/services/gmac.jsp
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great car, wrong time.

      $4.50 per gallon gas.

      Nobody will buy it.

      Now that we have all of that out of the way, I'll take two.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You gotta be kidding me. You'd think that focus the focus would be on Chevy now with the ZR1 blitzing the Nurburgring in 7:26 but everyone is still on the GT-R's nutz. I shudder to think of what the blogs and forums will be like when the V-Spec drops. I love this car to death, but I gotta admit I'm tired of all this over analyzing and picking it to pieces just because it's fast & (relatively) cheap. Everthing's a conspiracy theory where the GT-R is concerned.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If they made 70k a year they could buy this car. They would be stretching it, but banks would approve the loan so long as it was for 5 years or longer. Payments cannot exceed 20% of monthly income. With 60 payments and payments equating to roughly 20 bucks a month every thousand borrowed paying for 10% up front that loan would be approved. So would it be wise? absolutely not, but could they afford it, define afford...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sold out already ....
        • 7 Years Ago
        All I can say is: "Shut-Up, Autoblog.

        You're making me love a car I really want to hate......so just, like, Shut up.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I doubt the kind of person who can afford a $70,000 toy cares much about the price of gas. I'm sure it gets better MPG than my jeep.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Uh, am I the only one that read that last line and figured out that he was joking?
        • 7 Years Ago
        The "old Cornell saying"? Yeah, I bet you know a LOT about what the middle class can afford. For most people in the US $70k is more than what they make in a entire year. Before taxes. People that can afford this will probably be buying it as a second or third car, and won't care that it costs them an extra 20 bucks a week on gas, if that.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ebaum:
        Article last week said only 70% were spoken for so far.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah because people who are spending $70K on a sports car(not including mark-ups) is worried about gas prices.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You are all joking, right? Of course someone who pays $70,000 for a coupe still cares about gas prices. Going back to the old Cornell saying, "does a billionaire buy more detergent than a normal person?"

        Any upper-middle class person can buy/lease a $70,000 vehicle.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You forgot to say "It's ugly".

        And if you can make a comment about how it looks like some other car, I think we'll have covered all the Autoblog clichés.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is a non issue. 480hp is the minimum hp you will get across most weather conditions. A 100 degree F day in LA will give you less power than what you will get on a 40 degree F day in NY.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a joke, they either lied about the car being stock when claiming their performance numbers or are lying as to what the production numbers are.

      Yet to sell the car here in USA they would have already done the federal mandated testing.

      Second anyone thinking this car will be using the lower priced regular gas is having a wet dream.

      As the norm every time some negative seen on a riceburner most of you have to inject something negative about the Corvette.

      The dude saying the Z06 or ZR1 is not under the 100,000 mile warranty is outright lying but that is the norm for the 4 bangers.
        • 7 Years Ago
        VetteRacer: I was wrong on the Z06... Dodge never put their super-duper warranty on Vipers.

        If I'm what you are calling a 4-banger... my last car I was lucky enough to drive on a closed track... A Viper SRT-10. ...so much for your "4" term. Sampled numerous Vettes & Camaro SS models as well. Enjoyed the Exige, Cooper S & WRX sti I had fun with over the years too.

        Rob: I saw something on SPEED with Rod Millen + I mix Steve & Rod up all the time... thought it was Rod doing the test. Now Steve Millen is the Nissan GTO/U champion from a few years back... I can see him pumping up Nissan. Back to find the old issue of R&T
      • 7 Years Ago
      Seems the ricerboys think they do not need or require having this car tested as per the SAE standards yeet GM has done so since the LS7 came out.

      Maybe they just did not know so to remove that excuse here is some good ole American knowledge

      DYNO CORRECTION STANDARDS

      The most common are the SAE standards. The older J607 standard considers that the engine was run on a 60°F day with 0% humidity and a barometric pressure of 29.92 in-Hg or the newer SAE J1349 standard of 77°F (25°C) day with 0% humidity and a barometric pressure of 29.234 in-Hg (99 KPa).

      Also the ECE standard is the same as the SAE J1349, but does not use mechanical efficiency in the calculations. The DIN standard which corrects to 68°F (20° C) day with 0% humidity and a barometric pressure of 29.92 in-Hg (101.3 KPa) and the JIS standard corrects 77°F (25° C) day with 0% humidity and a barometric pressure of 29.234 in-Hg (99 KPa), but uses different correction curves than the others (as a substitution for using mechanical efficiency factors).
      Further, we have the J1995 corrects 77°F (25° C) day with 0% humidity and a barometric pressure of 29.53 in-Hg (100 KPa).

      Since very few engines are actually run in these conditions we apply these correction factors so that it is possible to compare the results taken on different days. First lets just look at the weather correction, we will see the second section dealing with mechanical efficiency later.
      Consider if you take a baseline run of a normally aspirated four stroke V-8 engine on a sultry day in late August, say 85°F and 85% humidity and 28.85 in-Hg and the engine produced 400 Hp. Then after you finished making all your modifications you retest the engine in late September when it is 55°F and 35% humidity and 30.10 in-Hg, the engine now makes 442 Hp.

      That’s almost an 11 percent increase in Hp, however the engine is actually producing the exact same amount of horsepower according to the J607 correction values of 400 Hp * 1.1005 ≈ 440 Hp and 442 * 0.994 ≈ 440 Hp. If you had retested the engine in the same weather conditions it would have made 400 Hp again.


      One more source of confusion about the SAE J1349 is all the different values quoted for the Barometric Pressure in inches of Mercury. If you search around you will find the base values are different. Some will quote 29.234 in-Hg and others 29.318 and others 29.380. How can they all be correct?

      Well the calculations are done in KPa or millibars. These units are all true pressures, however inches of mercury, although considered a pressure unit, changes with temperature. This is because mercury expands as it gets warmer. Therefore 99 KPa at 32°F is 29.234 in-Hg and 99 KPa at 60°F is 29.318 in-Hg.

      Now this may sound confusing, but these formulas were developed to attempt to allow standardize advertised hp ratings and comparisons.
      The formulas are based on the amount of oxygen that is found in the air that the engine is breathing. The greater oxygen the more fuel can be burned and thus more horsepower. However, these formulas are not perfect.
      They were developed empirically and are a good approximation for the variables of humidity, temperature, and absolute pressure. However, internal combustion engines develop power on many other variables and although it is possible to have the same correction factor at high temperature and pressure as low temperature and pressure, the engine will make different power.

      The wetting effect and temperature differences are not perfectly compensated for. This gives rise to the “purist” touting that all engines must be tested at the same atmospheric conditions or else the results are useless.
      In a prefect world this would be true, but this would be ludicrous. The cost of building an environmentally standardized test cell is well beyond the capabilities and cost of even large OEM companies and would give rise to even more deception in horsepower advertising.

      Now lets consider the next effect on the SAE standard that some other industrial standards do not include, the “Mechanical Efficiency” of the engine.
      Which is basically the amount of energy the engine got from the fuel versus how much energy actually was produced at the flywheel. This is a measure that includes the frictional torque, viscous effect, etc. required to rotate the engine.

      If we take the SAE standard that a four stroke normally aspirated engine consumes 15% of its’ developed horsepower to rotate the engine. This is another huge point of debate, but it does make sense.
      If we want to correct t
      • 7 Years Ago
      There was a report in one of German car magazines, about a year ago, they put few cars on test and found out that German manufacturers lied and that Japanese lied as well. Germans overestimated their HP while Japans were a little bit too modest. Not by much, 5hp per 100hp. It can be down merely to the method used.

      Jaguar lied about E-type max speed, Chevy lied about Corvette's acceleration (one of the special versions few years ago)... Well, actually, they didn't - you just had select gear without the clutch....
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 7 Years Ago
        The E-Type had lower gearing for the U.S. market to try to keep up with the Vettes in a drag race. Euro market cars supposedly were able to do the advertised speed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Chevy didn't lie about the speed. And upshifting without the clutch is very easy.

        Honestly, all this stuff is a great reason why 0-60 isn't the best measure of speed on a manual car (and to a lesser extend on an automatic).

        To get the rated 0-60 in a manual, you have to rev up the car and do a clutch dump so vicious, you can tell you're taking life off the car. Most people aren't going to do that day-to-day, so the 0-60 figures are horrible for knowing how the car will really perform day-to-day.

        But yes, on the C5 Z06, unless your name happened to be John Hienricy, you weren't going to be able to match the 0-60 figure. I would suggest no matter how powerful the car, most of us in this world could never get any car without launch control to 60 in under 4 seconds, we just don't have the skills for it. You realize that's more than 3/4G acceleration, right? Most of us would find the forces unsettling enough that we couldn't make the 1-2 shift properly, even if we could get the launch right.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, of course BMW underrates their engine. Cause you own one. It's a well known "fact" on the internet that [insert your own favorite car company] underrates their engines.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's a well known "theory" that BMW underrates their HP no's. The 335i Dynoed at around 287hp and 300ft/lbs at the wheels, in Los Angeles, on a warm day... I know, i owned one.
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