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Nissan GT-R full details
First Official Pictures
24 October 2007 05:50
Ugly looking thing, isn’t it?
The GT-R certainly isn’t beautiful, but then that’s not the idea. ‘We didn’t want a nice elegant shape – we wanted an original shape,’ comments design director Shiro Nakamura. ‘I see it as a car influenced not by feminine beauty, but by masculine beauty – it is strong, well toned, well muscled.’ Form definitely follows function here, the body surfaces sculpted to best direct airflow for aerodynamics and handling. So while the GT-R can boast a highly slippery 0.27Cd drag co-efficient, it also generates high levels of downforce over both axles, greatly aiding high-speed stability. It’s safe too, the body consisting of carbonfibre, diecast aluminium and steel to ensure a high level of rigidity and crash protection. In fact, it was the quest for better crash and pedestrian protection that led Nissan to tweak the GT-R Proto’s front-end styling for the production car – to the dismay of some hardcore fans.
Let me guess. It looks good, it’s great to drive, but the interior’s a letdown…
Not so fast. Nissan has made a huge leap forward with the GT-R. The seats feature plump, luxurious-feeling leather; the plastics (in the more noticeable areas at least) have a quality, squishy feel to them and aluminium trim lifts the ambience. Make no mistake, the GT-R’s biggest weakness is a thing of the past. Not that the spirit of R34 is entirely vanquished: the steering wheel looks similar and it’s still pleasingly thin and tactile. Best of all, the digital central screen – complete with g-force readings and dials showing the engine’s vital signs – remains. This time, though, life imitates art: the graphics have been designed by the people who brought us Gran Turismo. We’re told there’ll be one trim level for the UK, with a 350Z-style GT pack offering a better quality stereo (our demo car had an 11-speaker Bose set-up) and trim. Whatever the truth, the interior is a huge step forward