Nissan GT500 GT-R Race car: first official pictures

Published: 15 January 2008

Nissan's new GT500 GT-R race car is a far cry from the Forum concept the Japanese company has just unveiled in Motor City. Nissan chose the past weekend’s Tokyo Auto Salon to show off their new GT-R racing car. Not content with the standard GT-R stirring up the establishment Nissan will enter their supercar into Japan’s Super GT Series.

The Super GT series is a competition split into two classes, GT300 and GT500, with the latter being the Premier League of the pair. GT500 regulations are fairly simple – don’t go past 500 horsepower, and you’re fine. While Nissan is being mum on technical details until the end of the month, the company already has a pretty good starting point. The road-going GT-R has 473bhp and will reach 193mph flat out. 

The GT500 GT-R will be up against rivals from Lexus (SC430) and Honda (NSX). But before you complain that the opposition is soft or old, remember that GT500 regulations are so lax that a team can use any engine the manufacturer makes, and even add forced induction. It’s part of the reason why FIA GT1-spec cars like Lamborghinis, and even the odd Maserati MC-12 have struggled.

One of the reasons for the lack of regulation in GT500 is to enable manufacturers to avoid the expenses of road-going homologation specials, often essential in GT racing. Bad news for us perhaps, but Nissan has produced homologation special Skylines in the past, so fingers-crossed for a super-Godzilla. A V-spec GT-R is already in the works but we’re hoping for more from NISMO, Nissan’s motorsports operation.

The GT-R racer also showcases Nissan’s new racing livery, the result of a close collaboration with NISMO. The red apparently shows Nissan’s passion for racing, while the black signifies the supreme performance the new GT-R offers. We’ll ignore the PR talk for now, but if Nissan gets its way expect the opposition to be staring at those iconic quad rear lights for much of the season.