Nissan GT-R: the hype continues
The Nissan GT-R is a classic case study in the PR spin surrounding new cars these days. It's been widely scooped, and we've already published a video of it dicing with a 911 Turbo at Laguna Seca in the US. Now the engineers honing the car ahead of its debut at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show are claiming it's faster than its Stuttgart rival. But do we care? We normally take claims of Nurburgring prowess with a pinch of salt, but it does seem appropriate for a car with such sporting intent as the Nissan GT-R. And one of CAR Online's spy photographers was at the Nordschleife with a stopwatch when the two rivals from Japan and Germany went head to head during a closed manufacturers' testing session in the past few days, caught in this sequence of photos.
Go on - hit me with the numbers. How fast was the new Nissan GT-R?
The GT-R was timed on a scorching lap of 7min 38sec around the 'green hell', making it two seconds faster than the Porsche 997 Turbo record set by Walter Röhrl. And the blown Porsche at the Ring on Friday couldn't keep up, bystanders report. Of course, we don't know for sure what exactly the Porsche engineers' priorities were, so we shouldn't take the claims by Nissan engineers at face value. Were Porsche's team doing flying laps? Or were they testing cooling systems? We don't know. Besides, faster times have been set by a Porsche GT2 and various tuner derivatives, but Friday's session does suggest that Nissan's new hotshot is plenty fast enough. The exact spec of the GT-R is still shrouded in mystery, but it will have a twin-turbo V6 of just under 4.0 litres in capacity, delivering nearly 500bhp. Drive is sent to all four corners for the sticky traction that's made the last few generations of Skyline GT-R famous. But that Skyline badge has been dropped for the latest generation; this one will be known purely as the GT-R in markets around the globe.
Enough of the teasers! When can we see the real car?
We'll have to be patient for a few weeks more. Nissan is due to lift the covers off the GT-R at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, so come back to CAR Online on 24 October 2007 to see the real thing - shorn of its disguise and all the PR puff that's surrounding this particular launch. And we'll be driving the GT-R later this year. Only then will we know if the rocket from Japan really has the talent to dislodge Europe's finest.