All of these go-fast goodies created a booming aftermarket and many of these vehicles were imported through the ‘grey-market’ to those who couldn’t wait for Nissan to begin legally selling them in the United States.
For the rest of us, the wait is over. After teasing the public for the last few years with a succession of prototypes and concept vehicles that all hinted at a production halo car for either the Nissan or Infiniti line in the tradition of the Skyline GT-R, Nissan has finally revealed the production 2009 Nissan GT-R at auto shows all over the world.
The new GT-R certainly doesn’t disappoint in terms of power. Underneath the hoods sits an aluminum 3.8 liter V6 engine with dual overhead camshafts fed by two turbos. This setup delivers 480 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque.
In a rather strange move for an enthusiast car, the only available transmission is a 6 speed paddle-shifted dual clutch automatic – a transmission choice that is becoming all too common on high end vehicles.
The GT-R employs an all wheel drive system and a one and a half way locking differential to distribute all of this power. Traction and stability are further supplemented by a computerized system that has a Normal setting, an ‘R’ setting which sets the system at it’s most aggressive, and finally an Off setting which removes the training wheels and lets drivers decide how far they will push things before physics intervenes.
The GT-R has traditionally been more of a grand touring car than a true sports car, as the all wheel drive system contributed to relatively heavy overall vehicle weight. This remains true for 2009.
The interior of the GT-R is a mix between opulence and Playstation, with leather heated seats and cockpit accents combining with toys such as a 7 inch LCD screen and a configurable system for displaying up to 11 different screens of performance data.
This is in addition to the inclusion of a multimedia entertainment system that includes MP3 capabilities, a 9 gigabyte hard drive and even a compact flash card reader.
These luxury appointments play a part in increasing the curb weight, and while the GT-R is by no means overweight, neither is it as svelte as say the Mazda RX-8.
Nissan is hoping to hit a home run right off the bat with the 2009 GT-R, counting on its built-in fan base to pony up for their video-game dream car. Will the button-mashing crowd be interested in paying upwards of $68 000 for this beast from the East?
Dealers will find out when this monster hits North American shores in the spring of 2008.