By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
From the L.A. Auto Show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder walks you through the 2009 Nissan GT-R.
(rock music) Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder from cars.com. Zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds. That's what Nissan promises for the GTR. Now, if you've been a car fan, you've been reading for decades on magazines and cars.c
om about cars that are sold overseas but not brought to the United States. They don't pass our emissions regulations or our safety regulations, or maybe they just hate us for our freedom. Always on that list is the Nissan Skyline GTR. It's coming to America in June of 2008 as the GTR. The GTR puts the engine behind the front wheels, which helps with weight distribution, and the transmission is now in the back, which further shifts the weight toward the back for better balance. Now, the body is made out of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber, with downforce in the front and the rear, for top speeds reaching almost 200 miles per hour. Under the hood is a hand-built 3.8 liter V6 with twin turbo chargers. It puts out 480 horsepower and 430 pound feet of torque, which it sends to all four wheels. The wheels are 20 inch alloys. The brakes are Brembo 15 inch cross drilled rotors and six piston monoblock calipers in the rear. They're four pistons. The standard tires are summer performance types, but you can actually get all season tires, which is not true of a lot of cars that'll do zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds. Because of all wheel drive, you might be able to drive this in the winter, though I'm not sure the ground clearance is gonna be your friend. I know it's minor, but I love the handle. What's impressive for a car of this type and the speed is how much leg room and especially foot room I have. Now the transmission is actually a rear transaxle. And what that does is it takes any kind of transmission hub out of the front. There's a single prop shaft that runs through the center, nice and small, and then another drive shaft that runs to the front. But the result is nothing big and bulky here. Now about that transmission, people are sure to be disappointed that it's not a traditional manual with a clutch pedal. What it is is a six speed automated manual with sequential shifting, and two clutches. So basically it can shift almost instantaneously, faster than you. And that's part of how it hits 3.5 seconds in the zero to 60. A nice performance feature, Nissan has some setup switches on the dashboard that let you control the transmission and the way the stability system works. You can choose firm, middle or comfort for the suspension as well. One complaint we've been hearing here at the auto show is about interior quality. It's not very consistent. There are a lot of soft surfaces, which is nice, but then you look down and you see, this looks like carpet. And come to think of it, it is carpet. But in a car like this, you're paying less than $70,000 for a car that goes, once again, zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds. To do that, you've gotta look at something like a Chevy Corvette Z06, a Dodge Viper, and their interiors aren't so hot, either. All in all, the money is in the body. It's in the engine, and it's in the chassis. Nissan is only importing about 1500 of the GTR. So they're likely to last on dealer lots about 3.5 seconds. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog, Kicking Tires.