The TopSpeed team got a first-hand look at a Nissan GT-R during a press luncheon yesterday. Colin Price, Nissan’s product planning manager of sports cars gave us an insight on how the little details make a big difference to this supercar.
The aerodynamics are everything. It’s hard to notice from pictures, but the GT-R has odd budges everywhere including obvious places such as the doors and rear window. This is to keep the air from “sticking” to the car and to keep the air moving in a straight line to the rear spoiler.
It almost seems like this car has been overanalyzed, but Price points out that protocol for the car was that it had to be “fast and quiet.” This came down to even the smallest detail. For example, once it found a drag-resistant shape for the door mirrors, Nissan felt that is made too much wind noise, so a small half-inch high lip was installed at the bottom to quiet the mirror down.
The entire bottom of the car (except where the catalytic converter is housed) is sealed. This creates exceptional downforce from the pressure between the car and the ground. All air that enters the car through the grill and hood scopes are channeled through the center tunnel and is released blow the rear bumper.
The car is weighty at about 3800 lbs., but it is also distributed well. With the transmission housed in the rear, this all-wheel drive car has weight at all its driving wheels.
The design has sometimes been criticized for odd looks. But Price points out that Nissan didn’t want to build an American or European sports car, it wanted the GT-R to look distinctly Japanese. Also the GT-R does share a family resemblance with lesser models such as the new Maxima and 370Z.
The interior is another area where the pictures don’t do the car justice. Yes, aside from the display screen, the dash seems kinda plain (Nissan calls it business-like,) but the materials are not from a parts bin. The first modern GT-R (R32) had an interior straight out of the everyday Nissan Skyline. This GT-R carries a similar look from lesser cars, but the fit and feel is different. Every bit of metal and plastic has an over engineered feel that gives it an odd weight and lets you know it can take punishment. The steering wheel is small and provides the kind of perfect grip that lets your hand know exactly where to rest.
Nissan made the world wait a long time for this car, but it has proven that Godzilla is in the details.