Nissan takes drifting into 180-mph territory

The Nissan GT-R is nearly 10 years old as of 2016, but that didn’t stop it from setting a new world record. The Japanese brand has just announced that the GT-R has set the Guinness World Record for the fastest ever drift. The new benchmark was achieved with a speed of 304.96 km/h (189.5 mph) and a 30-degree angle, using a specially-tuned, 2016 Nissan GT-R. The record car was driven by Masato Kawabata, the Japanese drift champion and title holder for the Japanese drifting series. Kawabata clinched the top spot from former record holder Jakub Przygonski during a special event that took place at Fujairah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.

Developed in Japan with support from Nismo specialists and GReddy Trust, the record-setting GT-R was tuned to 1,380 horsepower, 815 horses more than the standard 2017 GT-R. Besides the highly modified 3.8-liter V-6, the special GT-R also used a Recaro driver seat, bespoke lightweight wheels supplied by Rays, and drift rubber specifically designed by Toyo Tires for this stung. The Fujairah International Airport was chosen for its three-kilometer (1.86-mile) long airstrip, which enabled Kawabata to drift at more than 300 km/h (186 mph), a first for the tire-shredding sport.

This isn’t the first world record set by the GT-R. In 2011, Nissan’s affordable supercar set a new benchmark for the fastest 0-60 mph acceleration by a four-seat production vehicle. In its Nismo racing suit, the GT-R is also the fifth fastest production car on the Nurburgring track, having lapped the German course in only 7:08 minutes, only 11 seconds slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder, in 2015.

Updated 04/08/2016: Nissan finally dropped the video showing its 2016 GT-R smashing world record for fastest drift.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Nissan GT-R Sets World Record For Fastest Drift
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Granted, the car used to set this world record has very little in common with the production model as far as drivetrain components go, but it’s still an impressive feat for a GT-R. A long-time favorite among tuners, the GT-R can also brag about being the quickest road-legal, non-NHRA vehicle on the drag strip with a quarter-mile time of 7.44 seconds. Sure, it’s not the kind of performance you can use on the road, and taking a GT-R’s to more than 1,000 horsepower is expensive and ruins the supercar’s affordability, but these numbers will live on no matter how many naysayers will complain about the excessive use of turbochargers and slick tires.

What matters here is that Kawabata’s record is a huge improvement over the previous benchmark, which was set at 217.97 km/h (135.44 mph) with a 1,000-horsepower Toyota GT86. Nissan’s new record will be hard to beat and will require more than just a handful of enthusiasts and a good driver.

2016 Nissan GT-R

2016 Nissan GT-R Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2016 Nissan GT-R here.

Press Release

Nissan has set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the fastest ever drift. The record was broken with a speed of 304.96 km/hr and 30 degrees angle using a specially-tuned MY16 Nissan GT-R. Masato Kawabata, the Japanese drift champion and title holder for the Japanese drifting series, clinched the top spot from former record holder Jakub Przygoński of Poland. The record was set during a special event that took place at Fujairah International Airport, UAE.

Nissan GT-R Sets World Record For Fastest Drift
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The record-breaking Nissan GT-R was developed with the support and coordination of Nismo specialists. It was tuned to 1380 HP in order to set the record, and adapted so all the power went to the rear wheels. The GT-R was prepared by GReddy Trust and tested extensively at Japan’s Fuji Speedway facility with Kawabata at the wheel. The car was set up for agility while maintaining stability and confidence-inspiring handling characteristics - essential when performing such challenging feats.

"Once again, Nissan has broken a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title and has made international history for the fifth time in the Middle East," said Samir Cherfan, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East. "The Nissan GT-R is one of the world’s most iconic supercars, proving time and again the incredible breadth of its capabilities, and has clearly demonstrated its performance leadership by beating the best drift cars out there. The fact that this achievement was set here in the UAE makes it even more special for our region. Setting this incredibly difficult world record was a clear demonstration of the excitement we are bringing to the Middle East with the Nismo brand."

Fujairah International Airport was strategically chosen for its 3km long airstrip which was deemed to be sufficiently long enough for the challenge. From the outset, Nissan wanted to perform the drift at a speed of more than 300km/h and Kawabata, who leads in the Japanese drifting series for Team Tokyo, was chosen from a group of highly specialized competition drivers.

"We were very happy to be able to host such an exciting event," said His Excellency Mohammed Al Salami, Chairman of Fujairah International Airport, "Once again, the UAE has achieved another GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. This great country is always accommodating when it comes to helping individuals and companies make history, and the staff at Fujairah International Airport were able to assist this record attempt while maintaining the airtight security required at facilities such as ours."

Nissan GT-R Sets World Record For Fastest Drift
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Cherfan also thanked the airport personnel and its management for their support, saying, "Fujairah International Airport was a perfect fit for this world record attempt and the enormous levels of support we received from every level was invaluable. We had to set up a workshop in one of the airport’s hangars and had just five days to get everything ready including the specially tuned MY16 Nissan GT-R, spare parts, tyres and all the other equipment which required stringent security checks and processes. Without the dedication and tireless assistance of everyone at Fujairah International Airport we could not have achieved this, and I wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone involved."

Mohammed Al Falasai from The Prodrift Academy UAE commented: "The Prodrift Academy UAE, in partnership with Nissan Middle East, is proud to be part of the Guinness World Records for the fastest drift. Hard work and dedication from all parties involved have enabled us to achieve our goal of setting this new record. Through our dedicated training programs, the Prodrift Academy and Nissan will continue to be at the forefront of drifting in the Middle East."

GReddy Trust’s technicians worked on the specially tuned MY16 Nissan GT-R setup on site in the three days leading up to the event and had only three attempts to break the record as per strict guidelines set by Guinness World Records. Support was also provided by technicians and logistics personnel from the Prodrift Academy, Recaro for the driver’s seat, RAYS for the supply of special, lightweight alloy wheels and Toyo Tires for the drift tyres that were specially designed for this stunt.

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