Nissan GT-R: The new supercar

Nissan launches the GT-R supercar at the 2007 Tokyo auto show.

The Nissan GT-R
The Nissan GT-R, unveiled at the Tokyo auto show CNET Networks

The highlight of the 2007 Tokyo auto show is easily the Nissan GT-R, gaining its mantle through its supercar performance and its fairly affordable price. For hours after Nissan unveiled the GT-R, people stood around it in awed silence, the only sound the frequent shutter clicks of cameras. Its design suggests brute strength and, according to the specs, it isn't faking. The car's 3.8-liter twin turbo engine puts out 473 horsepower, launching it to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Despite this amount of power, the GT-R achieves Japan's Ultra Low Emission Vehicle rating.

Nissan GT-R engine
This twin turbo 3.8-liter V-6 makes 473 horsepower. CNET Networks

Nissan developed dozens of new technologies for the GT-R, such as its six-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system. To balance the car, the engine is in front, while the transmission sits just ahead of the rear axle. Nissan displayed a cut-away version of the car at the Tokyo auto show to illustrate the genius of its engineering. Three switches in the cabin let the driver adjust shifting mode, suspension, and the traction control, taking the car from a comfortable freeway cruiser all the way up to a hardcore racing machine.

Nissan GT-R transmission
The GT-R's transmission is mounted fore of the rear axle. CNET Networks

But Nissan isn't forgetting the creature comforts. The GT-R gets many of the same cabin gadgets available in the Infiniti G37, such as a hard drive-based navigation system and music server. In Japan, the navigation system even has Nissan's new CarWings system, which uses an Internet connection to offer local search capabilities. The GT-R should arrive in the U.S. by June 2008. In Japan, it sells for about 8,000,000 yen, or about $70,000.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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