Nissan GT-R to terrorise Australian roads from 2009

Nissan showed off its Porsche-eating supercar, the GT-R, for the first time in Australia at the 2008 Melbourne Motor Show.

Nissan showed off its Porsche-eating supercar, the GT-R, for the first time in Australia at the 2008 Melbourne Motor Show.

Speaking at the motor show, Nissan Australia chief Shinya Hannya announced that the GT-R would go on sale here sometime in 2009. Specifications and pricing for Australia, though, won't be released until later this year.

Powered by a twin turbocharged 3.8-litre V6, the silver Japanese-spec GT-R coupe on show has 353kW of power and 588Nm of torque. All of this sound and fury is channelled to the ground via a four-wheel drive system and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. Previous Skyline GT-Rs have featured four-wheel steering, but this is nowhere to be seen on the latest R35 generation.

Nissan claims a lap time of seven minutes, 38 seconds around the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in Germany -- the second fastest time for a mass produced car, behind the current Porsche 911 GT2. This undulating 20.8km track features upwards of 70 corners, a variety of different road surfaces and is a favoured track for honing sports cars -- Porsche, BMW and even GM take their cars there during the development process.

Many of us know of Nissan's GT-R from racing games, like the various iterations of Gran Turismo, but those with longer memories will remember when the GT-R dominated Australian race tracks. In 1991 and 1992 the R32 generation Skyline GT-R won both the Bathurst 1000 race and the Australian Touring Car Championship before the rules were changed to effectively bar it from competing. In his 1992 Bathurst victory speech, driver Jim Richards famously told booing Ford and Holden fans that they were a "pack of a***holes".

2009 will mark 18 years since the GT-R was last officially imported into Australia. Back then, Nissan Australia was hoping to capitalise on the car's racing success but the Nissan badge and a price just north of AU$100,000 proved unpalatable. The initial batch of 100 cars took over a year to sell and official imports of the car dubbed "Godzilla" ceased.

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