During our time with the GT-R in San Francisco, we took photos detailing every nut and bolt — okay, maybe not quite every nut and bolt.
A history that stretches off into the skyline
Nissan has a long history with the GT-R, first offering it as a sport modification to its Skyline sedan. The current Skyline, is sold in the U.S. and Europe as the Infiniti G37, is a completely different car from the new GT-R.
The GT-R was designed from the ground up for speed, with an aerodynamic body and a drag coefficient of 0.27. The front of the car shows only one seam, for the hood, with smooth metal running from fascia to fenders.
Nissan squeezes 358 kilowatts out of its 3.8-litre V6 through the use of dual turbochargers. Torque is at 317 Newton-metres, and 0 to 60 mph (96km/h) testing has shown numbers ranging from 3.2 to 3.8 seconds.
The GT-R has a nice coupe roofline, but various creases and angles give the car a brutish appearance. Close up, there is a crease where the B-pillar meets the roof, giving the car a more angular, less liquid, look.
Big wheels keep on riding
The 20-inch wheels on the GT-R get wrapped in tyres created specifically for the car. These tyres were designed to stay on the wheels during the massive g-forces the GT-R can produce. The brakes are big Brembro calipers.
The GT-R uses an advanced all-wheel-drive system that continuously shifts torque from 100 per cent to the rear wheels to a 50-50 split between front and rear, depending on driving conditions.
The instrument cluster is dominated by the tachometer, appropriately, with the speedometer off to the side. Because the speedometer goes up to 220 mph (320km/h), the needle will generally be pointing straight down when you are on public roads.
A bank of switches lets you adjust torque, suspension, and traction control for different conditions. When held in the up position, a red light turns on, showing that the car is set for R mode, which is appropriate for the track.
Performance computer controls
These four buttons and dial control the in-dash performance computer, a unique feature in the GT-R. You push the Function button to display the performance computer on the LCD, then turn the dial to choose different views.
Performance computer gauges
Views 1 through 4 are customisable. You can choose which virtual gauges and graphs to display. This particular screen was our favourite, showing brake and gas pedal percentage, turbo boost, steering, and torque split.
Performance computer graphs
This view shows one of the graphs, where you can see the car's performance over time. This particular graph shows g-forces. There are others for acceleration, steering, and braking.
On the same LCD as the performance computer, you can use Nissan's excellent navigation, stereo, and phone system. The navigation system stores its maps on a hard drive, making route calculation quick.
In the U.S. XM NavTraffic is also integrated with the car's navigation system. It intelligently routes around bad traffic, so you don't have to sit in gridlock in the GT-R. Hopefully Australia-bound GT-Rs will get something similar via the Suna traffic channel.