The Godzilla is faster than you think!
You don’t know what raw power is unless you’ve been crushed into your seat, as you accelerate from a dead naught to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.
Not everyone can or has experienced this feeling, except for maybe some Formula1, IndyCar or even some fighter jet pilots pulling extreme G’s in the air. Yet, most people on this planet will never know this feeling. Most of you think that only a Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti Veyron or a Koenigsegg can give you that feeling. They’re wrong.
Meet “Godzilla” a.k.a. the Nissan GT-R. Not the prettiest monster you’ve ever laid your eyes on, but certainly not the ugliest one on the road. But still a monster largely due to its immensely powerful R35 3.8 litre DOHC V-6 with twin Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries turbochargers that churn out 473 bhp at 6400rpm with a six-speed automated manual transmission that makes it hit a top speed of 311km/h. Not bad for a 1.7 ton behemoth, eh? Godzilla!
Since its introduction in December 2007, the Nissan GT-R has become famous for sports-car performance, functional design and first-rate interior accommodations. Its performance philosophy is simple: must perform as good as a Porsche. And boy does it with style, winning several awards along the way including Top Gear’s Supercar of the Year 2007, Evo Magazine’s Car of the Year 2008, Automobile Magazine’s 2009 Automobile of the Year and Popular Mechanics’ Automotive Excellence Awards 2008 (Design), to name a few. The GT-R is said to have beaten Porsche Carrera at the hallowed tarmac of the Nürburgring, with Toshio Suzuki at the wheel.
And now, the looks department. Nissan chief creative officer, Shirō Nakamura, the man behind GT-R’s square lines, felt that the car had to reflect the spirit of contemporary Japanese Culture, and found no better inspiration than the popular Japanese anime series Gundam. However, the car’s rear and taillights were designed by American designers, while the European claim is only to the roofline, giving the GT-R a very tempting profile silhouette.
GT-R’s interior is very functional. One might call it very German, even, in terms of efficient design and use of space. But for the driver only. The seats, though a bit high for a performance car, have an intuitive rotating and sliding control with electric motor adjustments. It is this seat configuration that offers excellent visibility. The door armrest and side panel is thickly padded and very comfortable. The dashboard is filled with dials and gauges displaying boost level, engine oil temp, oil pressure, coolant temp, transmission oil temp and transmission oil pressure that are well positioned to make it easier for a driver to concentrate on the road. Remarkably, Nissan involved the creators of Gran Turismo video games, Polyphony Digital, while designing GT-R’s multifunction display. Talk about life imitating art! Add a set of Bose media system, and you’re ready to rock the world out of their minds!
They make about a 1,000 of these a month. No, not because they can’t make more of these on an industrial scale, but because perfection is best when hand made. Nissan attributes this very limited production capacity to the very tricky assembly process for GT-R’s fine-tuned engine and its dual-clutch gearbox. Plus, putting together something as classy as this baby with all the parts made from carbon fiber, ceramic, steel, titanium and other such exotic materials, which we only read and never see in our cars.
Despite the production numbers, this car is still a rare sight. And in Pakistan, there’s ONLY one, making it the fastest car in the land! Incidentally, it happens to be owned by one of our very own speed demon, Usman khan, who, also, happens to hold the unofficial title of The Fastest Biker in Pakistan, with his Kawasaki ZX-14.
The GT-R shows Nissan’s no-holds-barred approach to automotive excellence. It is an extreme machine. The Godzilla is fully capable of leaving high-priced exotica choking on dust. As advertised.
(Written in 2010.)