2009 Nissan GT-R Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • Nissan's technology flagship

  • Four-passenger coupe

  • Twin-turbo V-6 rated at 473 hp

  • Standard ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive (AWD)

  • Direct, twin-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission

  • Innovative Super Wide Beam headlamps

  • 0 to 60 mph in just over 3.5 seconds

  • Top speed in excess of 190 mph


Nissan boasts that the 2009 GT-R may be the most accomplished and technologically advanced high performance car ever made. It may also be the world's easiest and most secure vehicle to drive at high speeds, Nissan adds: It already holds a production car lap record at Germany's famous N�rburgring racetrack. Nissan's new supercar follows a long history of successful Skyline GT-R street and race cars from the Japanese marque. Unlike previous versions of Nissan's technology flagship GT-R, this one will be sold in both right- and left-hand-drive forms around the world, including the North American and mainland European markets.

Model Lineup

The GT-R will initially be available in three trim levels: Standard, Black, and Premium editions. While specific option details within the packages have not been released, all three models offer the identical twin-turbo V-6 engine, dual-clutch transmission, and AWD. In addition to the full complement of power accessories, 8-way power heated bucket front seats with leather upholstery and perforated Alcantara inserts are standard. A leather-wrapped steering wheel, drilled aluminum pedals, and a pushbutton start add to the sporty ambience within the cockpit.


According to Nissan, the GT-R is the world's most efficient supercar in balancing speed, acceleration and fuel consumption. The heart of the GT-R is a brand new all-aluminum engine specifically developed for the vehicle. Internally known as the VR38DETT, the 3.8-liter hand-assembled V-6 engine is fitted with a pair of turbochargers to obtain a rated 473 hp and 433 lb.-ft. of torque. It's the most powerful production engine ever offered by Nissan. The engine is mounted within Nissan's new Premium Midship chassis, putting the mass of the engine behind the front wheels for better balance. Power is routed through a carbon-fiber prop shaft to a rear-mounted transaxle containing the clutch, transmission and differentials. The transmission is a GR6-type 6-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic with paddle-type shifting on the steering wheel. Transferring this power to all four wheels is the latest version of Nissan's ATTESA-ETS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Electronic Torque Split) AWD system.
To provide improved straight-line stability at more than 180 mph, Nissan developed a new multi-link independent suspension with aluminum alloy components designed to take advantage of the vehicle's optimal load balancing. Brakes are massive vented and drilled steel discs with floating rotors. Six-piston calipers up front, and 4-piston calipers in the rear, are designed to haul the GT-R down from nearly 200 mph without drama or fade. Standard wheels are 20-inch aluminum alloy with specially designed run-flat tires. The Super Wide Beam Xenon headlamps offer a better view of the road than active headlights, Nissan says, adding that the 2009 GT-R is the world's only supercar that's equally at home on dry tarmac, snow, and wet rainy roads.


The 2009 GT-R is Nissan's innovative technology platform designed with an elaborate array of advanced electronic computerized controls to make driving faster, easier and safer. The center of the dashboard hosts a row of switches to customize transmission shift points, choose one of three suspension settings, and change or override the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R). The driver is able to monitor more than a dozen engine and performance parameters through the multi-function LCD on the dashboard. These include vehicle speed, g-force, fuel economy, turbo boost, water pressure, oil pressure, transmission oil, front/rear drive distribution, steering angles, and more. The presentation of the information was designed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital Inc, designer of the Gran Turismo video game series for Sony PlayStation.
The standard electronics package is comprehensive. A 7-inch, touch-screen, WVGA high-resolution color LCD sits prominently in the dashboard to display GPS navigation, vehicle performance information, and audio selections. A digital Bose stereo with AM/FM in-dash 6-CD changer, HDD Music Box system, MP3, WMA and DVD audio capabilities is also standard. All GT-R models are equipped with a Bluetooth Hands-free phone system with voice recognition.


The GT-R is one of the fastest cars in the world, and designed to be one of the safest. Nissan's Safety Shield concept of "designing a vehicle that helps protect people" has been extended to the GT-R. Accident-avoidance features include excellent handling and a strong braking system with standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) and a Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R) system. The low-drag chassis and body (.27 Cd.) of the GT-R are manufactured with rigid racing car-like carbon fiber, aluminum alloys, and advanced steels to reduce damage if a crash is inevitable. Driver and front passenger are protected by pre-tensioning seat belts and standard front and side air bags. Curtain air bags deploy to protect both rows of outboard passengers. The special safety needs of persons outside the vehicle have been addressed with Nissan's latest safety technology, the pop-up engine hood. When the front bumper sensors detect an impact with a pedestrian, a pyrotechnic activator raises the rear of the hood to lessen the impact on the pedestrian's head.

Environmental Impact

With the new GT-R, Nissan has pushed the automotive performance envelope-but they have not neglected environmental concerns in the process. To reduce unnecessary exposures to passengers, the window glass on every GT-R features ultraviolet and heat filtering, and both the shift knob and steering wheel have been treated with antibacterial coatings. Nissan has addressed the number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from adhesives and plastics inside the cabin by reexamining and adjusting more than a dozen potentially irritating chemicals to lower, and safer levels. Through an innovative manufacturing process, the GT-R is manufactured with components designed with recycling in mind. All plastic and rubber parts have been coded, recycled materials have been used for construction, and ozone-safe refrigerants are used in the air conditioning system. Nissan states the vehicle as a whole has a recyclability rate of over 95%. That is, if anyone can bring themselves to recycle a supercar.
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