Nissan unveiled it’s Nissan GT-R PROTO yesterday at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. This model will be the concept where the next Nissan Skyline R35 GT-R will be based on.
It’s more of a design concept than a full-blown concept car though. No engine specifications or other tidbits about the new car have been revealed so far.
At first glance it looks much like the original Nissan Skyline GT-R R35 Concept unveiled at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show.
Nissan’s designer team led by Shiro Nakamura have created a sleek looking mean machine. The body design flows pretty well, looks very aerodynamic. Of course, you have the trademark Skyline round taillamps at the back.
The 2009 Nissan Skyline GT-R is a legend before it even enters production.
Born from a long line of Skyline GT-Rs dating back to 1969, this latest version — “R36″ to the hard-core — promises to pack more turbocharged power, more all-wheel-drive technology and more sheer speed than any Japanese car ever to come to America.
For six years the 2009 Nissan Skyline GT-R has been the subject of intense rumors and frenzied speculation. Frequent sightings of GT-R test mules help fuel the excitement. We’ve caught GT-R prototypes on the streets of L.A. and the Nürburgring test track in Germany. Nissan’s engineers also made a trip to a couple California racetracks, bringing the GT-R to both Laguna Seca and Sears Point.
Why is this car followed so closely? Because the Skyline GT-R R36 is expected to be the ne plus ultra of Japanese performance machinery; and after 30 years of waiting, it’s finally America’s turn to officially take part in all the fun.
The Allure of Forbidden Fruit
The original Nissan Skyline GT-R
might have hit the street in 1969, but it wasn’t until 1990 that the GT-R legend would be solidified. That was the year the Skyline GT-R was introduced to an utterly stunned Japanese market. It was the first of three twin-turbocharged, all-wheel-drive and all-wheel-steering Skylines (R32, R33 and R34) and it’s the generation upon which the Skyline GT-R legend rests.
Though the R34 left production after the 2003 model year, it was so beloved that Nissan’s Nismo division actually bought 20 used Skyline GT-R R34 V-Spec models during 2005 and completely rebuilt them into what is currently considered the greatest GT-R of them all — the $170,000, 500-horsepower Skyline GT-R Z-Tune.
Although Nissan never imported the Skyline GT-R to the United States, the supercar still found its way into America’s automotive consciousness. In fact, buying one in the U.S. became relatively easy. By the dawn of the 21st century, several hundred had been imported.
So prominent had the Nissan Skyline GT-R become that in 2003′s 2 Fast 2 Furious, the film’s hero drove and raced one through the streets of Miami. And the actor Paul Walker, who played the role, bought his own and modified it.
At the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan showed the GT-R Concept as the prospective successor to the R34. By early 2005, modified G35 coupes with Infiniti badges, oversize wheels and tires, big rear wings, hood scoops and bodywork protrusions big enough to hide exotic exhaust systems in back or intercoolers up front were spied at the Nürburgring.
These weren’t just tuner cars, but full-fledged prototypes of the next GT-R.
Then in the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, another GT-R showcar appeared called the GT-R Proto; and the new, innovative shape of the next GT-R was apparent. Obviously based on Nissan’s FM-code front midengine chassis, this GT-R would apparently use a turbocharged version of the VQ V6 with a seven-speed transmission and all-wheel drive.
And at the 2006 New York Auto Show, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that, yes finally, the new Skyline GT-R R36 would be sold in the United States and it would be sold worldwide exclusively through Nissan, and not Infiniti. And apparently without the Skyline name.
That’s right, it’ll officially be called the Nissan GT-R. Yeah, right, just like the 2007 Mazda Miata is the MX-5.
Almost Ready To Rock
Since then, more prototypes of the 2009 Nissan Skyline GT-R with sheet metal nearly identical to the GT-R Proto have been often seen at the Nürburgring and in America’s Southwest, usually in the company of at least one Porsche 911 Turbo. It’s that 480-hp, all-wheel-drive Porsche that Nissan is obviously using as its performance benchmark for this car.
But when the new production GT-R R36 goes on sale after its debut at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October, we don’t expect it to carry a price tag near that Porsche’s $122,000 chit. Instead the 2009 Nissan Skyline GT-R is expected to run somewhere around $70,000, making it a contender to take the title of best value supercar from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
No wonder it’s the most eagerly anticipated car in a generation. And to feed that anticipation, we’ll be updating this page with new information, photos and anything else related to the 2009 Nissan Skyline GT-R R36 until the official unveiling at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show.