LUXURY SPORTS CAR

Nissan tests its limits with GT-R

by Kaho Shimizu

CHIBA — Nissan Motor Co. unveiled its much-anticipated GT-R supercar Wednesday at the Tokyo Motor Show in Chiba, hoping to win the hearts of serious drivers in and outside Japan.

The new GT-R, scheduled to debut in Japan in December, features a newly designed 3.8-liter twin turbo V-6 engine that can accelerate from zero to 100 kph in just 3.6 seconds, the automaker said.

“We wanted to make a car that stretched all our skills and our craft to their limits,” Nissan President Carlos Ghosn told reporters during a press preview at the show.

“By setting our sights so high with the GT-R, we pushed ourselves to innovate beyond what we thought would be possible,” he said, adding that Nissan can apply the technology developed for the GT-R to other cars.

According to a Nissan engineer, the GT-R is so highly stable that occupants can easily converse at speeds up to 300 kph.

The new luxury sports car is priced between ¥7.77 million and ¥8.35 million. The monthly sales target for the model is set at 200 in Japan.

Once a part of the Skyline series, the GT-R was only available in Japan, where it attracted a great deal of attention among car lovers.

In 2001, Nissan announced that it would develop an all-new GT-R and has whipped up enthusiasm by showing the prototype at motor shows around the world over the past few years.

With the intention of making the new GT-R a global flagship model, Nissan said it plans to launch the supercar in the United States next June and other parts of the world some time in business 2008.

Ghosn said the new supercar will boost customer traffic at its outlets, which he hopes will result in increased car sales overall.