Something that most motoring enthusiasts know already, but many other people get wrong, the latest R35 GT-R is not a skyline. Previous iterations of the GT-R all bore the name of ‘Skyline’, however Nissan announced during the R35 launch event that the car would simply be called the Nissan GT-R (R35). The last car to have the Skyline name was the R35’s predecessor, the R34.
10 – The Porsche 911 was the benchmark
When the Nissan GT-R R35 was being developed one of the goals was to create a 911 killer. The 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo was Nissan’s prey, which was widely regarded as one of the best sports cars of the time during the R35’s original launch. They wanted to beat the Porsche’s Nurburgring lap time and only launched the car once they were sure it was possible. The R35 not only did that, but it also outperformed much more expensive supercars and is still one of the fastest cars around the ‘Ring’ 10 years later.
9 – The R35’s Gearbox beats the Enzo’s
We know that the R-35 was as fast as many supercars and hypercars when it launched (and today as well), but why was that? One of the reasons was the incredible gearbox that was as fast as the Ferrari Enzo’s. The GT-R and the Enzo can both shift in 150ms, however unlike the Enzo the GT-R’s gearbox can be driven in automatic mode and gives a smoother ride. The GT-R is a Ferrari eater that can then be taken on the shopping run.
8 – Where did it get the Godzilla name?
The ‘Godzilla’ nickname actually originated with the R32 GT-R in Australia. Godzilla was originally a name for a Japanese monster, but when the GT-R began dominating the Australian motoring scene, the press branded the R32 with the Godzilla name. The car was so dominate in Australia it tore apart Group A racing in the country and got itself banned in the process.
7 – The R35’s engine is a work of art
All of the GT-R cars are incredible, but the R35’s amazing engine is a work of art in itself. The R35’s 3.8 litre V6 engine is the most powerful engine Nissan has ever put in a production car. It produced approximately 473 bhp and 588Nm when it was launched back in 2007, but now produces 565 bhp and 637Nm. Another unbelievable fact is that only 13 master engineers are allowed to assemble the R35’s engine. These people are called Takumi. Lastly, each engine is mated to a custom gearbox that will only work with the specific engine.
6 – Leave the SUV at home, take the GT-R in slippery conditions
Never mind the SUV all wheel drive systems trumpeted by many manufacturers, the GT-R has them all beaten in low traction environments. The GT-R’s ‘ATTESA E-TS’ all wheel drive system may sound a bit boring, but its ability to power the GT-R’s wheels independently makes it a real treat in snowy situations. While the ability to take the GT-R out in the snow is handy, the real reason for this independent 4-wheel torque vectoring system is to give the car maximum traction off the line.
5 – The R32, R33 and R34 were more powerful than advertised
During the 90’s, Japanese car manufactures were under agreement to only produce cars with a maximum power output of 276 bhp. However the Rb26 found in the R32, R33 and R34 was quite a bit more powerful than that. When the R32 left the factory and hit the dynos, many people found that the engine was actually producing 330+ bhp. Not only were the Rb26 GT-R’s more powerful than expected, but the R35 was found to produce more horsepower than advertised by many magazines.
4 – The first GT-R was a Datsun
Originally the first Skyline cars were produced by Prince Motors. Prince Motors were a Japanese car manufacturer that was founded in 1955 and taken over by Datsun. Datsun then shoved a six cylinder engine into the Skyline body in 1969 and the Skyline GT-R was born. Later Datsun was renamed to Nissan.
3 – The GT-R’s Reincarnation
At the beginning of the 90’s Nissan wanted a car to compete in Group A racing championships. Rules stated that all cars must be road legal and existing production models. The previous GT-R was 16 years out of production and Nissan decided to bring the GT-R name back with the R32 GT-R. Nissan’s R32 managed to win every championship it entered in its first year and became an icon of the motoring world. The GT-R is still probably the most loved Japanese sports car to date.
2 – The Marketing Campaign used Comics
Comics are extremely popular in Japan and come the launch of the R35, Nissan decided to use a slightly different approach to advertisement. When the car was first launched in the US, a comic called the GT-R was also introduced which also included the history of the GT-R namesake.
1 – It takes 60 hours to build
The Latest GT-R is produced in Nissan’s Tochigi facility and takes roughly 60 hours to make from start to finish. Apparently the hardest part is to fit the drivetrain as both the AWD system and gearbox are mounted in the back for better weight distribution.
Bonus – The R-35 injured Jeremy Clarkson
While Jeremy Clarkson was taking the R35 for a spin in Japan, the Godzilla gave the former Top Gear presenter a nasty surprise when its cornering ability was more than his neck could handle.