Nissan GT-R coupe tests two-second barrier

The already very quick GT-R can go faster, says Nissan's chief engineer. Photo / Supplied
The already very quick GT-R can go faster, says Nissan's chief engineer. Photo / Supplied

Nissan goes into next week's Mystery Creek Fieldays with a display boasting unusual bragging rights.

On the one hand there's the all-electric hatchback Leaf, the World Car of the Year and a future direction in motoring.

On the other is the blisteringly fast new GT-R coupe and the updated 550 Navara, the most powerful ute on the New Zealand market. These offerings will be joined by the Juke, a sporty crossover/hatchback.

The GT-R is already on sale here; the Leaf, Juke and Navara will be available early next year.

The GT-R is one of the quickest cars around, certainly off the line. Nissan claims a zero to 100km/h time for the two-door of a tad over three seconds.

But tests at the Sendai Highland Raceway in Japan last year showed the GT-R can go quicker still.

Nissan engineers said the time would have been faster had the road temperature been higher than 13C.

The sprint was recorded by a V-Box measuring device and witnessed by a group of Japanese journalists.

The standard production R35 model GT-R took just 3.046 seconds to reach 100km/h from a standing start on the circuit's main straight.

Kazutoshi Mizuno, chief engineer and "Godfather" of the R35 Nissan GT-R, said that with warmer track temperatures "the GT-R will reach the world of two seconds".

The 2011 GT-R achieves its maximum acceleration when the driver selects "R-Mode" and activates the latest R35's revised "VDC-R" traction programme to maximise tyre grip and engine performance.

The R-Mode also offers the most aggressive traction, braking and gear-change settings for high performance driving. However, even in the less aggressive "A-mode", Japanese motoring writers were still able to achieve 3.1 seconds for the zero to 100km/h dash.

The Navara 550 carries a Renault-sourced V6 turbodiesel delivering 170kW and 550Nm of torque from 1750rpm. The Navara 450 uses a four-cylinder 3-litre unit putting out 450Nm.

The V6 engine is rated Euro 5 for emissions and Nissan claims it is good for town-and-around fuel economy of 9.5 litres/100km.

Codenamed the V9X engine, it was developed over four years by the Nissan-Renault Alliance and revealed at last year's Geneva motor show.

The engine features an atypical 65-degree vee angle, which engineers claim offers an improved compromise between crankshaft balancing, crankshaft and cylinder block reliability and engine packaging. It also allows space for the single turbocharger to be mounted within the vee.

Also out of the ordinary is the material used to build the engine block. Engineers first looked at aluminium, but decided the metal would need extra material to boost stiffness and reduce noise.

Cast iron answered refinement needs but would have placed too much weight over the front wheels and adversely affected handling characteristics, they ruled.

So they settled on Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI), a material that offers all the benefits of cast iron, including high levels of stiffness and noise absorption, but without the weight penalty.

Although CGI is heavier than a pure alloy block, there is no need to add stiffening or extra sound deadening material. The weight gain is comparatively modest.

- NZ Herald

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