Why the Nissan GT-R is known as ‘The Godzilla’

Nissan's new GT-R has been one of the most awaited supercar launches in India and finally, the company will announce its price on 2nd December 2016. While we'll bring you the price and other details soon, let's first understand why this benchmark of Japanese magnificence is also popularly known as the legendary Japanese fictional monster.

By: | Published: December 1, 2016 12:53 PM
The Nissan GT-R was built to attack corners but is impressive in a straight line as well The Nissan GT-R was built to attack corners but is impressive in a straight line as well

In 2007, Nissan Motor Corporation unveiled the GT-R which was initially marketed as the successor of the famed Skyline GT-R, but wasn't a part of the Skyline range. The Skyline was a brilliant machine with lap times that would shy most supercars of its time. The Skyline's pocket-friendly performance and ability to be tuned extensively made it a popular choice with enthusiasts around the globe. It was this ability to be heavily modified that allowed the Skyline to outperform the much expensive performance and exotic cars. The GT-R was developed with the same idea of outperforming more powerful and expensive cars and hence it picked up the game from where the Skyline left it. It doesn't comes as a surprise then that the GT-R has carried forward the fictional monster's name which in Japanese, pronounced as Gojira, means the 'King of Monsters.'

The reason for this fabled creature's name being attached to the GT-R (or the Skyline) is the outright performance. The turbocharged engine develops an impressive 562 hp and 632 Nm of torque. However, some engines have known to develop more power than claimed as each engine is handmade and the actual power figure could vary a bit. Zero to 100 kmph is achieved in less than three seconds and the top speed is a menacing 313 kmph. This is courtesy the computer-aided technology packed into the Japanese model, which seems no less than witchcraft. A 3.5 litre twin-turbocharged V6 motor is connected to a dual-clutch semi-automatic rear mounted transmission, which transfers power to all wheels rather than only rear wheels, translating into more grip.

All mechanicals and electronics (almost uncountable) have been packaged tightly into the GT-R with great precision and the supercar has a relatively low kerb weight of under 1,800 kg. This translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 318 hp per tonne, which isn't ultra-light when compared to modern supercars. However, the GT-R can accelerate and corner faster than most cars due to the advanced electronics extracting the maximum from each system without any chances of human error. The weight distribution is 54:46, which once again isn't right up there with some supercars sporting a perfect distribution. Once again though, electronics save the day for the GT-R and allow the car to handle better than cars with better mechanical grip.

The think tank behind the GT-R, Shiro Nakamura had this very clear in his mind that this supercar would not just be any run-of-the-mill car, but a yardstick that other manufacturers would follow. In order to achieve that, each GT-R is handbuilt with each all-wheel-drive system, transmission and all other mechanical components made specifically for that engine.

Each engine is hand built and takes three months to complete by one highly skilled engineer at Nissan Each engine is hand built and takes three months to complete by one highly skilled engineer at Nissan

There are only four highly-skilled engineers, known as Takumi, who hand-build the GT-R's engines. The Takumis just have three months to build the engine allotted to each one of them. The engine cover has the name of that particular engineer engraved on a name plate and this makes the GT-R for its owner and the company all the more special.

The detail is not limited to the mechanicals but also extends to the design. Each curve on the car is made to send air to the rear spoiler and the underbody spoilers for added downforce. Each tyre also has a special knurling on the rim so that the tyres stick to the rim and doesn't come off while attacking a corner. The GT-R was primarily built to take on corners and the yaw sensor and G-sensor on the car adjusts the dampers in the shock absorbers and all-wheel-drive system every 100th of a second.

All this technology combined together has made the GT-R what it is today and not only does the car hold a sentimental value for Nissan, it has become a benchmark for other manufacturers to challenge not just in a straight line, but in corners as well. So, does the Godzilla badge suit the GT-R? Heck yes!

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