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October 19, 2005

The Return of Godzilla

The much-anticipated Nissan GT-R Proto was unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show press preview on October 19. After four years of hype, the specifications for the next GT-R are still unclear. Speculation calls for a bi-turbo 3.5L V6 or a 4.5L V8, but all Nissan will say is that it will make north of 400 bhp.

More ranting about the powertrain and aesthetics of the GT-R Proto after the jump.

With the C6 Z06 pushing approximately 3200 lbs with 505 bhp, Nissan better significantly up their power output to compete -especially when one takes into account the increasing heft of the R33 and R34.

I, as a consumer, would be weary about a V-type engine with forced induction. One tends to need to buy two of everything, be it turbos, gates, ICs, BOVs, and the list goes on. I am certainly biased as and owner of a car with a turbocharged inline engine, but so are the Skyline faithful. The venerable RB26DETT will be hard to replace.

As far as styling goes, it hasn't really grown on me yet. The styling appears sterile, lacking soul, more akin to an electronic device rather an automobile. It seems contrived, as if the designers were torn between angular and curvilinear lines. The headlights are reminiscent of an angular Lamborghini Gallardo while the taillights look like they were taken from the front fascia of the rounded Bentley Continental GT. The sloping roofline is too busy. The strong front fenders, replete with carbon fiber vents, do not accentuate the presumed RWD nature of the car. Even the sail line along the rear wheelwell has been eliminated and combined with the shoulder line. Also, one would think that Nissan could come up with better wheels for their flagship concept. Instead, the rollers look like they were pulled off an Infiniti SUV.

As a self-proclaimed Carbon Fiber Junkie, I appreciate the exposed carbon, but question the location of exposure. The carbon highlights on the lower trim a la Ridox, the diffuser a la Top Secret, and spoiler a la Rod Millen are nice and all, but is it necessary to leave raw carbon on the front snout, brake ducts, and A-pillars? Eurethane front fascias are not that heavy to begin with, and I doubt the corporate bean counters would sign off on a CF bumper. I also doubt that any part of the greenhouse is composite. Highlights are nice, but where they don't really serve a purpose (read: save weight), is superfluous.

Photos are courtesy of the very talented Dino Dalle Carbonare and Nissan. More images can be found in My Gallery, AutoWeek, and Nissan (01-31).

Posted by hungwin at October 19, 2005 04:48 PM