IT has been one of the most anticipated arrivals of 2009.
This feature was first published in MOTOR Magazine March 2009.
And, even before any of the covers were ripped off the newest metal at the Detroit Motor Show, Nissan was the first to debut a drop-dead performance icon this year when it released details of the Spec V version of its fearsome R35 GT-R.
Created primarily to be a basis for the imminent race model that will contest sportscar racing around the world later this year – including a possible attack at the GT3 class in the Le Mans 24 Hour race – the Spec V, like its V Spec predecessors, is a harder, lighter, faster version of the standard GT-R model, honed on the famed Nurburgring circuit.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be officially sold here seeing it would cost around $250,000.
Holy spoiler, Batman! - There are only a few styling tweaks that separate the GT-R from the Spec V – the most obvious being the carbonfibre brake ducts in the front spoiler
Grilled - A crucial part of the Spec V is its reduced kerb weight – down by 60kg – which has come from extensive use of carbonfibre, including the front grille
Torque of the town - GT-R’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo VR38DETT V6 is the subject of a few minor tweaks, including an overboost function that increases torque to 608Nm for short bursts
Bite hard - To provide the Spec V with more grip, it is fitted with lightweight forged-alloy NISMO rims wrapped in either sticky Bridgestone Potenzas or R-Spec semi-slicks
Command centre - The GT-R Spec V’s cockpit is doused in carbonfibre as part of its weight-loss regime. The rear seats are gone and the fronts are lightweight carbon Recaros
Now that’s a Zorst! - While it doesn’t offer much of a gain in performance, the Spec V’s exhaust system is now coated in titanium for better heat protection during track sessions
On a wing and a prayer - Although it isn’t any bigger than the standard GT-R’s rear wing, the Spec V has a raw carbonfibre version. The boot badge is the only Spec V reference
BRAKES AND SUSPENSION
It’s not like the GT-R was lacking anything in the performance department to start with. So rather than spending time – and money – on improving the already-highly strung V6, Nissan’s engineers concentrated on further improving the overall handling package.
The Spec V therefore features stiffer and lower Bilstein Damptronic suspension that is permanently set to the regular model’s R-setting. But it also features exotic Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with six-piston monobloc calipers. They significantly improve the GT-R’s stopping power and fade resistance, as well as reducing its unsprung weight.
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