They’re smiling at Nissan New Zealand’s headquarters in Wiri, Manukau City, despite the car market slump and economic downturn
No wonder, considering the rush to be the first on the block to own the new GT-R supercar. Just two hours after the online order book opened mid-morning, six people had placed orders for the car that smashed Porsche’s lap record at the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany and arrive here in April, 2009.
Nissan NZ boss John Manley, in a letter alerting prospective customers to the order book opening, described the 353kW front-engined four-wheel drive coupe as one of the “most eagerly anticipated cars ever to be released for sale in New Zealand. Without a doubt, the most talked about car in the world over the past year.”
There’s no doubt about that, and Manley isn’t indulging in hyped-up sales pitch hyperbole; well, he is, but this time there’s no hype. Just check out the number of hits the exiting GT-R story on this website has attracted.
Or consider the late 2007 media launch of the revised X-Trail compact SUV in Dunedin. Manley made the mistake of opening the forum up as he started his X-Trail presentation and was bombarded with enthusiastic questions about the GT-R – this from a bunch of cynical journalists – and simply ran out of time to do much talking about the 4x4.
It’s a car that has captured the public imagination and attracts interest from people who are never going to be able to afford its starting price let alone cover servicing and running costs.
The GT-R coming here is available in two forms, the just plain GT-R at $144,600, or the GT-R Premium for $146,000. Those prices are better than in Australia where the GT-R is hit by the luxury tax and starts at $Au148,000; and they’re lower than initially anticipated.
You can order your GT-R online but can get it serviced at only two dealerships nationwide, the factory audited and approved Nissan High Performance Centres at City Nissan Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore, and Cockram Nissan in Christchurch.
They have the factory diagnostic and servicing equipment necessary to keep the high-tech systems operating properly, and have the specially trained and trained technicians and senior sales staff Nissan Japan demanded.
NZ market GT-Rs have hand-built 353kW twin turbo 3.8-litre V6s developing peak torque of 588Nm between 3200 and 5200rpm. Initially, they don’t the tweaked motors Japanese market cars got recently, that lifted output to 357kW.
The base model GT-R has the same specially-developed nitrogen-filled, 20-inch Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST run-flat tyres that were on the car that broke Porsche’s Nurburgring lap record, circulating the daunting track in seven minutes, 29 seconds.
The Premium gets dark-finish 21-inch alloy wheels fitted with Bridgestone Potenzas, red accents on the seats (which also pick up heaters), and a Bose sound system. The GT-R has silver-coloured wheels.
Godzilla is back, badder than ever.