By on June 12, 2013

There’s something powerful about this video. The violence of the launch. The frantic revs, the merciless shifts, the fact that the driver hits fifth gear before crossing the line. The only question is: how fast is he going?

Picture courtesy Boyan Radovic

That’s 8.61 seconds at 170 miles per hour. There are certainly faster “street legal” cars out there, such as the seven-second street class in the UK, but those aren’t really cars you could drive in traffic or with passengers. This GT-R looks stock, sounds nearly stock, and accelerates like a 747SP on a short runway.

Long-time TTAC readers will know that I briefly worked for the GT-R wizards at Switzer Performance. I asked their media assassin Jo Borras if he knew anything about this car. Turns out that Switzer was involved in the preparation of what is a sort of amazing mongrel GT-R, containing parts from a few different tuner companies. “Can you cook up a press release?” I inquired, since autojournos love rewriting press releases. He obliged:

ShepTrans’ owner John Shepherd was behind the wheel of his high-horsepower GTR yesterday, when he set a new GTR 1/4 mile record: an ET of 8.61 with a trap speed in excess of 170 mph!

Shepherd’s record run didn’t just come down to his Nissan GTR’s exotic drivetrain, however – it was also a matter of software. “We didn’t intend to set records,” explains Tym Switzer, head of Syvecs North America and its parent company, Switzer Performance. “We headed out to the track with John’s car and another customer’s Ultimate Street Edition GTR to test some of the new strategies we’ve been developing on our Syvecs SGTR ECU package for the Nissan R35 GTR. We didn’t think we’d be gunning for records and certainly didn’t think we’d be making any headlines – we didn’t even bring a camera! Everything just started clicking and we came home with a new GTR record on Shep’s car, and a new fast time validation run for one of our USE cars, which ran a 9.6 at 149 mph amazingly on 93 octane pump fuel…

…On John’s car, the Syvecs ecu served to tie together a fully-built ShepTrans driveline, an AMS turbo kit, and our Switzer/Syvecs dual-injection fuel system, as well as quite a few other vendor-supplied components to help get the job done. The car was well-prepared by John’s guys, and Boyan Radomirov (Switzer Performance/Syvecs North America’s lead tuner) deserved a great deal of the credit for the effort, as he was on hand to help John dial the car in and has spent hundreds of hours gathering data and working behind the scenes with the rest of the Syvecs team to make sure our software updates effectively improve both performance and drivability.”

Now, I know Tym Switzer personally, and I’ve never heard him string together that many words without saying “fuck” three times in said collection of words. So we’ll assume Jo is editing for content and length.

If you’ve never heard about the Switzer GT-Rs, here’s my original review of the P800. I said at the time that I’d rather have a Viper, and I’ll stand by that statement today. But when I have that Viper, and I see a GT-R like this one next to me at the stoplights, I’ll put on my turn signal, okay?

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39 Comments on “And Here’s The Eight-Second Street Car...”


  • avatar
    raph

    Cool, its a good exercise in a car that has maximized traction and near zero lag when it comes to shifting duty. All the driver has to do is mat the gas and go given the proper calibration (provided the traction control isn’t rendered useless by so much power)

    I much prefer ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpLwx7bzbww ) Evolution’s 8 second GT500 with its manual transmission driving two rear wheels only as in my eyes this is much more an art to maximizing acceleration when you don’t have a robo trans and AWD.

    So I guess queue the next post which will undoubtedly tell me “LMAO off because you would lose loser with your yestertech car”

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    waiting, waiting, waiting for the GTR youtube to load, but Regent University advert loads right up when I accidentially roll over it.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Well, still waiting on the GTR video to load, guess I’ll refresh the page.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I wonder how much fun a twin-turbo Viper would be…

    1000 horsepower and enough torque to cause a magnitude 4 earthquake?

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Oh wait, Hennessey already has a new Venom 1000 based off the new Viper. Well that would fill my desires for a 1000 horsepower twin turbo V10 monster. And the older Venom was already really freakin’ fast.

  • avatar
    Cubista

    Well, the three-pedal snob set has had their say…I’ll take my hat off to this miracle of modern automotive engineering and speak of it in reverent tones. I’m guessing even with those mods it still comes in lower than any Ferrari or Lambo you could drive off their respective lots to challenge it (and lose. Badly).

    Price tag for all that (not including the car itself)?

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    That was quick, but a video doesn’t do justice to what can be watched “en vivo” at the track.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Very nice, but this 7-second street-legal Viper has a more explosive launch:

    http://www.streetfire.net/video/7-second-viper-streetlegal_58243.htm

    You need this car, Jack.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I just don’t care at all. I’d rather drive my Triumph Spitfire that won’t beat a well-driven Geo Metro in the 1/4 mile, but beats just about everything in smiles per mile. It FEELS like you are strapped to the head of a missile while barely breaking the speed limit. Way better for the health of your license.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Looks surprisingly smooth. Not particularly one of my favorite cars, but the technology behind the GTR is incredible. Nissan just let the engineers go wild and I envy that. The car has amazing presence in person, too.

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      yes it really does have incredible presence.
      I honestly cannot see how the GTR gets criticized for its design. I think it is one of the most original breath-taking designs of all time. It just stands there with a purpose and you just know it will knock your teeth out… its robotic looking and that is intentional…

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        Robotic-looking. Yes, that’s a good description. It’s certainly not pretty, but it has a mechanical purposefulness that I can at least appreciate if not particularly like.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I got to see the GT-R up close and personal at the Greater Philadelphia Auto Show.

      Judging by the crowd of people circling around it, I wasn’t the only one drawn in by its presence.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Impressive, but I’d easily take a 3 pedal R32,33,34 Skyline GT-R instead.

  • avatar
    rolladan

    I’ll bet money all you third pedal snobs drive autos as a dd. just shut up and show respect when it’s due. This car just pulled a 8 sec quarter mile time and made it look like a stroll in the park. If you guys really need stick that badly then shove it up your…. I love stick shift just as much as anybody else but to completely dismiss ANY car that isn’t stick is just ignorant.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I’ve never felt like such a girl for insisting on stick shifting a sports car.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STyKLlkAiLQ

    • 0 avatar
      slow kills

      A car without a clutch pedal is like a one-legged woman to me. There may be one that is nice, even better than a standard but I overwhelmingly prefer women with two legs, cars with three pedals.
      I’m hoping to die without having to buy a bumper car.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      And any chick working the stick shift on her own muscle/sports car gains 1-1/2 to 2 hotness points. Bonus points for wearing a short skirt while doing it…

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “I’ll bet money all you third pedal snobs drive autos as a dd.”

      Why is it that if someone prefers a manual for whatever reason you consider them snobs? If some prefer the closer connection they feel a manual provides why does that aggravate you so?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Nope:

      http://flic.kr/p/ar2nCa

      Only autotragic I own is a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and if they existed as manuals, it would have one too.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think the Japanese built some of the world’s finest performance vehicles.

    Anyone remember the Datsun 1600, 240Z? Stock standard they were a great drive.

    In the mid to late 80s the Japanese auto manufacturers turned their attention to create some of the finest performace vehicles.

    The Godzilla is probably the best evolution of the Japanese performance vehicle.

    In Australia we used to have what was called Group A Touring car racing.

    CAMS, motor racing authority tried to increase the weight of the Peter Jackson Skylines to 1 800kgs in race trim. The Ford Mustang/Falcon, Holden Commodore etc teams were crying, they just weren’t competitive.

    The Great American/Australian V8 vehicles came in at 1 300kgs and the Skyline was at 1 500kgs and the Skyline with its tiny 2.4 Turbo blew them away race after race. And it was very reliable.

    Ford and GM wanted these 2.4 litre vehicle to weigh 1 800kgs because they just were too competitive. Nissan refused and told GM and Ford to build a competitive racing car, within the formulas.

    Back then Ford and GM couldn’t have the capacity to build a competitive vehicle.

    The Skyline was the impetus for a new form of racing, V8 SuperCars evolved, which is another great racing formula.

  • avatar
    motormouth

    I think the beauty of the GT-R over similar vehicles is that it can do this kind of sprint over and over without dropping a clutch or blowing a rod through the valve cover.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    That…just….blew….my…..mind. That is just insanity.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Remember in the movie Serenity where Shepherd Book is doing bench presses with Jayne supposedly spotting for him?

    Jayne is distracted, not seeing that Book is losing it and can’t rack the weights. Finally Jayne glances down, snatches the bar one handed and racks it, rescuing Book. Then immediately resumes ignoring him. Took him about one second to do that.

    Don’t know why but this Nissan brought that to mind.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      And that reminds me, in one of the original Sherlock Holmes short stories, a large, broad shouldered man comes to see Holmes. At the end of the discussion, the man picks up a fire poker and bends it threateningly and with some drama. After he has left Holmes and Dr. Watson are chatting about the visit and Holmes casualty picks up the poker and bends it straight again.

  • avatar
    7402

    Our daily drivers have clutch pedals, that’s just how we roll.

    I’m not inclined to drag racing, but if I were shopping for a contemporary vehicle to take to the drag strip, it would have an automatic transmission. Drag racing is completely different from a fun run through the twisties. Drag racing has only two goals, both instrument measured: ET and trap speed. From the perspective of the driver experience, it’s about concentration, timing, and adrenalin.

    So, yeah, in a modern car you need a two-pedal configuration and tunable software with a launch mode. We’re in a completely different era than the factory muscle superstock drag cars of the early mid 1960s. Anyway, many of those, like the Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, were available with a 4-speed or an automatic as were most of the factory lightweight muscle cars of the 1960s.

  • avatar
    joborras

    Thanks for the kind words, Jack. To be fair, Tym doesn’t say “fuck” as much anymore (I think turning 40 mellowed him out).

  • avatar
    hubcap

    That car is an absolute beast. That’s not Godzilla, that’s Mecha-Godzilla…on steroids!

  • avatar
    TW4

    GODZIRRA!!

    That is the correct pronunciation btw

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I don’t think the camera angle does this run justice. For perspective, wikipedia references 1/4 times for a Suzuki Hayabusa ranging from 9.7s to 10.2s. How many street-driveable cars will smoke a Hayabusa?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    That is one deceptively quick motor car, it’s almost devoid of drama. Sometimes I am a little jealous of those super quick double clutch transmissions… but not enough to own one.


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