Last fall, we had a typical-for-TTAC slap fight between Bark and Mark, centered around Nissan. I’ve been ruminating on this argument for months, but my conversation last week with NISMO chief Hiroshi Tamura — and seeing what Nissan chose to feature in New York — finally pushed me over the edge.
As I walked through the glass doors in the Jacob Javits Center last Wednesday morning, preparing for my first auto show as a member of the press, the automaker that’s defined much of my motoring life was front and center.
Somewhat inexplicably, Nissan had rented possibly the best, highest-traffic space in the entire hall and filled it with a tribute to a six-figure supercar, complete with a bunch of old cars the U.S. never saw when new.
Well, I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so, didn’t I? Eight years ago, when the R35 GT-R arrived on our shores, it was widely claimed and believed that Nissan would sell 5,000 GT-Rs a year in this country and that the GT-R would cast an effective halo on the company’s relatively unexceptional product line. As to the first prediction: they didn’t close. You would need to combine four of the GT-R’s best-selling years to break the five-thou mark.
The newly refreshed 2017 Nissan GT-R on the rostrum drew the focus of many, but it was the five historic vehicles Nissan decided to bring to the New York International Auto Show that shouted for my attention in the crowd.
These five Skylines represent the race-bred heritage of the GT-R, while simultaneously taunting American enthusiasts who could never buy these iconic sports cars when they arrived new to dealerships.
Following a six-year period in which an average of only 55 GT-Rs were sold in America during the first month on the calendar, Nissan USA reported 101 GT-R sales in January 2015.
The GT-R’s 28% year-over-year increase hides a 110% improvement compared with January 2013 and a 405% improvement compared with January 2012, equal to an extra 81 sales. (Read More…)
If you haven’t read the first-ever Road & Track Performance Car of the Year story, I would highly recommend reading the Baruth-penned story, which gives any British buff book a run for its money, despite a dearth of derring-do heroics on Welsh backgrounds. Some of the most illuminating information comes not from the Disco Hoodied One himself, but from other R&T staffers. Take this choice quote about the Nissan GT-R for example:
There’s a lot of chuckling in the paddock over the blue seats and odd Track Edition badging on Nissans newest GT-R, but on the runway, it’s serious business. It’s also damn near the fastest car in the test. “It’s so good — and it used to be so terrible,” says Cammisa.
For one week every September, the residents of Toronto are paralyzed with awe, any notion of rational thought gone with the proverbial wind, as The Centre of the Universe braces for an influx of Hollywood A-Listers, B-Listers and A-List hanger-on types during the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF, as it’s known, is a great attraction for the city, bringing in free-spending tourists and some mild cultural cachet to a city that still battles a wicked inferiority complex.
Chris Harris may have been wrong about Miatas, but his review of the Audi RS4, where he describes the various configurable driveline settings as “adjustment theatre”, brilliantly describes the overly-complex systems that are cropping up in today’s performance cars as they attempt to appeal to not just the lead-footed, but the well-heeled.
Reports are emerging that the Nissan Juke R will cost $600,000 (about $450,000 euro) once Nissan starts selling their steroid-enhanced crossover.
Nissan sent a blow to the automotive press today, with the announcement that none of the upcoming limited production Juke-R crossovers would be allocated for long-term testing.
Nissan will finally unleash its upgraded GT-R. It will be available in Japan next month. NA and EU will be graced by it come February. It’s leitmotif: More power, less filling. (Read More…)