First Nissan GT-R Arrives in U.S.

July 7, 2008

For those of us who are getting a little tired of reading – and writing – about nothing but green machines, here’s a bit of news that’ll have you revved up for the first day back after our long, lazy Independence Day holiday.

After a seemingly interminable wait, Nissan has finally delivered its first GT-R to a U.S. customer. We got our first look at the Japanese supercar almost four years ago, if our archives are accurate, at the Tokyo Motor Show. And we were among the fortunate few Americans to get an advanced drive, earlier this year, at the Nissan 360 event, in Lisbon, Portugal. But the automaker has taken its sweet time actually handing over the keys to an American customer.

The wait finally came to an end at a minute past midnight, California time, when Daryl Alison of Costa Mesa, Calif., who placed an order through a pre-sale program launched last January, took delivery at Universal City Nissan in Los Angeles.

“I’ve followed the history of the GT-R since inception and, after years of anticipation, it’s great to see the ‘Godzilla of supercars’ finally coming to the U.S.,” said Alison. “I’ve owned a number of Nissan 350Z sportscars and other exotics and musclecars, but more than any other vehicle I can’t wait to get this new GT-R out on the road. Now it’s America’s time to get in and play.”

There are plenty of others waiting to get their hands on the 480-horsepower exotic. According to Nissan, dealers have already booked orders for 1,700 GT-Rs, or about 70 percent of the cars the company plans to deliver to the States during its first year. Considering the shift in the American market, those are significant numbers, though we’ll be watching to see if demand tapers off, what with $4-plus gasoline.

For those who’re willing to suffer for the art of performance, consider these statistics: Media colleagues who’ve had the opportunity to put the GT-R to the test are reporting 0-60 times of around 3.5 seconds. And Nissan itself boasts it has set a lap time of 7 minutes, 29 seconds around the grueling Nurburgring, which would make the GT-R one of the fastest production vehicles ever to challenge the German track.

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