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STYLING | 8 out of 10
“sure does look menacing in person”
Los Angeles Times
“Japanese cars have never been this exotic from the factory”
Car and Driver
“doesn't compare to the best of the Germans and Italians”
The 2009 Nissan GT-R makes an indelible impression on drivers—and everyone who catches a glimpse of its sharklike silhouette—with its styling. It’s no knockoff of historical shapes or classic themes; the GT-R is a wedge attack on the road ahead, with a rakish roofline and angular fenders.
Edmunds explains the GT-R is “a high-performance sports car available only in coupe form with a 2+2 seating layout,” and Popular Mechanics points out the GT-R is “huge” by supercar measures: “at 183.3 in. long, it’s almost a foot longer than a 911, and it’s half a foot wider than a Honda Civic, at 74.6 in.” The sheer size, they say, is “striking.”
Edmunds contends the GT-R has a “polarizing exterior design.” That shape, Popular Mechanics comments, “commands respect in a way that no swooping Italian supercar can.” Their favorite design element? “A uniquely creased C-Pillar, has an in-house nickname: 'Sword Pillar.'” The Los Angeles Times reports Nissan’s designers aim to “reflect Japanese culture and avoid aping the razor-cut European exoticism of Ferrari and Lamborghini” with the car's shape.
Car and Driver feels “Japanese cars have never been this exotic from the factory,” while the Los Angeles Times snipes that the GT-R “sure does look menacing in person…like a Kabuki mask (or Cindy McCain).” They say it’s inspired by robots and observe that “words cannot describe how awesome this is, if you are 11.” Cars.com, meanwhile, contends “it's like your 350Z left middle school for the summer and reappeared after it hit puberty and then the gym.” Is it beautiful? Not to them: “To the average American, this just doesn't compare to the best of the Germans and Italians, and even, I daresay, the domestics.” Edmunds concludes “the angular exterior styling isn't for everyone—but then, when a $70,000 car can get you to 60 mph faster than any Ferrari or Lamborghini currently in production, does it really matter how it looks?”
Inside, the GT-R has more conventional appeal. A cockpit-themed interior wraps the major controls around the driver, while three passengers sit in a relatively plain cabin. Edmunds calls the interior “somber but appropriately driver-centric.” Popular Mechanics is somewhat distracted by “more switches, displays, gadgets and gizmos than you could ever imagine,” while Car and Driver observes it’s “graced with the same electric, futuristic feel of the film Blade Runner that pervades all of Tokyo.”
Though many of the Web reviews researched by TheCarConnection.com compare the GT-R to much more expensive and exotic cars, the styling score here acknowledges the GT-R’s unique, daring look—and likens it to its price competitors in the $70,000 range, including the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911.
The 2009 Nissan GT-R’s unconventional shape injects new style in the supercar class—from the outside, mostly.