11 June 2008

Enter the dragon

Nissan's awesome GT500 GT-R racer scares the hell out of Toyko

Now we're torn. Yesterday we saw the Aston DBR9 Le Mans racer in Gulf livery and were certain we'd found the coolest racing car of the year. 

But now Nissan has gone and taken the wraps off the awesome GT500 GT-R, in Tokyo, and we're all torn. 

Because, well, just look at it. The GT500 is, as you might have guessed, a racing version of the GT-R (Top Gear's Supercar of the Year, no less), set to compete in Japan's Super GT Championship. 

It'll race in the top category, the GT500 - quite possibly the fastest GT series in the world thanks to a list of regulations that reads something like: 'Do more or less whatever you want, so long as you keep under 500bhp.' 

As the road-going GT-R puts out some 480bhp, that means it won't be much more powerful on paper. But, as a quick look at (and, more important, a quick listen to this video of the car in testing reveals, there has been some pretty serious work put into the GT-R's 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6. What a noise. 

 

Nissan hasn't released any technical details on the GT500 yet, but we do know that it won't be allowed traction control, ABS or stability control. Whoever takes control of that thing needs cojones of carbon fibre. 

The organisers of the Super GT confidently assert that over the past few years, they've introduced more stringent regulations regarding aerodynamics, aiming to bring GT500 cars in line with GT1 cars. By the looks of the rear end of the GT500, those regulations aren't too strict yet: look at the size of that rear wing and diffuser. 

The GT500 also shows off Nissan's new works livery, which owes much to the paintjob on the current Fairlady Z race car. According to the Nissan spiel, 'the red symbolises the passion for racing, while the black signifies the high performance of the new GT-R'. 

Even if you painted the GT500 pink and plastered it in fluffy bunny decals, it'd still look scary enough to make Ross Kemp weep. We'll find out more about the GT500 GT-R at the end of this month.

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