Top Gear chats to Mizuno-san: Mr GT-R
Kazutoshi Mizuno is engaging, funny and clever. He's also godfather of the legend that is the GT-R
Posted: 23 Feb 2012
Is it correct that a car like the GT-R could only come from Japan, I ask, as he unwinds from another whiteboard assault.
"The GT-R is a Japanese supercar. Yes. So, what is Japan? All German cars are high-quality and high-price. American cars are cheaper and not as good. Italian cars are eccentric but unreliable. Nationality is bigger than the cars. Again, what is Japan? [Now back on the whiteboard] It is takumi. This is Japanese spirit! [Takumi broadly means skill and artisanship] For example, grandmother buys kimono, mother, daughter all do the same... takumi then modifies each person's things. It is a special skill that adds something special in the customer mind, and passes it on to the next generation. So the GT-R is takumi. I do this for customer, not for myself or for company pride."
That's what the Track Pack is about, and the amusingly named Egoist personalisation package, wherein the owner can go nuts speccing his or her car without going aftermarket ("very passionate essence for customer"). But what about the person who wants to really let rip? Could the GT-R be, you know, too controlling? For example, I tell him, I love a bit of oversteer. This is another mistake.