by Sam Livingstone
The Nissan GT-R production cars have created and inhabited a niche within the sports car market, delivering unique high performance capability sports cars car that can play hard at the weekend and then work all week without compromise or needing an 'everyday car to share the garage with.
This niche has become a cult for the post-Playstation world which has made the GT-R label known to people who have never seen yet alone experienced the car, and critically exposed the car to a future customer base still driving with only their thumbs.
The GT-R concept debuting at the Tokyo show was one of a plethora of new production and concept cars shown by Japans second biggest car company, but although not the most polished car on the stand, probably the one that registers deepest in the petrol heads soloplexis because of the GT-R cult allure.
Its brutalist face with almost featureless huge black grille falling to the low front splitter, and vertical 'crying clowns eyes lamps similarly running the full depth of the DRG, the car exudes an almost threatening heir. The lamps sweep back across the tops of the wings which then wrap down in echo of the wheel arch aperture to intersect the diving body side. This feature is reminiscent of the Aston Martin Vanquish rear wheel arch into door panel, but played front to back here, and is highlighted by forming the leading edge to the shape of a side wing air outlet vent which in turn breaks up the sheerness of the body side.
This sheerness becomes bulky at the rear where is abruptly meets a similarly simply surfaced rear panel into which the characteristic GT-R (and Ferrari) circular lamps are recessed. A classic Nissan sports car DLO similar to the new 350Z and a central roof graphic that is picked up again as an air outlet on the bonnet and reflects the central safety spine that runs up from the interior tunnel aft of the driver and meets the roof above the rear window before coming forward to the top of the front screen.
Built to demonstrate Nissans intent to maintain their position of ultimate in this small sector of cars (and usurp the recent dominance of the cheaper and newer more humble entrants from Mitsubishi and Subaru) and as harbinger of left hand drive production for the first time.