It’s no secret that the Nissan Skyline GT-Rs and associated models are some of the most sought after cars in existence, at least to the generation raised on Gran Turismo games and the Fast and Furious movies. The R32 and R34 GT-Rs are always seen as the holy grail given their unattainable nature in the United States. The entire line of cars, dates back to the very first Skyline from 1960 and the GT-R in 1969.
Older Skylines still hold the hearts and imaginations of gearheads and will for years to come. But something happened in 2009 that made both Nissan diehards and performance car fans all over jump for joy. Nissan released the R35, the newest member of the GT-R family, to the United States, after officially launching it in 2007. And it wasn’t a warmed over one-off car to make American buyers happy either, it very quickly became a firm contender for one of the best cars ever to wear the Nissan badge.
Budget performance monster
Right from the start, it’s hard to find anything wrong with the R35 or any real deficiencies in the car itself. It throws out 480 horsepower to all four wheels with the help of its twin-turbo V6. According to a Car and Driver road test from 2008, a 2009 model year GT-R had a zero to 60 time of a scant 3.3 seconds, which is still wickedly fast and practically unheard of for anything that wasn’t wearing a Bugatti badge several years ago. It was faster than a contemporary Porsche 911 Turbo and a Lamborghini Murciélago.Topping out at 191 mph doesn’t hurt either. But the Skylines and GT-Rs were Godzilla with a more old school approach to speed and handling, the R35 GT-R is Mecha-Godzilla with its six-speed dual clutch automatic and hand-built port-injected 3.8-liter powerplant.
When it launched, the R35 was the bargain of the century, beating a fair amount of supercars in both price and performance. The R35 of today puts out significantly more power at 565 horsepower and retails for $113,540, still a relatively good deal when you consider the price of a competing Porsche 911 Turbo at $182,900. The 911 is a hair faster at a 2.7-second zero-to-60 mph time compared to the updated R35’s three seconds, but is that worth an extra nearly $70,000?
If you’re in the market for a supercar killer that punches way above its weight class, you might want to consider the Nissan R35 GT-R.