2009 Nissan GT-R; photo by Russell Purcell. Click image to enlarge
Los Angeles, California – Motor Trend magazine has selected the Nissan GT-R as the 2009 Motor Trend Car of the Year. The complete report will appear in the magazine’s January issue.
“No Nissan has been as formidable or as capable as the GT-R, and no 2009 contender crushes our criteria like the GT-R,” said editor-in-Chief Angus MacKenzie. “For that, it deserves our Golden Calipers. The Nissan GT-R rewrites the rule book for high-performance vehicles. This technologically advanced coupe delivers a level of performance, handling, and efficiency that rivals the world’s best-known supercars, at a fraction of the price. Exhilarating to drive, the GT-R sets benchmarks every automaker in the world will be studying. For a company like Nissan, this car is an extraordinary achievement.”
The 2009 GT-R is the sixth generation of Nissan’s flagship sports car, but is the first to come from a “clean slate” design, rather than based on Japanese-market Skyline models as previously, and the first to be globally marketed. A single technician in a climate-controlled, clean-room environment hand assembles the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 and the six-speed twin-clutch transmission. The GT-R is also the world’s first production car to feature a rear-mounted transaxle and two independent propeller shafts, allowing each axle to control tire grip without manipulation of the other.
To be eligible for the magazine’s Car of the Year, a vehicle must be totally new or redesigned, and released in the twelve months prior to January 1, 2009. Other vehicles in contention this year were the Acura TL, Acura TSX, Audi A4, BMW 135i, Dodge Challenger R/T, Honda Fit, Hyundai Genesis, Jaguar XF, Lincoln MKS, Mazda6, Nissan Maxima, Pontiac G8, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, and Volkswagen Passat CC. It also marks the first time Nissan has won in the Car of the Year category; previously, it won Import of the Year and Sport/Utility of the Year honours.