I Don’t Get It

nissangtrNote: This post was written prior to the visit to the track yesterday, where we saw one. Although a coincidence, seeing one didn’t inspire this post.

I have a problem. I don’t get it. I have tried to understand it, but I can’t bring myself to like the Nissan GT-R.

Don’t get me wrong. It is fast, with a twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter V6 pushing 480 hp, it definitely has guts. Some carbon fiber here, Brembo brakes there, it has all the makings of a car that I would like. But for some reason, I don’t. I saw it at a car show last year. While Britton and Blake were ogling it I believe I might have been admiring the gloss of the pedestal on which it rested that hoisted the car above the common folk. What is the big deal?

The problems I have with it are mainly aesthetic, I will admit. But supercars are much more than speed. If I wanted to go fast only, I could drop $9,000 on a low end Ducati and blow most supercars away off the line. The idea is to culminate speed and performance into an attractive package that looks as uniquely obscene as the figure on the check you signed for it.

The Nose

Someone call Mitsubishi, there has been a break-in. The GT-R’s snout looks like someone left an EVO’s bonnet in the sun too long, the lights getting the worst of it.

The FrontLook at Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lotus, Porsche, BMW- they all have unique designs that are instantly recognizable. There is no shortage of ‘looks’ but it seems that it was too hard for Nissan to come up with a new design, so they took cues from various other cars.

The Back

If you were going to plagiarize a speech, would you copy the Gettysburg address or King’s “I have a dream”? Probably not. Nissan is going for the gusto by taking an American icon and giving it a firm middle finger.

The backThis is in addition to the other cars that already possess this lighting setup. There are near endless potential designs, but they have settled on… wait, it looks like they put a clear bezel in the middle of the red, its all okay now. Nevermind. It is completely different.

The spoiler looks as if it was acquired through a yard sale following the last Fast and the Furious movie, from the reject pile. Sadly, it was sat on by a fairly large boom mic operator, and so was available for less than a decent spoiler. Personally I prefer no spoiler at all, but that is a different story (and a better looking car).

It may not have looks, but it does have speed. Of course, cheating on your test laps helps too.

I realize this is completely subjective. This is something that cannot be argued rationally. If you would spend $80,000 on a Nissan, that is your own issue to deal with.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “I Don’t Get It

  1. Blake

    First point, there will be many coming afterwords but you also have to look at the history of a car before you bag it. The GT-R is a renamed Skyline GT-R which I’m sure you knew. Those tail lights are an evolved version of the old ones which have been around for a while. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1981_skyline_rear_side.JPG or http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Nissan_Skyline_C111_2000_GTX-E_002.jpg

    It’s not so much a copy as an evolution.

    Stay tuned for more…

  2. Britton

    Dude! I just wrote out a long, well-thought-out response and the computer crashed. Lame sauce.

    K first of all, nice comparison photos. Pretty convincing. And a good post, as always. Here are my thoughts:

    1) Sorry dude. The fact that it has circles on the back is not a way to cry “plagarism”, but merely a way to prove that the designer was human and has styling cues that he likes to follow. That’s what we do as humans–we don’t make a car that looks like a giant jagged rock. We take the things in our mind that are sleek and fast–the things that we’ve liked before–and we change them. They evolve, as Blake was saying. If you can find me a car that the designer says “I took my styling cues from nothing” (no car, no animal, no other designer’s work), then I’ll give you your point. Otherwise, here’s a 1981 corvette–I can’t agree that they look similar except the fact that “they both have circles.”

    2) Holy crap. It is an Evo. No defense there…

    Anyway, granted the Evo plagarism, I would still say that no one can look at that car as a whole and say it is unoriginal. It’s a heavy break from the traditional sports car. It’s futuristic, edgy, and very bold in its break from traditional styling.

    I can’t prove that it’s good looking (like you said, that’s all opinion and preference–in fact, such a very different looking car should generate controversial opinions), but I have to say that the car cannot be excluded from “being cool” on grounds of plagarism.

    And I, for one, would throw a party for myself every day if I owned one.

  3. Britton

    PS–forgot my corvette pic. Here’s the 1981

    Bezel and all, I still say the GTR was a big break from it.

  4. Blake

    Response to rebuttal:
    Oh yeah, I can really see the similarities in the 1953 model.

  5. clancycoop

    Britton,
    Good reply. Well thought out.

    However, the Skyline GT-R wasn’t even produced 1977-1989, so I don’t see where the 1981 Vette fits into the picture. The fact is that the Vette lights are iconic, and although lights are lights, most every other car company was able to think of something else to do.

    Blake,
    Holy crap when did you turn into a Digg commenter? I don’t even care about the lap time. The car being ugly was the point. I’m not even going to watch that video. I didn’t make the accusation, Porsche did. I only said “cheating on your test lap helps” and linked to another article. I didn’t actually say that they cheated, I left it to the article to make the statement it had. This is a common practice. It is left to the reader to decided if they believe the linked article.

  6. Blake

    I was just saying the article you posted to had been responded to by Nissan so it’s restating false acusations. Anyway sorry if that came off more rude than I wanted it to. Just stating that the article was a false accusation.

  7. Tyson

    Oh we’re gonna play that game Chad?

    Ouch.

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