THE CAR: Nissan GT-R SpecV
THE LOWDOWN: Godzilla goes on a diet, gets fiercer and faster.
WHY WE'RE STOKED: The GT-R has been an anomaly in the supercar sphere since its debut last year. Its drag-killing, software-sharpened angles don't illicit the kind of soul-wrenching longing of an Aston Martin, but when encountering a GT-R "in the metal," it's nearly impossible not to get sucked in by the weird, whiny jet-engine roar of its twin-turbocharged V-6, or avoid a severe case of gadget lust when peeping its too-much-information digital display. There's just nothing like it on the road, and at $77,000, the car performs at the level of supercars double (or triple) its price.
Simply put, the thing is stupid fast. So of course our interest was piqued when Nissan recently announced a new, Japan-only version of the car that's fitter, faster, and engineered for the track. Called the SpecV, the car sheds weight through the use of carbon fiber spoiler, grille, brake ducts, and sport seats; the base GT-R's nearly useless backseats also get scrapped (well, useless unless you have legless friends. They'll fit fine back there). In terms of performance mods, the SpecV gets kickier torque in the mid-to-high speed range, lighter aluminum wheels, and fade-resistant carbon-ceramic brakes that are able to operate at higher temps on the track.
All these upgrades should push the GT-R's 0-60 time close to the 3-second mark. Scary stuff.
BUYING IT: The GT-R SpecV is now available in Japan for the equivalent of $170,000, but Nissan's been mum on U.S. availability. Start saving now...or just wait to test drive it on the next Gran Turismo.