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GT-R shows its racing stripes. Image by Nissan.

GT-R shows its racing stripes
Rival manufacturers should be afraid, very afraid, as Nissan shows off the new GT-R in race trim.
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| New Racer | Nissan GT-R Super GT500 |

Godzilla is off racing, and we've got the shots to prove it. If you're a racing fan you'll realise the significance of this new car, the race version of Nissan's GT-R certain to put the fear of god among its rivals. The 2008 Nissan GT-R GT500 - to give it its official title - will race in the 2008 Super GT series, and is certain to be a front-runner. If you're anything like us the shots are pure racecar pornography, the idea of a GT-R tricked up for racing being one that's hugely appealing.

Even though the car is on show this week in Japan, technical details are scant (Nissan holding them back until January 31), the information on offer only discussing its red and black livery. Like we care about the colours; though can you imagine this in matt white and naked carbon trim? Anyway, expect the GT500 to use a seriously tweaked version of the road car's already devilishly potent turbocharged V6 engine, mounted as low as possible to achieve the best centre of gravity.

From the pictures it's clear that the bodywork has been significantly altered. There's a vastly wider track, the growth measured more in feet than mere inches, a far lower front end and a wing on the boot that wouldn't look out of place on a Boeing. The huge Bridgestone-shod Nismo wheels are absolutely filled with brake discs and AP Racing callipers. The exhausts exit just behind the front wheels, the GT500's underside as flat as possible to provide optimum aerodynamics. That's demonstrated very effectively by the rear view - the one its competition are likely to become familiar with - where huge venturi tunnels protrude purposefully from the lower bodywork.

Apart from the roofline and a few trim pieces the GT500's panels are significantly different from the road car's, though it's still clearly a GT-R in silhouette. Carlos Ghosn said at the GT-R road car's launch: "anyone, anywhere, anytime". We don't doubt Nissan's racing department has the same ideas for this monster.

Kyle Fortune - 11 Jan 2008

2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.

2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.2008 Nissan GT-R GT500. Image by Nissan.      - Nissan road tests
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