As with any supercar, simply looking at the GT-R is an integral part of the experience. Per senior vice president of design Shiro Nakamura, "The mission was to achieve a distinctive car, a supercar, but not a normal fast car-it's chunkier, more practical, and more muscular. The element of functionality is core to the GT-R and that functionality is reflected in the design. It is clearly not an Italian, German, or American car: It is unmistakably Japanese." Mission accomplished. St. Antoine notes, "The GT-R intentionally has none of the sophistication of a Ferrari, but instead looks mean and techno and macho."
Per chief vehicle engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno, a Nissan racing team director in the 1990s, his goal with the GT-R was to produce a "multiperformance supercar that can be driven fast and skillfully by just about anybody in just about any road condition." Thus, his mantra, "Anyone, anytime, anywhere." Well, the GT-R managed to astound every editor with its capabilities. Sure, some were dissatisfied with the styling ("Nissan has built the world's ugliest, oversized electric shaver"), the videogame feel ("If someone buys a car for more than just pure performance, i.e., emotional feel, the GT-R would be at a disadvantage"), and the stiff suspension ("Coarsest ride on the oval"), but none, regardless of talent, could dispute the GT-R's ability to leave mouths agape and spines tingling. Its mind-blowing faculties seemingly blur the line between surreality and reality-what a fantastical "Anyone, anytime, anywhere" supercar should do.
Plainly put: No Nissan has ever been as formidable or as awesome as the GT-R. More significant, no other 2009 contender crushes our criteria like the GT-R. For that, it wholeheartedly deserves our Golden Calipers.