The performance car world paused in awe, competing engineers contemplated alternative careers, and Jeremy Clarkson memorably destroyed his neck during a GT-R track test.
If ever there was a car that had an infectious effect, it was that first generation R35 GT-R. Just about everywhere you looked – automotive magazines, television shows, YouTube channels, internet forums (regardless of manufacturer affiliation) – the GT-R was a subject and focal point.
And unlike the hype surrounding something like a McLaren P1, which is about as accessible as a personal spacecraft, GT-R fixation translated to actual vehicle sales and real world presence. Nissan sold more GT-R's in 2008 and 2009 than in any years since. You might not have abandoned ship on your preferred performance car for the GT-R, but during that era it's likely that you were one or two degrees of separation from someone who did.
And many of those owners used the GT-R in performance environments and took them to the track where they lived up to the hype. Fitted with track tires and with a competent wheelman, the original R35 GT-R was (is) a force to be reckoned with.
Over the years Nissan has made incremental improvements to the GT-R. Steady power upgrades, tech updates, and interior refinements, as well as special editions and track packages.
And so it comes as no surprise that the 2017 Nissan GT-R is faster, more powerful, more luxurious; a comprehensively better GT-R than ever before.
An acoustic windshield incorporates sound-absorbing technology between the glass layers. Noise-dampening materials have also been added to the dashboard, instrument panel, wheel wells, and trunk floor.
GT-R sales have remained relatively consistent through the years, and contrary to what you might think, GT-R popularity is actually on the rise. Have a look at this "Nissan GT-R" U.S. search trend graph:
Make no mistake though, Godzilla is still around, dominating most everything, and it remains a proper weapon of a car.