Nissan prepares special one-off gold GT-R for Usain Bolt

Article by Christian A., on October 12, 2012

A special one-off gold Nissan GT-R, which Olympic champion Usain Bolt helped develop with the company, will be auctioned on eBay later this month for charity. This will benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation (usainbolt.com/foundation/) formed by the world’s fastest man. The unique GT-R is embossed with Bolt's signature and has interior fittings with a real gold finish.

The proceeds are meant to create opportunities for children and young people in Jamaica, which is Bolt’s home.

Bolt will soon begin working with Nissan product specialists on a limited-edition run of special GT-R models, which will be offered around the world. Project details will be announced later. Bolt has helped design a special “Bolt GT-R” for his own use.

He accomplished this by going to Nissan’s proving ground near Oppama, Japan, for a week to test different GT-R models. Bolt, who has been named as Nissan’s new "Director of Excitement", said that racing is his inspiration and he aims to help make Nissan become even more exciting.

Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer, is pleased with Bolt's endorsement and the deepening relationship with the automaker. Beginning next month, Nissan will air TV ads dubbed "What if you could drive the future, today?" through six major international TV networks. These commercials feature the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle.

Nissan disclosed that the GT-R will be made available in both Japan and Europe starting 2013. This latest version of the brand’s iconic performance flagship has had its response time improved with handling made sharper and stability made even better. While it’s already at the top of the lineup, this did not stop the brand from making changes to the engine that powers the 2013 GT-R.

The twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine now delivers output of 550 PS with responses improved starting from the mid rev range going all the way to the upper rev ranges. Nissan made changes as well to the anti-roll bar in the front, springs, and even damper. Because of this, traction was enhanced and stability improved, important when running at high speeds.

The ride has been made more refined and the driver experience augmented. The different enhancements resulted in the 2013 GT-R being able to accelerate from a standstill to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 2.7 seconds. Compared to the 2012 version, this is faster by 0.1 second. This latest version was tested at the famous Nürburgring German track in May 2012 and it managed to record 7 minutes and 19.1 seconds.

However, according to GT-R developer Kazutoshi Mizuno, 0.5 second was lost mainly due to traffic. This means that when running alone, the 2013 GT-R could reach 7 minutes and 18.6 seconds. For the 2012 model, the time was 7 minutes and 21 seconds.

Given that the GT-R is known to always show the latest technology of the brand, the improvements were a result of the data obtained in competitive racing like the 2012 Nürburgring 24-Hour. For this particular race, the brand said that two GT-R models were part of the competition.

Press Release

USAIN BOLT

Usain Bolt is extending his partnership with Nissan - and the world’s fastest man has already helped produce a special one-off gold GT-R for charity.

The unique GT-R, which is embossed with Bolt's signature and features interior fittings finished in real gold, will be auctioned on eBay later this month to benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation (http://usainbolt.com/foundation/). Proceeds will help the foundation's work creating opportunities for children and young people in the Olympic Champion's home of Jamaica.

As part of Bolt's partnership with Nissan, he will start work with Nissan product specialists on a limited-edition run of special GT-R models, which will be available throughout the world. Details of this project will be announced at a later stage.

The sprinter has already been celebrating his medal horde from the 2012 London Olympics by developing a special “Bolt GT-R” for his own personal use, after spending this week testing various GT-R models at Nissan’s proving ground near Oppama, Japan. Appointed Nissan’s new "Director of Excitement", Bolt said: "Racing is my inspiration, and I want to help Nissan become an even more exciting brand for everyone."

Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer, welcomed Bolt's endorsement and deepening ties with Nissan. "Nissan shares the spirit of excitement that captivated worldwide audiences at the Olympics. There is no-one better qualified than Usain Bolt to help us translate that spirit into great experiences," said Shiga.

Bolt is expected to contribute further to Nissan's "WHAT IF_" global brand campaign. The campaign, featuring Nissan's iconic products and breakthrough technologies in billboards at airports around the world, forms part of the company's Power 88 mid-term business plan - aimed at capturing eight per cent market share and eight per cent operating margins.

To continue building brand momentum at Nissan, TV commercials featuring the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, called "What if you could drive the future, today?", will also be aired via six major international TV networks starting this month.

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