The Nissan GTR – its first debut was at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1969 as a sedan equipped with an inline six cylinder engine pumping out 160 horsepower. The ’69 sedan was touring car, unrivaled by any other touring car at the time. It relied on a four-valve Dual Overhead Cam engine for power and four-wheel independent suspension for its remarkable handling, reminiscent of the Nissan R380 racing prototype.
The GTR went through many changes to get where it is today; the R30, the R31, the R32, and the R34, with plenty of concepts in between each of those iterations. Finally, in 2008, merely 11 years ago, the Nissan GT-R dropped onto American roads. Nissan ditched the Skyline name and dropped in a twin-turbo V6 engine that put out 473 horsepower and rocketed the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. The speed and power this little coupe boasted earned it the nickname “Godzilla”.
Today, Nissan GT-Rs come with 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engines that pump out an astonishing 565 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. And if that’s not enough power for you, you can also opt for the NISMO edition of the vehicle that’s rated at 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque.
Now, this engine isn’t just another engine being pumped out on factory belts by a load of robotic arms. No, an instrument this beautiful and precise requires painstaking levels of craftsmanship and dedication to the legendary GT-R name. Inside Nissan’s expansive engine factory, located in Yokohama, Japan, there are four engineers that have earned the nickname “takumi”. Takumi is a Japanese term meaning “master craftsman” in English, and to become a takumi takes decades of work and dedication to your craft. These four engineers build each and every GT-R engine by hand to ensure the most precise build possible, and they finish off each engine by attaching a plaque with their signature on it. That means there are no two identical Nissan GT-Rs anywhere in the world. A lot of GT-R owners have taken to traveling to the engine factory in Yokohama to personally meet and thank the takumi that built their specific engine, including some famous faces such as late-night talk show host Jay Leno.