Went to Japan to drive the Nissan GTR last week, and you can read more about how good the car is in the mag this week (it’s a monster, and no mistake). But whilst out there I discovered something that shocked me; how cheap this new Nissan is in its own market, not just compared with how much it costs over here but compared with any rival available in Japan.
In Japan the new GT-R costs 7.7 million Yen (£31,000), while the new M3 costs around 12 million Yen (£48,000) and a Porsche 911 Turbo just under 20 million Yen (£80,000). Even the Corvette Z06 – previously the cheapest so-called supercar on sale in Japan – costs more than the new GT-R at a whisker under 9 million Yen (£36,000).
The idea of comparing a Corvette Z06 with the new GT-R in terms of a) technical sophistication and b) development costs is a little like comparing a £20 Casio watch with a Rolex Daytona. There IS no comparison. And yet Nissan Japan insists that it will still make money on each and every GT-R it sells, even the ones that are bought for £31,000 in Japan.
And by the way; if, on reading this, it occurs to you (as it did me) that it might be a smart idea to buy a new GT-R in Japan, stick it in a crate and flog it over here for a swift £20k profit, be warned. Nissan GB says it will punish majorly any one who tries to grey import new GT-R’s before the March 2009 official UK on sale date. And even after then, says Nissan, you won’t be allowed to sell them on at less than UK list price.
They wouldn’t be specific as to exactly how they’d do the punishing save to say that it’d be along the lines of the Tesco-Levi jeans saga whereby Tesco was forced to sell the brand at list price. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.