It was a momentous day for Winston-Salem, North Carolina, US, and a historic day for Nissan. North American GT-R Owners Club (NAGTROC) co-founder Matt McCulloh took delivery of the first 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo made for the US market.
McCulloh knows the GT-R and Nismo history well. NAGTROC was founded in 2006 and since then, it has grown to become one of the largest online GT-R and Nismo enthusiast communities in the world.
Nissan realised this historic first car had a unique owner. The company made certain to show their appreciation for McCulloh on delivery day.
“When we realised his passion for the car, his involvement with the GT-R community, and his involvement with the brand, we wanted to do something a little extra special. First we wanted to be here, to shake his hand, see the smile on his face and just take pride in that moment with him,” said Jeff Simmons, Nissan Marketing.
“Additionally we have a little something special for him. We have a crew at his house and they are giving his garage a makeover. That is going to be the home of his new Nismo, so we are giving it a little Nismo touch.”
The legendary GT-R Nismo made its debut in 2013 with concurrent introductions at both the Tokyo and Los Angeles auto shows. It is the most powerful Nissan GT-R ever and the last hurrah for the R35 GT-R. This 2015 model year version is sold out in the US market.
Like the standard GT-R, the Nismo variant is propelled by the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 VR38DETT engine, but complete with race derived modifications that includes new high-flow, large diameter turbochargers from the GT3 racer, as well as optimised individual ignition timing control for each cylinder and upgraded fuel pump that improves combustion. The result is a lift of its output to 442kW of power and 652Nm of torque.
Drawn on three decades of racing experience gathered by Nismo, the Nissan GT-R Nismo is the fastest production GT-R ever, covering the sprint from 0-100km/h in just 2.5 seconds. It is also officially the fastest volume production car to lap the challenging Nürburgring circuit in Germany, with an astonishing lap time of 7:08.679.
“It was like a surreal moment for me. I saw it, and it just took a second to register that this was finally my car. And that I was going to have the privilege to own the very first GT-R NISMO for the United States and be a part of the great 30-year history of the Nismo brand,” said Matt McCulloh, GT-R Nismo owner.
“The GT-R Nismo has more than fulfilled my wildest expectations. Just looking at this car – it to me is the quintessential version of the GT-R that I have always longed for,” said McCulloh. “It is an honour to have been along with the ride the entire way from having an ’09, a ’12. Having that history with the GT-R is going to allow me to have a deeper appreciation of this car. I can see where it started to where it is now.”
The Nissan GT-R is assembled at Nissan’s Tochigi plant, located about 60 miles (96 km) north of Tokyo; its potent engine is carefully hand-assembled by a single craftsman at Nismo’s Yokohama engine factory. A limited number of GT-R Nismo’s are made each year. The amount of those that reach U.S. shores is even more limited.
This car, the first delivered in the U.S. and the one that McCulloh has been waiting for, now is at home in North Carolina. He says his new baby will see some time on the road … and plenty of time on the track.
“This car to me is like a brute-force tool. To me it is so purpose-built that I am going to do a lot of track,” said McCulloh. “I’m going to really use this car as far as track, autocross, a little drag-strip – so, you know, track and getting to spend some time in this great garage that I have here now.”