Nissan GT-R ready for global market

TOKYO, Oct. 24 -Nissan Motor Co.'s new Z car may not be the Japanese automaker's only new global installment focused on performance.

Nissan on Wednesday unveiled a new concept version of the GT-R, a sports coupe previously sold only in Japan. At its unveiling, Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said the GT-R is ready to enter the global market.

"The GT-R has always been a car that crosses rational boundaries," Ghosn said in front of news media. "Today, with left-hand drive, GT-R is prepared to cross national boundaries as well."

The concept features an aggressive steep-sloping grille; slanted headlamps that extend from the front base of the car and come to a point above the wheels; rounded taillamps and a well-defined shoulder that widens towards the rear.

Ghosn said the car is still under development and Nissan is not ready to share details about its plans. He said the company is currently studying which markets the GT-R will enter.

A Nissan spokeswoman said the United States is among markets under consideration.

Also at Nissan`s Tokyo Motor Show booth was what Ghosn called a "near-production" version of the Z.

The sports coupe, formally named the 350Z, will go on sale in the United States in August of 2002. In other markets the coupe will be known as the Fairlady Z.

The final production version will come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of generating at least 265 horsepower, according to Nissan engineers. It will also feature a 6-speed manual transmission.

Pricing for the 350Z has not been determined, but Ghosn said Nissan will keep its promise to suggest base retail at below $30,000.

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