Nissan has introduced its all-new Skyline coupe in Japan, and the specification, design and driving performance of the new grand touring coupe put it in a category normally reserved for machinery with a price tag several factors greater than the Skyline Coupe 370 GT Type SP which goes on sale in Japan for less than US$40,000.
The new Skyline coupe builds on the strengths and attributes of the current Skyline sedan - attraction, sophistication and high-performance - and takes them to an even higher level. It combines dramatic styling and a refined, driver-oriented interior with the advanced performance made possible by a newly developed, innovative VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) 3.7-liter V6 engine and a high-performance platform to create a vehicle that will appeal the discerning coupe buyer.
The new Skyline coupe's seductive exterior design starts with its powerful, elegant front fender curvature, flowing silhouette and glamorous front and rear fenders. The expressive front fascia features characteristic Skyline fender lines and a low, rhythmic, wave-like hood. The sculpted, bright-finished grille and L-shaped Bi-Xenon headlights add to its commanding presence. Large wheel wells, Skyline-signature LED combination taillights and dual exhaust enhance the new Skyline coupe's high-performance appearance. A unique front bumper with matching side sill spoilers is available with Skyline 370GT Type SP and S models. Seven exterior colors are offered, including Nissan's two new colors: Vibrant Red and Luna Mare Silver.
The new Skyline coupe's interior is designed with one overriding goal: to make driving a joy. The comfortable, embracing driver's position and supportive seats combine with a parallel hand-stitched, genuine leather-wrapped steering wheel and light, sturdy magnesium paddle shifters to set the stage for driving exhilaration. The stylish curves of the front seat and door trim help create a sporty elegance. Two interior color schemes are available - Fauve, with real wood trim (manufacturer option), or Cool Black, featuring real aluminum trim.
The Skyline coupe interior also offers an array of advanced technology systems, including an Intelligent Key system that electronically locks the steering, immobilizes the engine and handles other jobs according to the key ID for enhanced theft prevention. Also available is a Blind-Side Monitor system that assists the driver when pulling to a curb or parallel parking, by displaying a view of the blind areas around the front left of the vehicle. The Blind-Side Monitor is offered together (as a manufacturer option) with a RearView Monitor system, which displays images behind the vehicle through the use of a compact CCD camera.
The HDD CARWINGS navigation system (manufacturer option) now includes a touch panel for greater convenience. Besides the navigation function, it is packed with entertainment features, including the Music Box recorder/player and playback of DVDs, audio and video media, as well as Bluetooth Hands-Free features.
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The Skyline coupe also offers a premium Bose audio system, which turns the cabin into a very special listening environment. The advanced Bose system, available as a manufacturer option, features top playback quality in an onboard system and includes a pair of three-way integrated speakers in the doors and four woofers in the doors and rear shelf.
The new Skyline coupe continues to offer exceptional levels of driving performance, ride comfort, roominess and utility through use of the advanced FM (Front Mid-ship) package and FR-L platform. First utilized in the V35 Skyline, the newly enhanced FR-L platform combines a sturdy, low-vibration body structure that makes the driver feel one with the car with high performance and stability - while also satisfying safety and environmental requirements.
At the heart of the Skyline coupe's dynamic performance is the newly developed VQ37VHR engine, which responds briskly, accelerates smoothly, is fuel efficient and attains high emissions standards. The VQ37VHR represents a new generation of high-performance engines and, at 333 horsepower, is the most powerful V6 in its class. Generating 90% of maximum torque between 2,400 and 7,000 rpm, the engine power is light, smooth and easy to handle right up to the 7,500 rpm redline.
The VQ37VHR's new, advanced Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) system continuously changes the angle and lift of the intake valves, depending on the degree of acceleration and speed of the engine. The fully symmetrical air intakes on right and left increase the volume of intake air and reduce pumping loss, significantly increasing responsiveness. The result is the simultaneous achievement of seemingly conflicting needs: quick acceleration response, high power, low fuel-consumption and cleaner exhaust.
The new powerplant is mated to a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. The close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission allows for quick shifting and sporty touring using a short-stroke design and triple-cone synchros for the first three gears. For ease of operation, the Skyline coupe's available full-range electronic 5-speed automatic transmission includes a standard automatic shifter plus a driver-side manual shifter. The normal "D" mode provides smooth driving, while shifting to the "DS" mode provides a sportier feel. The transmission's ASC (adaptive shift control) adds comfort by automatically selecting the best gear for cornering, downhill driving and other critical situations to suit both the driver's style and environment.
Nissan engineers maximized sturdiness and lightness in the Skyline coupe's double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension designs to enhance stability and responsiveness, as well as driver control. The dual-flow pass shock absorbers were developed through extensive review of damping force and rebound spring criteria, helping create the Skyline coupe's smooth, refreshing ride feel while maintaining high levels of maneuvering stability.
To match braking capability to the increased engine performance, the Skyline coupe employs four-wheel aluminum-caliper opposed-piston brakes (standard on both the SP and S versions of the 370GT) - which are designed to optimize the stroke at low speed and provide secure stopping power at higher speeds. The standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) also includes Electronic Braking Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), while Intelligent Brake Assist is available as a manufacturer option. The Skyline coupe also features standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and a speed-sensitive hydraulic power steering system.
Another advanced performance feature available with the new Skyline coupe is Nissan's four-wheel active steering (4WAS) system, which adjusts the steering-linked angles of front and rear wheels according to speed, making the vehicle more responsive to the driver at low and medium speeds, and stable and smooth at higher speeds. 4WAS is standard on both the SP and S versions of the 370GT.
The Skyline coupe also offers a long list of convenience, safety and environmental features, including Bi-Xenon headlights with Active AFS (Adaptive Front lighting System), door mirror with heater, flat-blade wipers, fuel efficiency gauge and reduced levels of volatile organic compound used in the cabin, which helps create better interior air quality.
Standard safety equipment includes rigid, safe Zone Body construction, driver and front passenger SRS Air Bag System, driver and front passenger SRS Side Air Bag System, SRS Curtain Air Bag System, Active Front Head Restraints and three-point ELR rear seat belts. Emergency Brake Operated Pre-crash Front Seat Belts are optionally available.
The Skyline coupe body has been designed to offer greater pedestrian protection, including the application of Nissan's new "pop-up engine hood" technology. When sensors embedded in the front bumper detect an impact with a pedestrian, the system's control unit determines if the hood needs to be instantly raised. If deemed necessary, the control unit activates a pyrotechnic actuator that raises the rear edge of the hood, creating a larger, protective buffer space between the hood and hard engine components underneath. This helps cushion the impact to the pedestrian's head if it collides with the hood.
From an environmental standpoint, all Skyline coupe models are certified as SU-LEVs, meeting 2005 standards to cut emissions by 75%. In addition, over 95% of the vehicle is recyclable (based on definitions of recyclables for new cars and calculation guidelines by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1998).