Nissan GT-R – World Performance Car of the Year 2009

// Posted in Nissan

Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R, unsurprisingly perhaps, won this year’s World Performance Car of the Year gong. Most companies would think this is a pretty cool award to win. There’s certainly some media cachet waiting to be exploited. Or, so you would think. But, as far as I can tell, Nissan marketing teams on both sides of the globe are sitting on their arse doing nothing.

There’s nothing on the regular Australian or UK press outlets from the Nissan marketing machine about this news. Now, either they’re all out fannying about in GT-Rs which have just started deliveries in both those markets, or they’ve been given extended Easter holiday breaks. Either way, for car hyped so much as the GT-R this appears to be hard to believe.

So, if you’re from Nissan, please send me an official statement and AUSmotive will gladly run it. Perhaps they’re just waiting for the new Nürburgring marketing time? (Update – Looks like I was right, haha!)

Someone who does care about this award are the WCOTY folks and their press release can be read after the jump. That said, clearly they don’t give a rats about the GT-R either as they claim it has a 3.6 litre V8 engine. Haha, great work all round really!


April 9, 2009 – New York, NY – For Immediate Release

The 2009 World Performance Car award, presented by Mobil 1, went to the Nissan GT-R as announced today during the awards press conference hosted by the New York International Auto Show and Mobil 1 at the Jacob Javits Centre in Manhattan, New York, USA.

The Nissan GT-R was chosen from an initial entry list of twenty-three (23) contenders nominated by fifty-nine (59) World Car jurors from twenty-five (25) countries throughout the world.

While the winner of the overall World Car of the Year award must excel in a broad range of attributes, there is a segment of the car-buying public for whom performance – in its broadest sense – overrides all other priorities. Vehicles appealing to that clientele may be too narrowly focused to appeal to the masses, but it is an important element in the overall automotive mix. It is for that reason that the World Performance Car award was created in 2005.

Candidates for the World Performance Car award must demonstrate a specific and overt Sports/Performance orientation. They must also satisfy the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car award and may be chosen from that list of eligible vehicles.

Additional entrants may include newly introduced variants that satisfy the same criteria, but are derived from existing rather than brand-new models. In all cases, they must have a minimum annual production rate of five-hundred (500) vehicles.

The jurors voted in January 2009 in order to establish a top ten shortlist. The 2009 World Performance Car was chosen from those finalists as tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.

WCOTY’s jurors observed that the “Nissan GT-R stole the headlines in the sports car world in 2008. This GT-R – the R35 – throws even former GT-Rs into the weeds via an all-new 3.6-liter bi-turbo V-8 providing 480 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. The drive of the GT-R, especially on a track, reveals an incredibly flexible all-wheel-drive chassis that lays down the rubber whenever you request it. Acceleration to 60 mph from a stop takes just 3.5 seconds, or a tick behind fellow Performance finalist the Corvette ZR1. This is a complete effort put forth by the normally conservative Nissan and the pleasure is in doing laps of a favorite circuit and feeling the sheer capabilities of the car. For $77,000 it may be the world’s best enthusiast car”.

“On behalf of the global team of designers, engineers and others behind the development of the Nissan GT-R, Nissan proudly accepts the 2009 World Performance Car of the Year award. This recognition validates their unique vision in creating a true world supercar that can be enjoyed by anyone, anytime and anywhere. Beyond power, beyond performance, GT-R goes beyond expectations. Thank you, jurors, for this unexpected honor”, said Brian Carolin, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc.

The top three contenders for the World Performance Car were the Nissan GT-R, the Corvette ZR1 and the Porsche 911 Carrera.

Mobil 1 announced its sponsorship of the World Performance Car award in November 2007. “Over the past several months, it has been our pleasure to see three Mobil 1 partners recognized for their automotive engineering excellence and vie for the world’s top performance car honor,” said Nancy Carlson, strategic global alliances – sales director, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties. “For more than 35 years, ExxonMobil research and engineering teams have collaborated with auto manufacturers around the globe to ensure that Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, continues to deliver exceptional protection for all types of vehicles and evolving engine technologies. Consequently, we know first-hand how deserving all three finalists are for this recognition and congratulate everyone at Nissan and the team behind the Nissan GT-R for earning the title of 2009 World Performance Car.”

Previous World Performance Car winners were the Audi R8 in 2008, the Audi RS4 in 2007 and the Porsche Cayman S in 2006.

Now in their sixth year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world’s most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.

The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale. The awards are intended to complement, not compete, with existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.

The awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. There is no affiliation with, nor are the awards in any way influenced by any publication, auto show, automaker, or other commercial enterprise.