Nissan GT-R breaks ice speed record
Japanese carmaker Nissan took its technological supercar to Russia in a bid to set a new speed record for ice-driving.
With Baikal Lake as a race track and with Russian motoring journalist Andrey Leontjev and champion driver Roman Rusinov both taking it in turns to push the 500bhp+ two-door coupe to its limits on this most dangerous and unpredictable of surfaces, the GT-R was put through its paces on a 7km stretch of 1.4-meter thick ice and in temperatures of -22°C.
The production version GT-R -- read, no special cold weather treatments or snow tires -- managed to set a top speed of 294.8km/h over the length of the course, which is a new Russian record and the latest in a growing line of publicity stunts Nissan has organized to highlight its flagship car's prowess compared with its German and Italian competition.
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Nevertheless, the drive was impressive. On ice and in such an open and unshielded environment, the slightest gust of wind can be enough to unsettle a car and send it veering out of control. And while the GT-R benefits from permanent four-wheel drive and a twin turbocharged engine to deliver optimum power in all gears and at all revolutions, setting such a fast time is a testament to the car and the driver alike.