(Edited from AP) In July, the Nissan GT-R supercar starts its third year for sale in the United States. But many Americans still haven’t seen one on the road. The reason: The limited number of sleek, twin-turbocharged GT-Rs available for sale. Only about 3,600 have been delivered from the Japanese factory to eager U.S. customers since sales started in July 2008.

The 2010 GT-R, for example, has five more horsepower than the original, 2009 model, for a total of 485. This is from a V-6, not a V-8.

(Edited from AP) In July, the Nissan GT-R supercar starts its third year for sale in the United States. But many Americans still haven’t seen one on the road. The reason: The limited number of sleek, twin-turbocharged GT-Rs available for sale. Only about 3,600 have been delivered from the Japanese factory to eager U.S. customers since sales started in July 2008.

The 2010 GT-R, for example, has five more horsepower than the original, 2009 model, for a total of 485. This is from a V-6, not a V-8.

The 2010 coupe also has a revised race car-like suspension, new wheels, improved brakes, standard curtain air bags and new control module programming for the six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $81,790 for a base, 2010 GT-R.

With a federal fuel economy rating of 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 21 mpg on the highway, the sporty GT-R, which has two small seats in back, gets mileage comparable to that of some sport utility vehicles.

The successor to Nissan’s Skyline GT-R performance car that was never sold in the United States, the current GT-R, without Skyline in the name, remains a potent driving experience. The deep, wonderful engine sounds, with the transmission in second gear as the car wound down to the exit of a concrete parking garage, set off the car alarms on four vehicles. Such detail is given the 3.8-liter, double overhead cam, twin-turbo V-6, it’s hand-assembled in a “clean room,” like those used for computer chips. Mated to the special transmission, the GT-R powerplant is relentless in its power delivery.

Torque peaks at 434 foot-pounds at 3,200 rpm, and the new programming in the transmission control electronics seems to have ameliorated the jerky shifts in low gears.

The interior is noisy, though, as road sounds come through readily from the big, 20-inch, low-profile, performance tires. The ride also is quite stiff, and passengers feel vibrations and road bumps readily, even with the revised suspension tuning and the suspension set in the “comfort” mode. The back seats are cramped, with just 26.4 inches of legroom, and cargo space is a sports coupe-like 8.8 cubic feet.

Brakes have 15-inch Brembo rotors and stop the 3,800-pound GT-R fast.

The GT-R body has a low-hanging front, but it didn’t scrape on the entrance to the driveway the way some other sporty cars do. And a driver can get tense when parallel-parking the GT-R. Not wanting to scratch the cool-looking wheels on the curb nor leave the car sticking out in traffic. And no, not valet.

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