Much noise has been made over the effect of the Nissan GT-R's hidden launch control feature, known to break transmissions and void warranties when abused. The Series II GT-R, due for 2010, won't even have the option to enable launch control, and so the tests to determine the GT-R's accelerative capabilities sans-aids have begun, with preliminary results showing a 0-60mph (96km/h) time of 3.9 seconds is within reach.

While that's a far cry from the 3.2-second runs extracted from the hard-launching secret mode, the abuse to the car means that real-world owners won't often - or ever - see such numbers anyway. The tests of the car's performance without launch control, conducted by Motor Trend, show that the human-only launch time is about 0.7 seconds slower, thanks to the lack of any brutal clutch-dumping antics.

The gentler takeoff is perceptibly slower according to the testers, but it's still quite quick in absolute terms, running the quarter-mile in 12.2 seconds at 119.2mph (192km/h). Zero to 100mph (160km/h) takes just 8.6 seconds without launch control. The 3.9 second 0-60mph time puts it within 0.2 seconds of the Corvette Z06 and Dodge Viper, and 0.1 seconds ahead of the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.