The Nissan GT-R was chosen from an initial entry list of 23 contenders nominated by 59 World Car jurors from twenty-five 25 countries throughout the world. Candidates for the World Performance Car award had to demonstrate a specific and overt Sports/Performance orientation. Furthermore, they had to also satisfy the same availability criteria as for the overall World Car award.
The 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 3.6L bi-turbo V6 providing 480hp and 430lb-ft 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 60mph from a stop takes just 3.5 seconds, or a tick behind fellow Performance finalist the Corvette ZR1. For $77,000 it may be the world’s best enthusiast car”.
The top three contenders for the World Performance Car were the Nissan GT-R, the Corvette ZR1 and the Porsche 911 Carrera. Previous World Performance Car winners were the Audi R8 in 2008, the Audi RS4 in 2007 and the Porsche Cayman S in 2006.
2009 World Performance Car finalists:
- Audi RS 6 Avant
- BMW 135i Coupe / Cabriolet
- Corvette ZR1
- Lamborghini LP560-4 Gallardo
- Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG
- Mitsubishi Evo X / Evo MR
- Nissan GT-R
- Porsche 911 Carrera
- Subaru Impreza WRX STINissan GT-R in depth