Japanese carmaker Nissan took its technological supercar to Russia in a bid to set a new speed record for ice-driving.
Nissan GT-R breaks the speed record on natural ice. Photo:AFP
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.
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.