Sources intimately familiar with Nissan's latest test sessions inform us that the group is now gunning to beat the Porsche Carrera GT--a remarkably lofty goal considering that that Walter Röhrl reportedly piloted a Carrera GT around the 'Ring in 7 minu

Clearest Look Yet as the GTR sets it's sights on the Porsche Carrera GT

The Nissan GT-R development team has made another run at the Nürburgring record books this morning--and the Porsche 911 Turbo is no longer its target.  Sources intimately familiar with Nissan's latest test sessions inform us that the group is now gunning to beat the Porsche Carrera GT--a remarkably lofty goal considering that that Walter Röhrl reportedly piloted a Carrera GT around the 'Ring in 7 minutes 28 seconds.  Another Carrera GT, driven by Horst von Saurma, managed a lap time of 7:32.

Our sources tell us that, thus far, the Nissan has fallen short of the Carrera GT's record-time, but not by much.  Our mole tells us that some wet sections of the track slowed them down, and that with optimum track conditions, some heroic driving could still reel in the Porsche Supercar.  Nissan reps would not divulge any specific lap times, but they hinted that something under 7:35 may have been achieved.  Regardless, it's clear that Nissan's goal of overtaking the 911 Turbo has been achieved in a big way.

Stopwatch drama aside, Nissan also gave us some new eye-candy by removing most of the camouflage that has been a staple of GT-R sightings for more than a year now. Although not in showroom shape, the latest GT-R test cars give us our clearest look yet at the prototype's front bumper and headlights, and the GT-R badge is now prominently displayed in the grille-opening, and on the trunk lid.  We also managed a pretty revealing interior shot as one GT-R prepared to launch.  The rear vinyl camouflage has also been removed, and now only flat-black paint remains to obscure the GT-R's true styling.  This is as close as we're likely to get to an undisguised car until the car's Tokyo Show debut.

In their most recent 'Ring runs, Nissan rented the track early Monday morning, and had three GT-R prototypes--spaced one-minute apart--all taking their best shots.  One of the GT-Rs was reportedly driven by Horst von Saurma--the same 'Ring specialist that drove the Carrera GT to a 7:32 lap time.  Another driver was said to be a Japanese driver named Shimizu--possibly well-known racer Kazuo Shimizu.  The third GT-R pilot went un-named.

Nissan will likely continue their assault on the Nürburgring--and on the Porsche legacy--for the rest of this week.  If the GT-R manages to do the seemingly impossible and unseat the Carrera GT, we'll let you know.

Nissan GT-R Clearest Shots Yet