Scalded-cheetah Nissan GT-R runs a 7.98 quarter-mileFri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Eight-second cars are often funny-looking and monstrous-sounding. To get into the eights in the mid-1960s, Dick Landy hacked up his Dodges, altering the wheelbase for better weight transfer. Within a couple of years, the full-on nitro-sucking flopper would come to be the quickest thing with four wheels and a body with some resemblance to a production automobile, ushering the Funny Car era.
Landy's custom-built Hemi-powered Coronets and Darts pretty much couldn't do anything beyond go in a straight line. That's not to take away from their charm as crowd-pleasing mind-benders.
Coughing up seven figures for a Bugatti Veyron'll net you a reliable 10-second machine these days. But what if you wanted an eight-second road car that wasn't all tall slicks and Goat nostalgia?
Chicagoland-based AMS Performance might have your answer. It's a Nissan GT-R called the Alpha Omega. And while it'll reliably punt itself deeply into the eights on drag radials, AMS just managed to wring a 7.984*-second quarter-mile out of it on July 13th.
"Dyno" Don Nicholson drove the original flip-top funny car -- a Mercury Comet with a nitro-burning Ford 427 SOHC engine -- to a 7.96 quarter-mile in 1966, the first time a flopper had broken into the sevens. Three years later, the "Hakosuka" Skyline GT-R hit the streets, its 160hp pretty paltry compared to the output of Detroit's monstrous '69-model-year lumps.
47 years later, here's a roadworthy car with a V6 that'll run nearly as quick as an early fuel machine. AMS' Brian Young suggests that with better traffic conditions, they should be able to shave off another tenth of a second. And yes, you can remove the parachute if you feel like running out for a burger or just driving past the Stop 'n' Shop with the radio on. AMS claims the switch from strip to street configuration takes about an hour. Try that with your early A/Fuel dragster.
Check out the speedo needle during the Alpha Omega's 7.984 quarter-mile pass.
*Correction: This article originally stated that the Alpha Omega's 1/4 time was 7.894. 7.984 is the correct time. We regret the error.
By Davey G. Johnson