Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has a new job at Nissan: "Director of Excitement," which appears to be a step up from "paid spokesman," given that the company's not only built him a gold-painted Nissan GT-R, but announced it would sell a "Bolt Edition" of the all-wheel-drive sports car around the world. What can the world's fastest man teach Godzilla, anyway?
In a day-long publicity stunt, Nissan hosted Bolt at its offices in Yokohama, Japan, where the sprinter unveiled a custom-edition of the $100,000 GT-R, with interior bits coated in real gold. Nissan says that GT-R will be auctioned for Bolt's charity foundation, but that it will also build a special 545-hp GT-R for Bolt's personal use, customized based on his own reaction times -- along with a limited Bolt Edition GT-R for other would-be sprinters who find the stock GT-R's dash to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds a little poky.
Track and field stars tend to see their celebrity fade in the United States outside the Olympics, but Nissan feels so strongly about Bolt's popularity around the globe, and his plans to defend his sprinting medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, that it gave him a rock star's treatment -- even sending Formula 1 driver Mark Webber to chauffer Bolt from the Toyko airport. Dozens of tuners have shown it's pretty easy to turn up the GT-R's twin turbos and boost excitement; if Bolt really wants to earn his title, Nissan should point him towards the other end of its range. Let's see what he can do with a Versa.