Many people sling around the term ATTESA-ETS when gloating about the technological superiority of the Nissan Skyline GT-R. However, not many people know what it actually is.


"Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Electronic Torque Split." Nissan's technologically advanced ATTESA-ETS computer-controlled, on demand all wheel drive system which keeps track of wheel rotation and the car's acceleration. If the computer detects that the rear wheels lose traction, it can supply torque to the front wheels and restore it.

What does it do?

Prevents spinning out and allows for hard, fast cornering. Normally, the car will be operating just like a rear wheel drive car (0:100 traction). If, for any reason the rear wheels lose traction and begin to spin, the front wheels gain torque (at 50:50 traction, by means of a hydraulic center limited slip differential and a wet multiclutch) and prevent this. As a result, the front end pulls the car while the rear end pushes, and the car is more or less stable. This allows the car to take hard or slippery corners without losing traction and spinning out, and allows one to go through corners at lower RPMs, allowing for greater exit acceleration. Since it's not an always active AWD system, the car acts more unstable than full-time AWD cars, such as the Subaru Impreza WRX.

Which cars use this system?

A great many Nissan cars use ATTESA (enough to surprise any Skyline lover).

ATTESA-ETS is commonly found in the Nissan Skyline GT-R and Nissan Pathfinder, and perhaps the Infiniti QX4. The latest generation Skyline V35's 250GT FOUR model utilizes ATTESA-ETS also. The Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec and VspecII use a more advanced, racing-tuned system called ATTESA-ETS Pro. Also, a similar, but not as advanced ATTESA (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-terrain) is employed on many Nissans and Datsuns: the Skyline GTi-R and GTS4; the a special model of the Bluebird/Altima called the SSS ATTESA; the Pulsar; and certain models of the Sentra (this is hearsay, and I can't quite confirm it). ATTESA is mechanical instead of electronic in nature.

It is unclear whether the Infiniti G35 Coupe will make use of ATTESA-ETS.