Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (May 31, 2017) – With the climax of the UEFA Champions League season on the horizon, Nissan – the official global automotive sponsor of the competition - has put football to the ultimate test, assessing whether the thrill of the game is more exciting than being a passenger in the iconic GT-R supercar.

In partnership with sports science experts at Loughborough University, Nissan fitted participants with wearable technology to monitor and gather a combined index of data. This included heart rate, breathing rate and electro-dermal activity, in order to examine the physiological effect excitement has, and ultimately determine which activity is more exciting.

Live match experiments took place during crunch UEFA Champions League fixtures and were compared to the reactions of passengers raced around by professional drivers in Nissan GT-Rs at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.


Physical response

UEFA Champions League football matches

GT-R track day

Average Heart Rate Increase



Average Heart Rate

91 BPM


Average Peak Heart Rate



Average Breathing Rate Increase



Average Breathing Rate

15 breaths per min

15 breaths per min

Average Peak Breathing Rate

35 breaths per min

35 breaths per min


When comparing the findings from the two sets of experiments, Dr. Dale Esliger from Loughborough University commented: “Previously we would have subjectively judged how exciting a crunch football fixture or being a passenger in a thrilling super car, like the Nissan GT-R, would be. The research conducted as part of the Nissan Excitement Index has allowed us to use innovative sensor data to understand the participants’ physical reaction to these exciting moments and thus make suggestions on what elements might be the most exciting.

Throughout the two sets of experiments the heart rates of football fans and Nissan GT-R passengers were broadly comparable, with them increasing at peak moments as you would expect – such as when a goal was scored or driving round a tight corner.

The main differences we saw were the physiological responses of the passengers and football supporters breathing rates.  During the football matches we saw breathing rate increasing followed by a reduction in breathing rate, as fans held their breath during key moments of anticipation, thus demonstrating their excitement journey across the course of 90 minutes is more of a rollercoaster of emotions. Whilst for the GT-R passengers breathing rate consistently increases, suggesting a more sustained feeling of excitement.”

“Excitement is at the heart of everything we do” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Vice President for Marketing at Nissan Europe. “Our iconic GT-R super car and sponsorship of the exciting UEFA Champions League, are just two examples of how we strive to bring innovation and excitement to everyone and via our partnership with Loughborough University we have been able to understand the physical effect excitement has on our body. Our ultimate aim is to develop a global Excitement Index, across a whole range of exciting activities – the possibilities of where we might go next are endless.”

Throughout the build up to the most exciting game of the year, the UEFA Champions League Final, Nissan will be at the heart of action. As well as working alongside their global ambassador and UEFA Champions League finalist Gareth Bale, Nissan will also be delivering the iconic UEFA Champions League trophy to the Principality Stadium. You can follow all of the action on the new Nissan Excitement FC Facebook page and share your own exciting journey in the build-up via #TooExcitedTo.

The 2017 Nissan GT-R’s award winning 3.8 litre V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine has increased by 20 hp compared to the previous model. It now delivers 419kW at 6800 rpm, thanks in part to an increase in boost pressure and an ignition-timing system that’s controlled at each individual cylinder. These changes result in improved acceleration in the mid-range (3200 rpm and above) with maximum torque output available across a wider range of the powerband. The familiar GT-R tone has also been upgraded, with an engine that has never sounded better to enhance the driving experience.