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New York show: Nissan squeezes more from GT-R

Pace behind the face: Nissan has reduced drag while maintaining downforce with the GT-R supercar’s restyle – complemented by the obligatory engine output boost.

Big aero, engine and interior luxury upgrades for Nissan GT-R revealed in New York


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24 Mar 2016

NISSAN continues to coax yet more power and torque from the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 of its flagship GT-R supercar, with the latest update revealed at the New York show overnight cranking out 419kW and 632Nm.

Due to hit Australian showrooms this September in two grades, including a local first in the shape of a Nismo-enhanced Track Edition, the seven-year-old sports machine has also been given a late-life nip-and-tuck, headlined by a distinctive new front-end and more luxurious interior.

A revised 0-100km/h time for the updated GT-R is conspicuous by its absence despite the engine tweaks, suggesting the superseded model’s already mind-bending 2.8 second sprint has not been bettered.

But additional performance in other areas is assured by an exterior styling evolution that has reduced drag while maintaining downforce.

The new front bumper is not only visually simpler and smoother, its enlarged grille increases engine cooling, incorporates a race-inspired, downforce-generating splitter and flows more seamlessly into the bonnet, which has been reinforced for additional high-speed stability.

Wider side skirts also improve airflow while adding a more aggressive, modern stance and the rear fascia has been subtly but substantially updated with more airflow-enhancing vents at the bumper’s outer edges and the proportion of the body-coloured upper and black lower sections altered to increase the visual width.

Major upgrades have been made to the GT-R cockpit, its increased levels of luxury the next logical step in Nissan’s constant evolution of the model from hardcore performance beast to ballistic grand tourer.

The completely redesigned dashboard is now covered in high-grade stitched leather, with a more driver-oriented layout that reduces the button-count from 27 to just 11, courtesy of a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. It frees up space for the central air-conditioning vents to be placed directly above the new and classier dual-zone climate-control panel.

Nissan has also responded to criticism about the location and feel of the GT-R’s paddle-shifters, which are now attached to the steering wheel instead of being fixed to the steering column and are said to have a more premium feel and sound when activated.

Rounding out the new GT-R’s more luxurious feel is improved ride comfort and sound insulation, described by Nissan as providing “a new sense of elegance and civility that one would rarely find in such a high-performance supercar”.

Body rigidity has been increased to improve the GT-R’s already legendary cornering ability, while grippy 20-inch tyres are fitted to new machine-finished forged Y-spoke alloy wheels.

Courtesy of individual cylinder ignition timing and increased turbocharger boost pressure, the engine power and torque are up 15kW and 4Nm on the pre-facelift GT-R, while new titanium exhaust mufflers and “active sound enhancement” are said to produce a more emotional engine note.

Still, Nissan has left plenty of room for the track-ready 447kW/650Nm GT-R Nismo to remain range-topper.

GoAuto understands Australia’s Nismo-fettled Track Edition will be more of a styling and handling exercise than performance flagship, while the project to officially introduce the Nismo brand to Australia remains ongoing.

Australian specifications and pricing for the updated GT-R will be announced closer to its September launch. The existing line-up opens with the $172,000 Premium Edition, with the $177,000 Premium Edition with Luxury Trim and 45th Anniversary Limited Edition occupying middle ground and the $182,500 Black Edition serving as flagship.

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