Nissan GTR News and Information

News and information for the Nissan GT-R

Tag: GTR Racing

2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition: Who Needs Backseats?

Nissan Unveils 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition Package

Realizing that the GT-R is not a carpool vehicle, Nissan offers up a new Track Edition package which ditches the back seats in favor of weight savings and extra performance goodies.

Nissan clearly recognized that their once-touted rear seats in the GT-R were more of a nuisance than blessing since so few people use the GT-R as a commuter or carpool vehicle. Thankfully, they’ve offered up a solution in the form of the 2014 Track Edition package.

The 2014 Nissan Track Edition replaces the rear seat with ultra-lightweight quilted cloth mats. While these mats certainly aren’t the fanciest or most luxurious looking change, they’re definitely going to shave pounds off of the vehicle’s curb weight.

In addition to weight savings from removing the rear seats, the GT-R team also improved the R35’s performance in the Track Edition by coupling that change with a specially tuned suspension, special brake cooling guides, a front spoiler with carbon fiber air ducts, a dry carbon fiber rear spoiler and RAYS wheels with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT run-flat tires. The suspension is upgraded through use specialized Bilstein DampTronic gas pressure shocks with higher spring rates. Nissan says most of the development happened on the Nurburgring, one of the most demanding tracks in the world. The Track Edition is offered in five colors: blue pearl, black, red, gunmetal and pearl white.

All of this should result in a significantly lighter GT-R that will handle even better than it already does.

Of course, the moniker “Track Edition” seems a little silly in this situation. The front seats are not seeing any changes, and no cage or bars are being added. If you wanted to actually run your GT-R in a sanctioned track event, you’d still need to make major changes to the vehicle to be allowed to do so–even with purchasing the Track Edition package. The lightening from the factory and the improvements to the suspension will certainly be nice, but, with the vehicle without the Track Edition still being a 545 horsepower AWD supercar destroying monster, it seems a little unnecessary. For those who wish to actually build their GT-R for Track racing and performance, the cost of the package–which is not yet released, but considering the limited production run of the Track Edition (only 150 will be made available in the US) will certainly be a pretty penny–the same modifications could almost certainly be achieved through the aftermarket scene, and one could get their GT-R truly track ready.

Nissan GT-R Price Rises Above $100k

The Once Famed Bargain Supercar Sees a Price Rise to Put Its Cost in Line with Performance

For 2014 the Nissan GT-R sees another price hike that will place the sticker price of the vehicle over $100k for the first time in its life. This price seems correct when the vehicle’s performance is considered–placing it in line with the Porsche’s and other vehicles that it most directly compares to–but feels rather ludicrous by comparison to where the R35 GT-R began just a few short years ago.

In 2008 an R35 GT-R had a sticker price of $69,850. This $70k cost made the GT-R truly the greatest performance vehicle for the price available anywhere, and let Nissan take the mantle of desirability away from Corvette in terms of price against performance. However, in the years since 2008, Nissan has made changes to the GT-R, and with each year and the changes it has brought the price of the vehicle has gone up. Today the GT-R is better tuned and more powerful machine, with 65 more HP today than it featured in 2008, but have these changes warranted such a price increase?

The announced 2014 price of $99,950 and $1000 delivery free, for a total of $100,950, has lead many automotive publications to claim that the GT-R is no longer a bargain machine. While, in comparison to the 2008 price tag–a vehicle that was, by all accounts, the steal of the century in terms of capability and cost–this seems true, the numbers tell a slightly different story.

The GT-R is now priced just above the 2013 SRT Viper GTS, but still below the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and 911 GT3. It’s also equivalent in performance to those vehicles, if not better. It’s more expensive than a Corvette Z06, but less money than a Corvette ZR1, and it sits right between the two of them in terms of track performance. It’s also the only supercar capable of handling snow and ice without issue, and unlike the other vehicles mentioned features the increased seating space that its backseat offers.

Ultimately, the thing is still a GT-R and it still dominates on road and track alike. The price takes it out of true “steal” territory, but, doesn’t seem extreme when the vehicle’s performance is truly considered. If anything, by comparison to the ZR1 and Porsches and Ferraris against which its mostly directly comparable, it’s still a bargain as its price comes in below those other vehicles. So, while you’ll hear some members of the Gran Turismo generation complaining about the $100k price tag–as that puts it out of the realm of even fantasy for most consumers–don’t let them fool you. This car isn’t over priced, and it’s no less incredible than it has ever been.

Nissan GT-R Has No Problem With Heavy Snow

Video From the Harsh Swedish Winter Shows Nissan GT-R All Weather Capability

Let’s see your Porsche do that! We’ve known for years just what the incredible all-wheel drive system of the Nissan GT-R was capable of delivering in a track setting–putting down ludicrous amounts of torque at all four corners for some amazing acceleration and track handling performance–but this video is kind of mind-blowing. Thick and harsh snow drifts are not easy even for larger, more off-road oriented AWD vehicles, but this video shows just how capable the Nissan GT-R.

You can see the driver calmly approach the GT-R in question, the likes of which is blanketed in a heavy snow fall, and then watch as the very same GT-R pulls effortlessly from its parking spot and through the thick snow coverage. What this means then is that the GT-R truly is the ultimate every day supercar. It’s incredibly impressive to see a vehicle with record setting track capability also move through harsh winter conditions this easily. Of special note is that the location where the video is shot, in a part of Sweden that is about 100km from the Arctic Circle itself. That’s a harsh winter, and the GT-R handles it without issue. Where other cars would just spin their tires, the GT-R truly shines.

Nissan GT-R Sets Road Atlanta Record

Watch a Forged Performance Tuned Nissan GT-R Set the Road Atlanta Lap Time Record

Living in Atlanta, I’ve had the benefit of both visiting and driving the Road Atlanta course in Braselton Georgia many times. I’ve also had the benefit of meeting with, speaking to, and working with the talented engineers and mechanics at Marietta located tuner shop Forged Performance. Between these experiences, and my other work in the automotive industry as well as my lifetime spent as a veritable gearhead, I’ve seen a lot of amazing things. I have not seen anything like this however, because, frankly, no one has. The track time run on the very fast Road Atlanta 2.54 mile road course is the new record for any non LeMans series race car. Or, it was, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The GT-R has been recognized world-round as a production supercar and this track time is just another feather in its hat. In fact, the GT-R already owns records at multiple tracks around the globe, but the video feed of this one is rare. This video features the 12 turn RA track and the impressive driving work of Mike Skeen behind the wheel of a Catesby and Forged FP800 Nissan GT-R wearing some wonderful Hoosier R100 slicks.

The official lap 3 time for this vehicle as 1:24.701, a full 3 seconds quicker than the previous Road Atlanta track record. This comes from a GT-R that, while tuned and lightened, is still entirely streetable. The video and information provided by Forged Performance–who actually collected over 25GB of electronic data from the event, much of which they claim provides intel in to how they can post a quicker time than even this one–makes for an incredible watch.

Of course, no record arrives without controversy, and many people are claiming that a lap run by Leh Keen is the actual RA Lap Time record holder. It’s difficult to ascertain which time should hold which record, as they’re run under different classes by different drivers on different days and different events. One thing of note, however: Keen also did his lap in a Nissan GT-R. This may prove the GT-R’s dominance beyond a reasonable doubt as the idealized car for the Road Atlanta set-up. Keen’s lap time was 1:23.848. Regardless of which one’s the true record holder or what the caveat may be to each record, one thing is for certain: they’re both damn impressive.

Here are other lap times from Road Atlanta to showcase where these two vehicles stand by comparison to LeMans Series cars, as well as the fastest Ferrari Challenge time ever posted there:

1:06.202 – ALMS / LMES – LMP1 – ’08 Peugeot Sport
1:10.379 – ALMS / LMES – LMP1 – ’00 Audi
1:18.632 – ALMS / LMES – GTS – ’00 Corvette C5-R
1:22.604 – LMS / LMES – GT – ’01 BMW M3 GTR
1:23.848 – NASA – TTR – Leh Keen – Nissan GT-R
1:24.701 – Chin Motorsports GT-R Track Day – Mike Skeen – Catesby/Forged FP800 Nissan GT-R
1:29.937 – Ferrari Challenge – ’03 Ferrari 360

Here’s the video of Leh Keen’s lap:

For a great primer on the Road Atlanta course and how to achieve faster lap times there if you yourself were to drive it, check out this article and pay special attention to the information about Turn 12:
How to Drive Faster – Road Atlanta

2014 Nissan GT-R R35 Details Released

Nissan Has Released Full Spec Details on the 2014 Nissan GT-R

Continually working to improve one of the world’s finest automobiles, Nissan and their GT-R R35 development team have outdone themselves once again with the 2014 Nissan GT-R. For the next model year the GT-R R35 US Spec vehicle will see a power gain of 15HP to 545HP thanks in large part to an improved air intake system and a less flow restrictive exhaust muffler. This extra Horsepower will also be met with an improved driving feel thanks to efforts by the GT-R engineers to increase chassis rigidity through multiple point chassis upgrades, as well as through an improved high-RPM throttle response that has been achieved by installing a set of new, higher performance fuel injectors.

2014 Nissan GT-R R35

The basis of the car that has wowed critics and won over hearts will remain the same, however. Tire, brake, and transmission options see no change. Suspension changes are minor, and come mostly as result of slight tweaks to stock damper rates and springs on all four corners. There is also a new and upgraded anti-roll bar on the front of the suspension. The result should be an even tighter cornering response and driver feel under heavy track conditions.

Nissan GT-R News

Nissan has also introduced a newly appointed Premium Interior Package that will offer prospective buyers a Red Amber semi-aniline leather seat package with hand stitching for a more luxurious interior feel. The Black edition Nissan GT-R package will remain as an option for 2014.

2014 Nissan GT-R R35 Horsepower


Full Press Release Below:

2014 Nissan GT-R Reflects Dedication to Continuous Development of Legendary 545-HP Supercar

– Latest Version of Nissan’s Innovative Sports Car Set for January 2013 U.S. Sales Debut, Features New Premium Interior Along With Engine and Chassis Refinements –

Track-tested development process includes class victory in Nurburgring 24-Hour race

Improved high rpm throttle response, lower center of gravity and reduced body flex lead dynamic performance enhancements

New, exclusive Premium Interior Package features Red Amber semi-aniline leather seating appointments

Emphasis on “Takumi” craftsmanship continues throughout

Considered by many to be the perfect “street-able” supercar at its launch, the team behind the creation of the Nissan GT-R has never slowed down. The relentless ongoing development of the GT-R has been driven by the fact that the GT-R competes in a rarified supercar segment against vehicles costing more than twice as much – and where bragging rights can be won or lost by mere fractions of a second. The new 2014 Nissan GT-R continues the tradition. Set to go on sale at select certified dealerships in the United States in January 2013, the latest iteration of the GT-R is another step forward in the effort to deliver passion and emotion to customers through “extreme development.”

Much of that development has taken place on the world’s most challenging racing circuits, including the famed Nurburgring where the GT-R set production car lap records in both 2008 and 2009. The most grueling of these ongoing track tests was staged in May 2012 with the entry of an essentially stock Nissan GT-R in the Nurburgring 24 Hour sports car endurance race, where it finished 1st in class and 30th overall. More than just a test of the GT-R’s durability and reliability under the most extreme conditions, the around-the-clock race was also a development trial for key GT-R senior engineering staff members that were involved in every stage of the project from vehicle prep to pit stops to post-race teardown and analysis. The experience is expected to have a long-ranging impact on the growth of the GT-R and the core development team.

“With the entry into an actual 24-hour racing competition, GT-R’s unique development process not only took an incredible step into a new dimension, it did so under the eyes of 100,000-plus spectators,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “The development of a super high performance vehicle demands testing your own limits as well as the vehicle’s, which was the case at Nurburgring and will certainly pay off in our GT-R customers’ enhanced driving enjoyment.”

2014 Nissan GT-R: The Development Continues
Following a major change to GT-R’s renowned engine for the 2013 model year – including improved intake efficiency, reduced airflow resistance, improved exhaust emissions efficiency and a 15-horsepower increase to 545 hp (along with a 15 lb-ft increase in torque to 463 lb-ft) – the development of the engine continues for the 2014 model year.

New fuel injectors are adopted for enhanced torque response in the 4,500 – 6,000 rpm range, improving throttle and acceleration feel at mid- and high-rpm ranges. Also, an oil pan baffle has been added to stabilize oil behavior and oil pressure under high performance driving conditions. The baffle reduces rotational friction, which contributes to the increased responsiveness. As in previous years, each engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by a single specially trained technician, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. For 2014, an aluminum nameplate is added to each engine showing the name of the engine constructor.

The GT-R’s advanced VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine again features innovative plasma-sprayed bores (versus cast iron liners) for reduced friction, lighter weight, enhanced cooling, power output and fuel efficiency; a symmetrical independent intake and exhaust manifold system featuring twin high-performance IHI turbochargers; a secondary air management system for improved cold-start emissions performance; a thermostatically controlled oil-cooling system; an oil scavenger pump to maintain oil flowing to the turbochargers; and a lateral wet and dry sump oiling system. Fuel economy is again rated at 16 mpg City and 23 mpg Highway.

The VR38DETT V6 is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds. The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for quick shifts. It also features Hill Start Assist for easy starts on uphill inclines. High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.

The Nissan GT-R’s unique Premium Midship platform, created expressly for use with the GT-R, enables the use of a world’s first independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, which optimizes weight distribution and handling capability. The rear drive-biased system can vary torque split from 0:100 to 50:50 depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angles, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate. Of note is a special GT-R-specific yaw-rate feedback control, which measures the differences between the target yaw rate calculated from steering angle and actual yaw rate detected by the yaw-rate sensor and G sensor to adjust torque bias.

The Premium Midship Platform layout places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, without the use of traditional torque tubes, allowing the suspension to operate independently and optimizing tire grip at each corner. Contributing to overall vehicle balance and low center of gravity, the unique offset input and reaction shaft design of the rear transaxle enables a shorter design profile versus a typical manual transmission, moving the concentration of powertrain weight lower in the vehicle.

Chassis development also has been continued for 2014, enhancing the sense of “grabbing the road” and enhanced high-speed handling. The front suspension link bush location has been changed and with a new anti-roll bar the front roll-center height has been reduced, along with a change in spring and shock absorber specifications to lower the center of gravity. Maintenance of front suspension alignment has also been improved.

Handling duties are again managed by a sophisticated 4-wheel independent suspension system mounted to high-precision six-point front and rear subframes. A special Bilstein® DampTronic driver adjustable shock absorber system utilizes multiple vehicle information systems to provide appropriate damping forces and high level of control for a variety of driving situations.

The DampTronic system features three driver selectable settings – Normal; Comfort, for maximum suspension compliance; or R. The same three-stage adjustability is also available for the VDC system and transmission shift operation.

Again in 2014, the GT-R runs on Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT ultra high performance run-flat nitrogen-filled tires designed to match the suspension characteristics. Standard tire sizes are 255/40ZRF20 front and 285/35ZRF20 rear. Optional Dunlop® SP 7010 all-season run-flat tires are again offered as part of the Cold Weather Package.

Stopping power is again provided by Brembo® monoblock six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers with 15.35-inch front and 15.0-inch rear Brembo® full-floating cross-drilled two-piece rotors and low-steel high-stiffness brake pads that minimize fade and provide intense stopping performance. The calipers utilize race car-style radial mounting to minimize caliper flex during extreme braking.

The Nissan GT-R’s rigid forged aluminum 20-inch wheels, manufactured by RAYS®, utilize knurling inside the wheels helps keep the tires from slipping around the wheels under heavy acceleration or braking. The wheels feature a premium dark (near black) finish, which provides a high quality, high-performance look. The Black Edition features special metallic black six-spoke RAYS® forged lightweight wheels in place of the Premium model’s 10-spoke design.

“The performance enhancements for 2014 signal Nissan’s intent to keep the GT-R on the leading edge of international sports car design, technology and performance year after year after year,” said Castignetti.

Functional, High Performance Aerodynamics and Style
The Nissan GT-R’s dramatic styling is unchanged for 2014. Every aspect, from the overall design to the smallest details, is created to maximize the vehicle’s driving experience – as well as to suggest GT-R’s supercar level of performance.

The GT-R’s hybrid body construction is again a combination of steel, carbon fiber and die-cast aluminum, providing a unique combination of stiffness, precision and lightness.

The body features a low coefficient of drag of 0.26, achieving high front and rear downforce. GT-R’s front fenders express power and stability, while the “aero-blades” on the fenders’ edges provide optimum airflow around the tires and along the body. The vents in the fenders’ trailing edges assist in providing front downforce and optimizing side airflow. The aggressive front end, with a large hood bulge and enlarged central air intake, provide a sophisticated style as well as undisturbed airflow for power and cooling. The “super wide beam” headlights feature three additional sub-reflectors (compared to conventional lights) to give a wide illumination spread.

The Nissan GT-R’s four-passenger cabin features a sloping “aero blade canopy” roofline and a curved C-pillar “sword edge,” which expresses the distinctive GT-R identity, as well as facilitating air flow around the rear of the vehicle. The signature rear view of the GT-R is provided by its hallmark four-ring taillights, while air flow above and below the vehicle is managed by the functional rear carbon fiber underbody diffuser, rear venting, rear spoiler and large, integrated quad exhaust tips.

The GT-R Black Edition’s unique rear spoiler is designed to be as slippery to the wind as it is attractive to the eyes. Handmade in a limited monthly production run, a special coating allows carbon fiber “weave” to be felt by the touch. The lightweight dry carbon fiber material* is also incredibly strong, contributing to increased aerodynamic downforce.

GT-R’s advanced technology is present even in the vehicle’s paint, which utilizes a durable anti-chip paint and “double clear coat” process. The 2014 color palette includes Deep Blue Pearl, Jet Black, Solid Red, Gun Metallic, Pearl White and a limited production 4-stage metallic Super Silver.

A New Premium Interior for 2014
Just as GT-R reflects a constant pursuit of performance improvements, driver and passenger needs and desires are also continuously reviewed. Takumi, the Japanese word for artisan, has always been reflected in the GT-R, which features a great amount of hand craftsmanship. The Premium model interior features a change in color and stitching for a higher quality look and feel.

In addition, the Black Edition model’s steering wheel features new coordinated red accents, providing a sportier appearance. The biggest interior change for 2014 is availability of a new optional Premium Interior Package with exclusive Red Amber color semi-aniline leather appointments with hand-stitching on the front seats, along with Red Amber accents on the instrument panel, steering wheel, door trim, armrests and shift knob.

“Comfort and a sense of luxury refinement are never out of place, even in car with the ultra performance levels of GT-R,” said Castignetti. “The new Premium Interior Package, which will be available in limited numbers, adds a great new look and really accents the high levels of craftsmanship found throughout each and every GT-R.”

As in previous years, the key to the Nissan GT-R’s usability as both a daily driver and a high-performance machine is its balance of functionality and comfort. It provides comfortable four-passenger seating and trunk capacity of two golf bags or suitcases. Sculpted performance bucket seats give the driver and passenger a comfortable driving experience, and soft pads are utilized on the dash in front of the passenger and both doors to give an extra level of comfort. The rear transaxle layout of GT-R, with a flat floor and narrow center tunnel, allows GT-R to have an optimal driving position. The GT-R Black Edition adds a unique red and black interior color treatment and Recaro® leather-appointed seats.

The GT-R’s cockpit-style instrument panel surrounds the driver, with all meters and multi-function meter at a uniform height to minimize the driver’s head movement. A large center-mounted tachometer, with gear display on its upper right, as well as the easy-to-read graphics of the display, gives the driver instant detailed information, essential for the performance nature of the GT-R. Each meter features a dial plate design that evokes the idea of engaged gears, as well as a three-dimensional metal-like ring, suggesting the multi-dimensional performance of GT-R. A large, metallic-framed center console features an ergonomically designed shift lever and a red “engine start” button. Carbon fiber interior trim is offered for all models.

The centerpiece of the instrument panel is a video game-inspired multi-function display that was created in collaboration with Polyphony Digital, makers of the Gran Turismo electronic game. Eleven pages of information are available on this system, including mechanical and driving information, acceleration, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and a recording function with playback.

Additional on-screen information includes a Navigation system and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. The navigation system includes NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather capabilities (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).

All 2014 GT-R models again include a specially designed 11-speaker Bose® audio system features two forward-facing woofers in the rear center armrest area. Rigid aluminum die cast panel-mounting of all speakers allowed Bose® engineers to perfect the acoustical performance of the GT-R sound system. Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® is standard.

Standard safety equipment includes a Nissan Advanced Air Bag System for driver and front passenger, front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags for driver and front-passenger and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front seat occupant head protection – along with front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and three-point ELR/ALR rear seat belts.

Jay Leno and Usain Bolt Drive GT-Rs

Nissan Ramps up Its PR Work With the GT-R

Working continually to raise the GT-R’s global view, this past week Nissan and their GT-R team worked with both Usain Bolt and Jay Leno for some fantastic automotive press opportunities.

The world’s fastest man has not been shy about his love for the world’s fastest car (or, at least, one of them). Usain Bolt, a veritable international celebrity with humongous marketing presence in Europe and China, as well as most everywhere else people have heard of the Olympics, has been well known for his love of the Nissan GT-R. Looks like Nissan caught wind of this too, and is taking advantage of the situation for some great press opportunities.

Usain Bolt Nissan GTR

This month Nissan reached an advertising deal with Usain Bolt, officially naming him their “Director of Excitement”. To kick off this special title, a unique, one-off (actually, two-off, since Bolt had one made for himself also) special edition Gold GT-R was built and will be auctioned off on EBay. The proceeds of the sale will go to the Usain Bolt Foundation–a charity dedicated to the happiness and wellness of children’s lives in underprivileged countries and societies–and there should be lots of proceeds.

Gold Usain Bolt Nissan GT-R

The very special one-off Bolt GT-R is finished in a beautiful and unique metallic gold paint, features Bolt’s signature across the front, and also has an interior touched up with gold accent trim. The overall look of the vehicle is incredibly striking, and it will certainly fetch a pretty penny. If this GT-R is less to your liking, however, Nissan and Bolt are also teaming up to offer a less limited-run of Bolt Special Edition GT-Rs. The details on this special edition GT-R aren’t confirmed yet, but I’m sure Nissan and their new “Director of Excitement” will come up with something great.

Nissan GTR What If Usain Bolt

The last part of Bolt’s agreement will see him featured in a new series of Nissan “What If_” commercials. Ahead of these commercials, Nissan and Bolt have already released a few promotional videos. Of their partnering together, Bolt said, “Racing is my inspiration, and I want to help Nissan become an even more exciting brand for everyone.”

Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Toshiyuki Shiga welcomed Bolt’s endorsement and deepening ties with Nissan. “Nissan shares the spirit of excitement that captivated worldwide audiences at the Olympics. There is no-one better qualified than Usain Bolt to help us translate that spirit into great experiences,” said Shiga.


In addition to Usain Bolt, Nissan brought in one of the world’s most famous car enthusiasts, Jay Leno, for another PR opportunity…

when they flew the chinned one out to Tokyo to take a drive around the city’s notoriously difficult to maneuver streets in a Nissan GT-R. There’s no special agreement between parties here, just a really neat video of Leno enjoying as cruise in Godzilla through the brilliant and beautiful Akihabara electronics district–an area renowned for its bright lights and tight streets.

“It’s a bit like driving in England, as you’re on the other side of the road,” he said. Perhaps more striking was the difference in the kinds of cars one sees on the road around Tokyo and their condition. Leno said he didn’t see any clunkers or dirty cars, like those he was used to on the Los Angeles motorways.

“I’ve yet to see a dirty car on the road. People here seem to take a great deal of pride in their possessions.”

Leno proves himself a capable motorist, navigating the roadways with relative ease, and then talking about the driving experience. Following that we get to see Leno also visit Nissan’s GT-R Manufacturing Plant where he marvels over the creation process for the GT-R Engine. It’s great to hear a well-known American car enthusiast give the GT-R so much love, and the taste of a different culture is a fascinating one.

Next Generation Nissan GT-R Set for 2018 and 2013 GT-R Facelift

Contrary to Earlier Reports and Beliefs, the Nissan GT-R Will See a Second Generation in 2018

Information on the 2013 Nissan GT-R Facelift is Almost as Exciting as that providing proof of the next generation Nissan GT-R hitting the streets in 2018

For the last few years the common belief in the automotive world had been that the Nissan GT-R as we currently knew it would be a single generational vehicle. The reviews and media coverage for the vehicle have always been astoundingly positive–few people anywhere will deny it its place amongst the planet’s elite vehicle list–but the sales haven’t always matched. The price tag and Nissan badging combination have clearly turned away some would-be consumers, and, this has lead many to speculate that this generation of GT-R, especially with increased fuel restrictions coming up, would never see a complete generational renovation Stateside. Thankfully, a report released this past week not only refutes that, it provides a solid and reasonable timeline for the vehicle’s future.

Seeing a facelift this year, and almost certainly continuing to receive small and interesting upgrade touches until the next generation is released, the real news is that in 2018 the car will be completely revamped from ground up. First confirmed by Edmunds via Nissan’s corporate PR entity, multiple reputable news sources have come out to verify the same information. Nissan had originally intended for the Nissan GT-R to see its second generation as early as 2015, but the departure of GT-R R&D head and chief engineer, Kazutoshi Mizuno, left the company in a bit of a difficult position. Without the man who had made the GT-R the giant-slayer we all know it as today its future had seemed uncertain. Well, Mizuno is back after having overcome health concerns and the 2015 date has been scrapped in favor of a 2018 as result of the lost time in the wake of Mizuno’s absence.

2013 Nissan GT-R Facelift

Possible interpretation of the 2013 Nissan GT-R based off the Nissan GT-R Club Race Edition

With their new date set for 2018, the conservative timeline will provide Mizuno plenty of time to get back in to the swing of things with his trusted team and move forward with the vehicle’s revitalization. Most importantly, too, is that this news means that Mizuno–one of the world’s greatest automotive development minds–is healthy and has overcome his personal health issues. In fact, Mizuno was healthy enough to make the trip to Germany recently and be involved with the mechanical side of the Nissan team’s class victorious effort at the renowned 24 Hours of Nürburgring event.

2013 Nissan GT-R Facelift

Possible interpretation of the 2013 Nissan GT-R based off the Nissan GT-R Club Race Edition

The other reason for the delay was result of Nissan’s insistence on keeping their current generation GT-R up to par. This means that a number of resources are being applied towards the current generation to provide the 2013 model with a complete facelift and improved performance via more involved electronics, in an effort to the keep vehicle competitive with new Porsche models as it enters in to its 6th year of production.

While exact details of the facelift and new model year revamping haven’t been officially announced, what has been stated is Nissan’s desire to closely follow and react to the new Acura NSX model’s performance. The NSX is a long recognized super car returning to production in 2013, where it will certainly regain its place alongside Ferrari and Porsche as a truly viable entrance point in to the supercar market. However, the NSX is doing things a little differently.

Similar to the Lexus LFA, the NSX will also feature a hybrid electric/gas engine to increase low end torque numbers and pair them with high RPM HP numbers. This insistence by Mizuno and his Nissan team has lead many to speculation that a turbocharged hybrid engine may be in the future for the GT-R as well. With increasing fuel efficiency standards across the globe, a change of this nature seems both likely and ideal too.

2013 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition

2013 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition

Now, it’s known that many performance enthusiasts release collective groans when they hear the word “hybrid” attached to their beloved super car market, but, the hybrid configuration does allow for a lot of performance gains as well. Chief amongst these gains is the torque delivery that an electric engine offers. Because of the change in power access and delivery, hybrid electric engines are able to deliver 100% of the electric engine’s torque from a stand-still. Coupling a torque delivery like this–something in line with 100-150 torque from zero RPMs is absolutely plausible in an electric hybrid engine–with the GT-R’s amazing all-wheel drive system will result in some of the most impressive off the line acceleration numbers anyone has ever seen. Switching from 100% electric to 100% gas as the vehicle goes up through the RPM band will result in the engine being able to access its turbocharger reserves for increased horsepower at higher speeds, once the need for torque has dissipated. In all, a well-designed hybrid AWD GT-R could easily offset the increased weight issue associated with a hybrid engine and deliver even more impressive performance than ever before.

2013 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition

2013 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition

As for the 2013 facelift in store for the GT-R, exact specifications are, as of yet, unknown. Nissan has stated that the primary body panels will remain largely unchanged, which has lead to speculation in changes over the following vehicle aspects: under body aerodynamics aspects such as front splitter and rear diffuser, lights and markers, and interior. Of these three, changes to the interior–bringing it closer to the Porsche and Audi luxury standard–seem the most likely to drive sales, while those which may improve downforce and drag coefficient numbers–i.e. changes to the aerodynamic component pieces–seem the most likely to help the GT-R set new benchmark track times across the globe. The recently utilized GT-R R35 from the prior mentioned 24 hours of Nürburgring utilized a new, upgraded, integrated front air dam with enhanced air dam brace. Considering how close that race’s iteration of the GT-R was to a production model, there’s a definite possibility that the 2013 model could also find itself equipped with this more aggressive front wind splitting device.

Nissan GT-R at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring Event

Nissan GT-R at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring Event

Here are a few excerpts from Mizuno following the 24 Hours of Nürburgring event, some of which is very telling. Ultimately, it lends itself to the belief that Nissan will continue improving the GT-R until they release next generation and will maintain a strong dedication to performance above all else with their flagship automobile:

Nissan GT-R at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring Event

Nissan GT-R at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring Event

“There are two major reasons for entering in this 24-hour race: First of all, after the debut in 2007, this vehicle has been evolving year after year. By changing it to a racing specification to be implemented in the future, no matter what kind of super high performance feature or a new version is developed in the next five years, the durability and reliability in varying conditions can be verified in this race. I would like to make a promise that all this will be reflected in future GT-Rs.

“Secondly, since we debuted this vehicle in 2007, customers have asked me time and time again, how their vehicle would perform if they were to race their own vehicles. Therefore, we are using a vehicle similar to those of our customers, we are not using a car with racing modifications.

“By racing in a vehicle with similar and more evolved specifications as our customers’ GT-R, we respond to the expectations of our customers. For this race, we developed forged calipers, aerodynamic parts and other various components. I would like to make a promise that all this will be reflected in future GT-Rs, and will be delivered to our customers.”

                      -Kazutoshi Mizuno

An In-Depth Look at the new Tires for the 2013 GT-R

Nissan Chose the New Dunlop SP SportMaxx GT600 Tires for their 2013 R35 GT-R

The Dunlop special race developed SP Sport Maxx GT 600 were chosen by the Nissan race engineers as the official factory equipped vehicle, and we’re taking a closer look at it

The 2013 Nissan GT-R will be hitting showroom floors across the globe later this Spring, and when it does it will feature a bevy of performance upgrades. Oft publicized are its increased horsepower and retuned performance suspension, but maybe equally important to its performance are the new Dunlop tires Nissan has selected to outfit it with.

With 545 HP and 463 lb-ft torque, it took some special rubber to connect that power to the asphalt at all four wheels, and that’s where the new Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600s come in. These new tires, designed specifically by Dunlop to put the Nissan GT-R in to motion, feature a myriad of new technological features innovated by Dunlop. The creation and innovation of these tires brought Nissan to form an agreement with Dunlop to make them not only the official tire of the Nissan GT-R, but also original equipment exclusively available for the R35 GT-R.

Of course, this pairing of vehicle and tires comes at no surprise, as both parties have particularly strong performance racing heritages and each also feature incredibly efficient and advanced modern technology to power themselves well beyond the capabilities of their most direct competitors. The features of the Nissan GT-R R35 have been publicized heavily in the past, so I won’t focus on those, instead I’ll take a more direct look at these new tires to see what they offer the vehicle.

Dunlop begins construction on these tires by utilizing a silica-reinforced tread compound and solid center rib design to help maintain tire integrity and grip, even at higher speeds. This leads to increased driver feedback, and, coupled with the Dunlop asymmetric tread pattern being used provides equivalent performance in both wet and dry conditions. The point of contact between the tire and rim utilizes a unique shape–different from the standard contact point seen on most modern tires–with a rounded bead portion for greater surface area of contact.

Other technologies incorporated in the tire (and taken directly from the official press release announcing the pairing of these two companies’ products, with my added notes to the side):

  • Dunlop Self-Supporting Technology (DSST): a patented, reinforced sidewall construction designed to temporarily support the weight of the car after a loss of air pressure. – This is better than a standard run flat as it forcibly maintains sidewall pressure upon quick pressure loss, which means a blown tire on a course won’t result in an immediate loss of vehicular control.
  • Combined Tire Technology (CTT): allows for less tire weight and a rounder cavity shape which helps improve ride comfort. – Does just that. Not really any track or performance benefits from this, and not even sure how much benefit it will give to ride comfort.
  • Jointless Band Technology: a continuous spiral fabric ply helps maintain the tire’s shape, enabling smooth performance at high speeds. – This aspect is huge, and it’s not Dunlop exclusive. All of the premiere road/track tires being produced today (like the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires found on top-end Corvettes and Porsche 911 GT3s) utilize some form of this technology. Increased rigidity at higher speeds means less tire form warp, and results in greatly enhanced grip both at take off with high torque application, as well as during handling at higher speeds.
  • Multi-Pitch Tread Design Technology: helps reduce noise for a quiet ride. – Woohoo. Because there are so many complaints about road noise in the GT-R (?).

All in all, these tires are a fantastic set-up and a great addition to the 2013 GT-R. A vehicle as incredible as the R35 deserves some amazing tires to outfit it with, and it looks like Nissan and Dunlop have found the right set for this car.


Evo Track Battle: Nissan GT-R vs 991 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Tiff Needell of Evo Pits GT-R and 911 Carrera S Head to Head

In a Same Course, Same Driver, Same Day comparison Tiff Needell of Evo.Co.Uk pits the Nissan GT-R R35 against a 991 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Evo Magazine’s much revered Tiff Needell has a great job, and this video only proves it further. For this comparison video Tiff takes a 2012 Nissan GT-R and a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera S out to the Bedford Autodrome course in the UK to see which car runs a faster lap. It’s a fun little course–tightly packed and featuring a lot of quick transition turns–and the results prove what we GT-R fans would expect.

The 2012 Nissan GT-R received a boost in performance numbers over its early year predecessors thanks to A 45hp bump to 530HP and an increase in torque to 448 lb/ft. The increase is provided to the GT-R with thanks to the combination of revised turbo boost and a reworked intake and exhaust system which helped to increase air flow back. The older brakes have also been switched to a new and enlarged set to better deal with the added horsepower, but Tiff doesn’t seem to be happy with them still.

Conversely, the Porsche 911 Carrera S is a whole different sort of beast. It gives up a great deal in the HP department, putting out a total of 400HP thanks to its 3.8L flat-six direct injection engine. What the Porsche lacks in HP though it gains in weight savings, with a curb weight that comes in  over 730 pounds less than the GT-R. The Porsche puts this power down to the track through the use of RWD and a 7-Speed manual transmission.

In the video, Tiff gives each vehicle every bit that he can. The track times they each post are very impressive, and the GT-R wins the race by almost 3 seconds (which, in track terms, especially on a course as short as the UK’s Bedford, is near an eternity). This is impressive too considering that typically things like HP factor much less in to track times than weight on a course designed like Bedford. Adding to the impressiveness of the GT-R victory by 2.7 seconds is the fact that the laps began from speed, and not from a stand-still. The AWD take-off of the GT-R would have certainly put it even further ahead of the Carrera S had they begun their laps from a stop.

Of course, that’s not to take away from the Porsche at all. The 911 Carrera is a car that exudes class and style, and its performance would wipe the track clean with dozens upon dozens of lower performing (and many times equally or more expensive vehicles), it just happened to run in to Godzilla. Ultimately, these comparisons will be much more intriguing when they’re between high-performance GT Trim 991 Porsches, which will have the HP to keep up with the GT-R. However, until those are out in force and the comparisons are made, the GT-R is still the clear-cut favorite.

Of course, those other comparisons will come with a caveat. Higher performance Porsche models will come in at a higher price tag, and as it sits right now the Nissan GT-R has an MSRP of $89,950 and the Porsche 911 Carrera S’s pricetag is $91,900. So, for the money, it remains fact that the Nissan GT-R R35 simply can not be beat.

Video is worth a watch as Tiff is a great driver, and the footage of the race is fantastic.

Chris Harris Takes out a Nissan GT-R and a BMW M5 – Fun Times Ensue

2012 Nissan GT-R R35 vs 2012 BMW M5

Chris Harris of Drive–and the other gentlemen like him, Jeremy Clarkson, and the world’s great car reviewers–have the best possible job. Don’t believe me? Well, sorry, you’re wrong. For the most recent Chris Harris Reviews episode of Drive he was handed the keys to a 2012 BMW M5 and a 2012 Nissan GT-R R35 on a typical rainy day in England and told to have fun.

The GT-R R35 section of the video is an absolute joy to behold. Harris does what he can to overwork the GT-R’s brilliant drivetrain and computer and the machine works, time and time again, to make things right for him. In fact, the car helps him drive almost perfectly. I love too how he addresses the standard knock on the GT-R: its lack of character. Harris points out how that statement couldn’t be any further from the truth, which is a fact that every person who has ever been behind the wheel of an R35 can attest to.

Ultimately, Harris covers it all and I’d be doing his great video a disservice to detail it bit by bit, so I’ll just post the video for you to watch and enjoy here, and leave you contemplating just how great it would be to have this job.

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