A Nissan GT-R R35 Gets a Starring Role in the Upcoming Film Elysium
Neil Blomkamp, the writer and director behind the hit film District 9 and the upcoming Elysium, clearly has an appreciation for great cars. In the first official trailer for Elysium there was footage of a flying Bugatti, and now, photos from shooting have shown us an armored up Nissan GT-R, that is apparently about 140 years old.
Set in a violent, post-apocalyptic, 2154 dystopia, Elysium looks to be one of the summer's big blockbuster movies. The inclusion of a Nissan GT-R, then, is big news for the Godzilla. We've seen, time and time again, how featuring a vehicle in a movie can help drive that car's sales and raise public awareness and improve perception. If it's perception they're looking to improve, too, the fact that this GT-R is not only still running 140 years from now, but is a fine vehicle for use in combat situations, should speak well to the car's reliability.
The GT-R in the production still shown has been covered in armor of some sort, given a heavy tinting, and stripped of most of its color. Interestingly though, nobody has debadged it yet.
What do you think? Does the GT-R in Elysium look good? Do you think this is a good move for Nissan and the GT-R group? What are the odds that this 140 year old GT-R is on its original transmission still?
With the Opening of Nismo's new Japanese Headquarter, They Have Announced a Very Special Nismo GT-R
Information on Nismo's first exclusive performance motorsports GT-R following their announcement of their new agreement with Nissan, and some accompanying spy photos.
Standing in the new and impressive facility that is set to become Nismo's Japanese Headquarters, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn looked pleased with what lie ahead for the two companies. For years, Nismo has done fantastic work modifying Nissan vehicles for greater performance, and their new agreement as an exclusive performance and motorsports partner makes perfect sense. What makes even more sense, following this decision, is that their first vehicle they approach head-on will be the Nissan GT-R.
Slated for release in 2014, as a 2015 Model, Nismo will unveil to the world a special edition Nissan GT-R that will take the already incredibly impressive vehicle and enhance it for increased performance. The official details of what Nismo will be doing to get extra lap seconds from the already world-beating GT-R have not been released, but, a test mule of the vehicle has already been spied.
Nismo will be utilizing their track racing experience, which they've gained with the GT-R in multiple levels of racing including some of the world's most fiercely competitive LeMans events, the Nürburgring 24 Hours event, and multiple successes in Super GT and global GT races, and applying all of their combined experience to create the most impressive GT-R yet. The Nismo GT-R will also be seeing minor exterior cosmetic changes designed to provide a visual facelift and enhanced vehicle aerodynamics.
Nissan and Nismo have both confirmed that the vehicle has already been in development, ahead of this announcement, and this timetable means that the public can expect to see more prototypes this upcoming summer. Official release details are almost certainly a full year off, however.
“It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of Nismo road cars without including the GT-R,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said. “The GT-R Nismo will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.” Of course, this Nismo GT-R, while being the first vehicle produced by the company following their new agreement and in their new facility, is not the first vehicle that the two companies have come together to create. Nismo performance versions of Nissan vehicles have been around for years, and at current a Nismo 370Z track edition and a Nismo Juke are both available to the public--and each have drastically improved their vehicle's performance and been met with rave reviews.
British GT Championship Series Will Not Allow Sony-Nissan GT Academy Drivers to Compete Because They're Too Fast
The very idea of a racecar driver being too fast to compete in a race seems absolutely absurd, as fast is exactly what racecar drivers are supposed to be, but a recent group of drivers in England are having a problem due to their incredible speed. Graduates of the Sony-Nissan Gran Turismo Academy, which trains drivers using the incredible advanced Gran Turismo driving simulator and puts them behind the wheel of amazing Nissan vehicles like the GT-R, are no longer allowed in the British GT Championship.
The Pro-Am Class, where GT Academy Drivers are being placed alongside Nissan's own professional drivers in two-man teams, is meant to be a class for "gentleman drivers", according to the British GT governing body. Last year, however, the first entrant of the GT Academy Alumnus, Jann Mardenborough, nearly won the class outright. When teamed up with Nissan race driver Alex Buncombe the duo took the series by storm, and the GT officials were forced to saddle time penalties to the amateur Mardenborough, as the times he was posting were much nearer the pros than they were the amateurs.
This disparity in skill, between those GT Academy racers and the actual amateurs--even though the GT Academy drivers themselves had logged no real track time--has lead the British GT governance to ban all GT Academy drivers from the amateur competition. This year was supposed to see four different drivers competing in that field, but, they'll have to find race work elsewhere. In a statement released to the publication GT Planet, British GT series manager Benjamin Franassovici said:
“[GT Academy] has shown itself to be a great way to source raw talent and turn that into real racing talent as we saw in British GT last year with Jann Mardenborough. However Nissan’s ability to find such amazing raw talent means that we cannot accept their full season entry for British GT in 2013. Their new recruits have very little racing experience so they have to be on the lowest performance grade. Their talent, going on Jann’s speed last year, doesn’t reflect this lack of experience so it is not fair to put them up against our Pro/Gentleman grid, the basis of British GT3.”
While their primary series of races has been lost, Nissan has still worked hard to line up races for their GT Academy graduates. The official 2013 schedule for GT Academy drivers will be announced at Nissan's Nismo Performance headquarters in Yokohama, Japan on February 26. GT Academy drivers may still receive an invitation or two to specific British GT events, as well.
All of this is huge news for the video game industry, as it clearly bucks the old adage surrounding games like Gran Turismo and its competition Forza, where the belief was that while they were fun simulations they did not actually teach people to drive, and, while the average driver certainly won't become Michael Schumacher by playing lots of video games, it clearly does provide a skill basis upon which competitive driving may be built. Of course, the expensive and detailed gaming rigs--featuring the finest technology and feedback simulators money can buy--also helps a great deal. The benefit alone of playing with a full 3-pedal, 6-speed, steering wheel get up in an upright racing seat is lightyears ahead of dicking around with a sixaxxis controller while sunken in to one's sofa.
All of this also speaks to the capabilities of the Nissan GT-R. The vehicle's incredible AWD handling does exactly what simulation drivers expect it to do, and is consistent enough that those who have honed their skills virtually can compete behind its wheels. In the British GT series it was certainly up against incredible competition, also. The race series is populated with the world's more expensive supercars, and this is just another feather for the GT-R hat.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spy Photos of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Were Caught on the Nürburgring
Nissan is dedicated to continually improving their flagship Nissan GT-R supercar which each year that passes. That fact has become obvious as we've seen improved models roll out one after the next, year after year. Well, Nissan and their GT-R team--headed by the brilliant designer and engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno--are hard at work again.
With the 2013 GT-R just now releasing, it doesn't appear that the GT-R crew are resting on their laurels. Building on the visual changes seen on the 2013 Nissan GT-R, it looks like the Nissan crew are also working on improving the vehicle's performance. The biggest change is the purported rise in HP to almost 600bhp, from the current model's rating of 545bhp. This extra HP will certainly help keep the GT-R the vehicle to beat in the world market.
Of course, these changes will almost certainly also bump up the cost to match the price. At a current price of about $96,000 one could very easily assume that the 2014 model will cross the $100k threshold. However, if past models are any indication, GT-R buyers will not mind the price bump when they compare it to the vehicular gains they'll receive.
In addition to this bump in HP, there are certain to be other performance gains as well. The 2014 model caught testing clearly incorporates some of the aerodynamic and front fascia upgrades of the 2013 model, and has maybe even improved on them. There's certain to be some improvements to the hardware included, and, most likely Mizuno and crew will work on putting the GT-R on a bit of a diet in effort to trim it down from its current 2013 curb weight of 3,825 pounds.
Building a lighter, or even same weight GT-R, with an extra 50 or so HP would make for quite an impressive vehicle off the lot in any price range, and, when compared to the vehicles against which it competes performance-wise, the potential $100k+ price tag seems like an absolute bargain. Having already embraced the need for improved interior look and feel with their Black package also, performance gains seem to be the only place for the GT-R to go next, and as it stands at current, it seems like the sky is the limit.
Whatever the case, it's exciting to follow the Nissan GT-R and see what improvements the Mizuno team make each and every year.
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