Nissan sharpens GT-R again

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Nissan has released an updated 2013 model year GT-R and Australians will be among the first in the world to have access to it, in February next year.

Due on sale in Japan later this month, the US in January and Europe from March, the MY13 GT-R is claimed to bring sharper handling, better high-speed stability, improved throttle response and – perhaps most importantly – even quicker off-the-line-acceleration.

Full specifications and pricing won’t be revealed until closer to launch, but Nissan says its latest GT-R can now sprint to 100km/h in just 2.7 seconds – down one-tenth from 2.8 seconds with the MY12 GT-R, which itself brought a host of updates including more power and torque when it was revealed here just eight months ago in March.

In line with Nissan’s original pledge to constantly update its all-wheel drive supercar flagship, the MY13GTR’s twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 brings no more peak power or torque. Outputs remain unchanged from the 404kW and 628Nm figures of the MY12 model, which brought a range of intake and exhaust upgrades that also reduced fuel consumption from 12 to 11.7L/100km.

However, new high-output injectors are said to more concisely control fuel-injection to improve mid-range and high-rpm response, as does a new relief valve for the turbocharger bypass, while a new oil pan baffle helps maintain more stable oil pressure by reducing rotational friction during hard driving.

The upgraded GT-R also brings increased body rigidity and revised dampers, springs and front anti-roll bar following testing at Germany’s Nurburgring. Nissan says the suspension changes have lowered the car’s centre of gravity, following the measurement of its roll centre and consideration of tyre and bush deflection while cornering.

According to Nissan, new cam bolts have been installed on the front suspension to improve camber accuracy and stability when cornering and the torque capacity of the driveshafts has been increased to improve reliability in high-stress situations.

Meantime, the dash panel bar and instrument panel member have been reinforced, which Nissan says improves body rigidity and suspension control. Nissan says all that makes the newest GT-R even faster at the Nurburgring, with testing in May showing it is capable of lapping the famous road circuit in 7:19.1 – down from 7:21 for the MY12 GT-R.

However, program manager Kazutoshi Mizuno said half a second was lost in traffic on that hot lap, indicating that the MY13 GT-R is capable of a 7:18.6 lap, all but matching Porsche’s outgoing 911 GT2 RS. GT-R development driver Toshio Suzuki said Nurburgring testing - including the gruelling endurance race - was central to new model changes.

“We participated in the race using parts for our normal road conditions, and although there were some minor issues, we experienced no critical problems, so we could see the GTR’s potential. Also, after driving at high-speeds, we could understand the balance of downforce,” he said.

But Mizuno-san said Nissan is aiming not just to make the GT-R faster, but safer and more refined.

“What is important for Nissan as an auto-maker is our commitment to areas such as safety,” he said. “We not only contend that in a GT-R a normal car conversation is possible at 300km/h on the German autobahn, or that the car can do a lap at Nurburgring in seven minutes 18 seconds, but we consider areas that other competitors don’t.

“‘How do we design a car to endure a flat tyre at 300km/h that can make it to the repair shop?’ or ‘how do we protect the passenger in case of an accident at 200km/h?’ or ‘how do we activate the VDC (vehicle dynamics control) system at over 250km/h’?

“Overall, besides just marketing tag lines, we need to develop technologies of trust that other manufacturers don’t. That contributes to the Nissan brand and what I want to push.” The latest GT-R changes follow the release of the MY12 model in March, when Nissan not only brought more engine performance, but internal transmission upgrades designed to improve the rear-mounted six-speed dual-clutch gearbox’s performance and refinement.

The MY12 GTR also brought mild styling changes inside and out, body-in-white reinforcements around the firewall designed to improve steering feel and precision, a new asymmetric suspension setting on right-hand drive GT-Rs and extra standard equipment including a reversing camera.

It is not clear whether the MY13 upgrade will increase the GT-R’s price, which rose by $2000 to $170,800 with the MY12 earlier this year.

 

Article by Marton Pettendy

Reproduced in full from www.carsales.com.au

 

See all the suspension, brake, driveline and tuning upgrades MRT has to offer for the R35 GTR.

 

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