The Nissan GT-R is one of my favourite cars so I offer no apology for extolling the virtues of the new model at length here. Since its launch in 2007, the Nissan GT-R has been at the cutting edge of the premium sports car sector. It’s an uncompromising performance four-seater (sort of) for enthusiastic drivers, a car which completely embodies Nissan’s ‘Innovation that Excites’ motto. I drove the current model a while back and you can see that HERE.
For 2017, the GT-R has been significantly updated to keep it where it belongs – on the tip of the tongue of car fans around the world.
The new Nissan GT-R has an exciting new look both inside and out, as well as major driving performance enhancements in key areas, including a revised chassis and more power from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre 24-valve V6 engine. Nissan tell us that it is also more comfortable than ever before, with a more sophisticated and premium quality interior.
In the UK, the 2017 Nissan GT-R will be available in three grades – Pure, Recaro and Prestige. Pricing starts from £79,995 for Pure with Recaro from £81,995. Prestige is either from £82,495 with Black Touring Leather Seats, or £83,495 with Tan, Ivory or Red Touring Leather Seats. A Track Edition engineered by NISMO, specified at £91,995, will also be offered.
The new GT-R boasts a thoroughly refreshed exterior look that adds a high sense of style to what is already considered one of the most distinctive-looking sports cars in the marketplace. The front of the car sees a redesigned bumper, daytime running lights, and a new matte chrome finish “V-motion” grille, which represents one of Nissan’s latest design signatures.
This distinctive grille has been enlarged to increase airflow to cool the engine without causing any additional drag, and the refined shape blends smoothly with the new bonnet which has increased structural rigidity preventing deformation and greatly improving aerodynamic performance at high speed.
In fact, nearly all of the visual changes made to the GT-R’s exterior are intended to improve aerodynamic performance; more specifically, enhanced aerodynamic efficiency in three key areas: downforce generation, drag reduction and improved cooling of vital vehicle systems. The goal was to maximize cooling airflow, while at the same time keeping aerodynamic drag in check.
In addition to the new grille and bonnet, the curving profile of the front under spoiler has been slightly extended and lowered by a few millimetres to improve airflow at the its lower edge. (The ground clearance of the previous model has been maintained.) Also, by reshaping the sill lip along the lower portions of the sides of the car, the amount of air being drawn underneath has been reduced, countering vehicle lift and improving stability. The C-pillars have also been redesigned, with the upper portion now shaped to deliver better airflow management by preventing the generation of a smaller vortex, say Nissan.
The rear of the new GT-R continues to be defined by its iconic round tail lights, but look closely and you’ll notice a silver-finish diffuser and new side air vents that have been incorporated next to the quad titanium exhaust tips to improve the car’s aerodynamics. Also, the belt line that separates the lower black section from the body panel has been heightened to make the car look wider and more aggressive. The rear bumper section now incorporates the same design featured on the GT-R NISMO for better routing of air at the lower portion of the rear of the vehicle. This has also led to less interference between the exhaust gases exiting the tailpipes and airflow along the rear side portions of the bumper for improved heat evacuation.
Stylish new Y-spoke forged alloy wheels by RAYS are new for the 2017 GT-R that offer better wheel balance, lighter weight, and more strength.
The Nissan GT-R’s new interior delivers an unparalleled degree of comfort and everyday usability. It’s obvious at first glance that the new cabin is more luxurious and upscale. Seamlessly wrapped in one continuous sheet of the highest quality Nappa leather, the new dashboard adopts a “horizontal flow” that delivers a sense of high stability for the car’s front-seat occupants, while the line from the instrument cluster to the centre console provides a distinct driver-oriented environment for those behind the steering wheel.
The centre dashboard layout has been improved and simplified, with the number of integrated navigation and audio controls reduced from 27 switches in the previous model to only 11 in the 2017 version. The navigation system controls and display have been placed slightly lower on the instrument panel for easier use and better forward visibility for both the driver and front passenger.
Also, the redesigned navigation system layout has been improved, with the dials now machined from aluminium alloy for better feel and operation. An enlarged 8-inch touch panel monitor features large icons on the display screen that allow the user to easily manage the audio system, navigation system, telephone controls and other infotainment.
Other convenient information features include the popular multi-function meter that allows the driver to customize the layout of important vehicle-specific performance information (including coolant temperature, engine oil temperature, engine oil pressure, transmission oil temperature, transmission oil pressure, turbocharger boost pressure, etc.).
The paddle shifters have now been mounted directly to the newly designed steering wheel (as opposed to the steering column), which allows the driver to select gears of the 6-speed dual clutch transmission without having to take his hands off the wheel mid-turn.
Output for the GT-R’s award-winning 3.8-litre V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine has been increased by 19.7bhp compared to the previous model. It now delivers 562bhp at 6800 rpm, thanks in part to an increase in boost pressure and an ignition-timing system that’s controlled at each individual cylinder—technology previously reserved for the GT-R NISMO. The new changes result in improved acceleration in the mid-range (3200 rpm and above) with maximum torque output available across a wider range of the powerband.
Each engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by meticulously trained technicians. An aluminium plate is added to the front of each engine showing the name of the TAKUMI engine craftsman.
Also new is a titanium exhaust system that better manages the high temperatures of the exhaust gas from the engine. The system includes a NACA duct on the vehicle’s undertray, which guides air into the rear diffuser section to help cool the silencer and evacuate hot air from this section of the vehicle.
Dual Clutch Transmission
The transmission shift-management control of the sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission has been updated for better refinement and performance in a variety of driving situations. For example, when the vehicle begins moving from a standstill at a slow rate of acceleration, the gear shift change from first to second gear is now much smoother than before.
With the previous GT-R, once the vehicle began moving from a standstill under light throttle, the engine torque would be reduced, which could in turn produce a somewhat sluggish response. For the 2017 GT-R, under similar circumstances, the engine torque is not reduced, helping to improve smoothness upon initial acceleration even under light throttle. In short, it should take off like a scalded cat.
What’s more, the exhaust note is noticeably quieter, Nissan tell us, for a more pleasant experience during normal every day driving. When driving in low-load conditions—such as on city streets or parking lots—the increased preciseness of the shift-actuator allows the transmission to operate more quietly.
Engine power is transferred to all four wheels of the GT-R via the world’s first independent rear transaxle called the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system. During normal driving, the GT-R behaves like a rear-drive vehicle, with the torque split set at 0:100, but it can be adjusted up to 50:50 depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angle, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate.
The Nissan GT-R’s 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 weight distribution and maximizing tire grip at each corner.
Body & Chassis Development
For 2017, the handling capabilities and athletic performance of the new GT-R has been taken to another level, thanks to a refined suspension system and a more rigid body structure that results in improved handling and better overall vehicle stability.
Intensive engineering updates around the windshield frame, which is housed within the A-pillars, have increased the structural rigidity of the GT-R’s front end, resulting in reduced deformation and crisper turn-in response. Reinforcements around the trunk have resulted in an increase in stiffness at the rear of the car. As a result, the rigidity levels at the front and rear of the car are more uniform, resulting in a better balanced chassis.
The GT-R’s special Bilstein DampTronic driver-adjustable shock-absorber system—which utilizes information from multiple vehicle systems to provide appropriate damping forces and high level of control for a variety of driving situations—has been enhanced by way of a new valve housing that reduces resistance losses. Also, rigid attachment points for the suspension system enhances cornering stability and turning response by allowing all of the wheels to be placed under even a greater load while maintaining optimal contact with the road surface.
Like the previous model, 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. For 2017, the “R” and “Comfort” settings now offer the driver enhanced sportiness and a smoother ride quality.
On to the steering and the GT-R’s system – a speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion design with aluminium steering rack, four-point mounting and stiff insulators – possesses sharper response during spirited driving, with reduced effort for around-the-town commutes and exceptional feedback on the open highway.
By removing unwanted noise while concurrently augmenting the welcome sounds that please the ear—specifically the pulse-quickening sounds coming from the GT-R’s free-flowing quad-exhaust—the new GT-R invigorates the senses like never before, while maintaining a much quieter cabin at cruising speeds thanks to Active Noise Cancellation which identifies and reduces unwanted low-frequency sounds.
The driver can vary the sound control capability through the different vehicle mode settings—Normal, Comfort and R. Also, an exhaust sound control switch allows for a quieter engine start. By pressing the exhaust sound control switch prior to engine start, this will close the electronic valve within the exhaust system for more quiet operation at engine startup and continue for a brief time while the vehicle is driven with the engine running at low rpms.
Along with the increased structural rigidity of the platform that aids with occupant protection, standard safety items included on every new 2017 Nissan GT-R consist of the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) that features dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensors that can vary the rate of air bag inflation based upon seatbelt usage and crash severity; a pair of side-impact supplemental air bags that are integrated into the front seats so that they move with the driver/front passenger as the seating position is adjusted. There’s roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags; energy-absorbing steering column and child-seat anchor points.
Other standard safety technologies include Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) stability control system with three driver-selectable modes (Normal, R-Mode, Off), Electronic Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Rear View Monitor, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and automatic on/off headlights.
This will be something special. Geoff Maxted