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Facelifted Nismo GT-R surfaces

Faster and more furious: Compared with the standard Nissan GT-R, the Nismo-fettled GT-R has a more powerful 441kW/652Nm engine, thanks to bigger turbos, and is lighter with better aerodynamics.

Nismo hones updated Nissan GT-R, creating sharper, more powerful road-going Godzilla

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Nissan logo30 May 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

NISSAN’s in-house tuning division has tweaked the facelifted 2017 GT-R, wringing more power from the engine, shedding weight and enhancing driving dynamics to deliver what is likely the first Nismo model to land on Australian shores.

Although timing for a local debut is yet to be confirmed, last year Nissan announced its intention to bring the high-performance Nismo brand Down Under in 2016 and, while other models are currently offered in overseas markets including a tuned version of its ageing 370Z coupe and Juke crossover, a local introduction without a flagship GT-R is unlikely.

As reported by GoAuto last month, Nissan Australian managing director Richard Emery said Nismo would be launched to add “colour and personality to the brand”.

“We need to bring GT-R and (370) Z and the cars that have those emotional connections to the public, and connect them back to the core brand that is Nissan,” he said. “We will be doing more with GT-R and Z, reminding people about our business and what we have achieved.”

Following the lead of its facelifted donor car, the GT-R Nismo wears a new front fascia with Nissan’s V-Motion front grille, designed to better cool the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 powering all four wheels.

Nismo has fettled the VR38DETT powerplant to the tune of 441kW at 6800rpm and 652Nm from 3600-5600rpm, an increase of 22kW/20Nm over the regular GT-R thanks to the use of larger turbochargers – the same blowers used in Nissan’s GT3 competition racing cars.

Not only more powerful, the GT-R Nismo is also lighter thanks to an all carbon-fibre front bumper and it features better aerodynamics thanks to front canards which “have been designed to improve airflow around the vehicle and generate a high level of downforce”, according to Nissan.

Overall, the Nismo GT-R will generate more downforce than any other production Nissan to date.

The Nismo GT-R also adopts the stiffer body found in the GT-R 2017 model year update, but receives further tuning to shock absorbers, springs and stabilisers, resulting in, according to Nissan, a better handling car with improved slalom times and cornering performance by up to two per cent.

Inside, the flagship GT-R utilises the updated interior of the standard version, with a redesigned dashboard, steering wheel and centre armrest along with a simplified infotainment system, but Nismo has fitted a pair of carbon Recaro bucket seats wrapped in leather with red Alcantara inserts.

Chief product specialist on the GT-R and Nismo GT-R Hiroshi Tamura said the new Godzilla was directly inspired by Nissan’s racing efforts and called it a better all-round car.

“The GT-R Nismo emphasises the ‘R’ in its nomenclature,” he said. “Its direct ties with racing make it at home on any racetrack, providing the highest levels of excitement and exhilaration for the driver.

“With the 2017 GT-R as a starting point, the new Nismo version has become a more well-balanced machine, with not just increased performance, but a heighted premium feel overall. It is the result of our relentless pursuit of ultimate driving pleasure.”

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