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New York show: Nissan’s next GT-R teased

See you again: After almost seven years on the local market, the updates to the 2017 R35 GT-R could be the last we see for Nissan’s ageing supercar before it is replaced with a new-generation R36 in the near future.

Nissan is teasing an updated form of its current GT-R supercar for New York

17 Mar 2016

JAPANESE car-maker Nissan is teasing a new version – either a slight facelift or special edition – of its current-generation R35 GT-R supercar ahead of a full reveal at next week’s New York motor show.

While the single image shows the GT-Rs unmistakably plump rear end and iconic circular tail-lights shrouded in darkness, a curvy spoiler can also be spotted – likely ruling out a Big Apple debut for an updated Nismo or track special Godzilla, which have employed more angular, fixed carbon-fibre rear-wings in the past.

With the ageing GT-R due to be superseded with a new-generation Nissan supercar, previewed in video game form as the bonkers Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo from mid-2014, this New York show reveal could represent the final form of the R35 iteration.

Although nothing else is known about the car, Nissan has been slowing tweaking the GT-R with yearly updates since its Australian launch in 2009, boosting power, raising comfort levels and updating technology.

At launch, the GT-R’s VR38 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 produced 357kW of power and 588Nm of torque, enough to propel the 1748kg supercar from zero to 100km/h in about three and a half seconds.

In 2011, Nissan brought in light styling changes to the front fascia as well as revised engine mapping, tweaks to the valve timing and a freer flowing exhaust, bumping power and torque up to 390kW/612Nm and dropping the 0-100km/h sprint time to 3.0 seconds.

The following year saw power jump to 404kW/628Nm and the 0-100km/h run reduced to an absurd 2.8 seconds, as well as changes to suspension settings for improved handling and last year’s updates brought in new damper and steering settings to increase road comfort, as well as better performing brakes and reductions to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

Although increases in power and performance are possible for next year’s model, it is unlikely Nissan will push the ageing hardware further. The new GT-R will likely gain increases in refinement and new technologies.

Rumours are also circulating that Nissan could introduce its next-generation powertrain, possibly a version of the petrol-electric hybrid V6 unit used in last year’s GT-R LM Nismo Le Mans racecar, to keep the current GT-R package competitive against high-performing rivals including the perennial Porsche 911 Turbo and recently released Ferrari 488 GTB.

Although pricing has yet to be confirmed, the current GT-R kicks off at $172,000, before on-road costs, for the Premium, the mid-spec Premium Luxury is $177,000 and the range-topping Black Edition is $182,500.

Interest in Nissan’s seven year-old GT-R is slowing, with only one sold in February this year, bringing the yearly total to six. Last year, Nissan sold a total of 68 GT-Rs, which – while representing a 21.4 per cent increase from the 56 sold in 2014 – is a sharp decline from the 238 units it sold in the introductory year of 2009.

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