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Nissan GT-R becomes ‘civilised’

Smoothie: Nissan’s still-swift GT-R coupe becomes more GT (grand tourer) and less R (race) in its latest 2015 guise.

Tweaks to take the sharp edges off the Nissan GT-R driving experience

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Nissan logo26 Nov 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

NISSAN’S pugnacious GT-R is getting a little soft in its old age, in a good way.

The tweaked 2015 version – released in Japan this week and due in Australia early next year – gets a less bone-jarring ride and more ‘grand tourer’ finesse without sacrificing any of its legendary performance that has made it one of the fastest production cars around Germany’s Nurburgring.

In fact, Nissan’s engineers claim the new damper settings actually help the coupe’s cornering, soaking up road imperfections to aid stability and allow the driver to better trace a desired driving line.

“The same modifications reduce the amount of steering corrections necessary on rough roads, adding a further sense of security in less than ideal driving conditions,” Nissan says in its media release.

The high-performance tyres have also come in for attention, with improved materials and a fresh inner structure that is said to deliver better straight-line stability and increased stability over uneven road surfaces.

Brakes have been revised for better stopping power and less noise, while a number of modifications have been made to address noise, vibration and harshness.

The rear-wheel drivetrain has been tweaked to reduce backlash, while the steering damper has been changed to address vibration through the steering wheel at idle.

A bearing in the flywheel housing has been changed to reduce noise, while a new boot carpet material improves noise insulation.

Nissan engineers describe the revised GT-R as “more civilised”, with “dramatic” improvement to ride quality.

They say previous engineering efforts had mainly focussed on the “race” element of the GT-R’s handling, but this time more attention was paid to the “grand tourer” element.

This involved working on the vertical movement of the car, rather than the horizontal.

And while Nissan Australia has confirmed the GT-R for Australia, it has no plans yet for either the manic GT-R Nismo or Track Edition available in Japan.

Originally launched in 2009 and the subject of several updates since, the GT-R is available in three variants in Australia, all powered by Nissan’s famed 404kW/628Nm 3.8-litre turbocharged V6. These start with the $172,000 Black Trim, move up to the $177,000 Luxury Trim and top out with the $182,500 Black Edition.

So far this year, Nissan has shifted 49 GT-Rs, down from 55 in the same period last year.

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