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Driven: Nissan GT-R Nismo already sold for 12 months

Bathurst battle-R: Nissan’s flagship performance nameplate has been linked to the iconic Mount Panorama circuit since the early 1990’s when the Skyline R32 GT-R dominated races at Bathurst.

Flagship Nissan GT-R Nismo arrives in showrooms with year-long waiting list

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Nissan logo10 Feb 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

NISSAN has finally launched its long-awaited in-house tuning division with the arrival of the brand’s highest-performing model yet, the GT-R Nismo, but high-demand has pushed the wait list beyond 12 months for the $299,000 before on-roads supercar.

Confirmation for the Australian market came only four months ago, but Nissan has already sold out its first year’s supply despite a pricetag almost 50 per cent more expensive than the base $189,000 Premium Edition GT-R.

Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery said that local name recognition and the GT-R badge’s deep-rooted connections to motorsport has resulted in a loyal and long-running fan base.

“The Nismo brand has different levels of awareness and cut-through, depending on the market,” he said. “Nismo is actually quite a small operation, it genuinely is a motorsport business.

“In the US, it is virtually invisible, in Europe it’s kind of known, but in Australia it’s really known and for that reason, we’ve been kind of waiting for Nismo to take a more global approach to their road car program, and that’s starting to now roll out with more models becoming available in the last year or so.

“So it is good timing for us. GT-R Nismo is the pinnacle of Nismo and I think that’s important to start there and then kind of make sure you become authentic with what else you offer.”

Mr Emery said GT-R Nismo stock for the first year had already been snapped up by well-heeled Nissan enthusiasts, and that supply is limited due to the bespoke, hand-built construction of each model, but Australia will be receiving more vehicles than first thought.

“Most of our customers for GT-R can afford anything they like, but they have this thing about GT-R,” he said. “The first deliveries only start this week, and we’ve probably got our first nine to 12 months sold.

“That’s the problem we’ve got with GT-R. They clearly could sell more, there’s more demand, but they just can’t build them. There is going to be supply constraints, it (sales) is going to be based on supply.

“We’re getting more than we kind of deserve, so in terms of calendar year and how the production slots work out, in terms of across the curve in Australia in year one, it’s going to be somewhere between 18 and 24, something like that.

“Which is more than we thought we’d get at the initial stage. There seems to be a nice, soft sympathy towards Australia and GT-R at (Nissan) headquarters, we get more than our fair share, which is a good thing.”

Representing the pinnacle of Nissan’s experience in motorsport and years of manufacturing sportscars, the 2017 GT-R Nismo sits atop the Japanese brand’s stable as its most expensive and capable vehicle to date.

Starting with the hand-built engine, Nissan’s tuners have squeezed an additional 22kW of power and 26Nm of torque from the force-fed 3.8-litre V6 thanks to the use of race-bread turbochargers.

Peak power now reaches 441kW at 6800rpm, while 652Nm of maximum torque is available between 3600-5600rpm, all of which is fed through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and down into a rear-axle-favouring all-wheel-drive system.

Combined fuel economy is said to be 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

The all-paw GT-R Nismo, which is able to send 100 per cent torque to the rear-wheels and up to 50 per cent to the front, will blitz the zero to 100km/h benchmark in 2.7 seconds and can carry on to a top speed of 315km/h.

In comparison, the identically priced bi-turbo V8 Mercedes-AMG GT S will hit triple digits in 3.8s, the $389,616 449kW/560Nm all-paw Audi R8 V10 plus will clock 100km/h in 3.2s and the $891,500 flagship V12 Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce is 0.1s slower to 100km/h at 2.8s.

Not content with a just an engine tweak though, Nismo engineers also extracted 26 kilograms of weight (from 1765kg to 1739kg) thanks to the use of extensive carbon-fibre materials including the fixed-position rear spoiler, bootlid, side skirts, and front and rear bumpers.

The GT-R Nismo is also 20mm shorter (4690mm vs 4710mm) with a 10mm wider front track (1600mm vs 1590mm) when compared with its ‘standard’ sibling.

The increased track width comes courtesy of wider front wheels, now measuring 10.0-inches across – up from the standard GT-R’s 9.5-inch wide wheels – while the rear hoops remain the same at 10.5 inches.

Nissan still fills the GT-R’s tyres with pure nitrogen instead of air which is made of 78 per cent nitrogen, with the front wheels shod in Dunlop 255/40 rubber and the rears in 285/35.

Tucked beneath the new-design 20-inch forged aluminium Rays wheels is a monster Brembo brake package featuring 390mm cross-drilled discs with six-piston front callipers, and 380mm cross-drilled rotors with four-pistons in the rear. Nismo has also tweaked body work to incorporate carbon fibre brake ducts at all corners to improve heat dissipation and brake efficiency.

To keep the all the changes in balance, Nismo devised a bespoke suspension system, with custom spring, damper and stabiliser settings and, thanks to its status as a factory tuner, have strengthened the GT-R’s body construction during the manufacturing process – a technique only available to factory tuners.

Stepping inside the GT-R Nismo, owners are greeted by fixed-back, carbon-fibre, black and red Recaro bucket seats, as well as an Alcantara steering wheel, dashboard and door trims. Nismo has also installed unique instrumentation and an exclusive shift knob with red stitching.

The factory-tuned GT-R is available in five colours, black, white, red and silver, as well as the Nismo exclusive matte grey.

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