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Nissan lands tweaked GT-R

Rev up: Nissan's performance gladiator, the GT-R, gets revised sat-nav, improved suspension and other tweaks.

Upgraded 2010 GT-R now on sale in Oz as Nissan plans bigger changes in 2011

17 Jun 2010

NISSAN Australia has formally announced the local arrival of its 2010 model year GT-R, but its subtle engine, chassis and equipment refinements will be eclipsed by a more thoroughly upgraded version to come next year.

Due to be announced globally in October before it goes on sale here in mid-2011, the MY2011 GT-R represents a more traditional midlife makeover that is also likely to bring a power upgrade for Nissan’s giant-killing super-coupe.

Nissan Motor Co Australia CEO Dan Thompson confirmed next year’s GT-R upgrade would be the latest in a series of model-year upgrades to boost the relevance of the company’s flagship sportscar, which was launched in its home market in late 2007.

“Every year we will receive a model upgrade for the GT-R to keep it fresh – not just in terms of specifications but also performance,” he told GoAuto at this week’s pre-launch drive of the ground-breaking new Leaf EV in Japan.

“We’ve just launched the latest change in the US, so we won’t see anything new until 2011, when performance upgrades could be part of the package too.”

With more than 280 examples sold in Australia in its 18 months on sale here, Mr Thompson said one of Nissan’s biggest battles is to maintain interest in the GT-R – as is the case with most high-performance sportscars.

“The first year is always an anomaly,” he said. “When news (of model upgrades) starts leaking out overseas sales stop. Obviously those buyers want the latest technology.

“Up to now there has been stable demand for up to about 15 cars a month, but we’re now entering the second year, which will be different to the first.”

12 center imageFrom top: Nissan GT-R, Nissan GT-R SpecV, Nissan GT-R FIA GT racer.

For now, Australia’s MY2010 version of the R35-series GT-R – which went on sale in Japan in December and has beaten a range of exotic racecars in the new FIA GT1 world sportscar championship – offers a revised satellite-navigation system, recalibrated suspension settings and an improved-flow exhaust catalyst.

On sale here for almost two months, the updated GT-R comes with a 1.9 per cent price increase, to $158,800 (plus dealer delivery and statutory charges) or $162,800 for the GT-R Premium, which adds two-tone interior leather trim, a Bose entertainment system and ‘smoke grey’ 20-inch alloy wheels.

As we reported last October, the revised GT-R receives an HDD-based navigation system that operates through the same seven-inch digital display, plus a new data logging function, automatic headlights, speed-sensing windscreen wipers and new entertainment functions such as Bluetooth audio connectivity and a USB/iPod port.

For 2010-11, the GT-R’s suspension has been retuned to offer improved steering stability and ride comfort, courtesy of revised rebound damping, stronger rear suspension radius rod bushes and fine-tuned wheel alignment settings.

Said to improve rear floor area cooling performance are rear diffusers with cooling ducts, which were previously available only on the GT-R SpecV available overseas.

Completing the mechanical upgrade are new hexagonal-mesh catalyst cells to reduce airflow resistance within the twin exhaust system, while the cooling efficiency of the transmission’s heat exchanger is said to have been improved by a larger-diameter coolant pipe.

Nissan says the changes enhance low-end and mid-range engine response. Crucially, however, outright performance from the GT-R’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 VR38DETT engine remain unchanged at 357kW and 588Nm.

Likewise, colour and trim specifications remain unchanged for Australia’s GT-R, which continues to be available exclusively through 11 hand-picked, specially trained Nissan dealers nationally.

“The Nissan GT-R continues to appeal to perfection-seeking motoring enthusiasts in Australia,” said Mr Thompson today.

“We are delighted with the high level of interest and sales the GT-R has enjoyed since launch. This is a very exciting car to drive and is packed with innovative technology that enables the driver to get the most from its scintillating performance.

“Nissan reinforced the performance credentials of the new GT-R at the world’s toughest and best-known test track, the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where last year it clocked a record lap time of 7:26.70.

“The fact that the Nissan GT-R has already been successful in the new FIA GT1 world championship series against far more exotic machinery will make every GT-R fan proud.

“And the arrival of the finessed 2010-11 model GT-R makes this amazing motor car even more desirable. It truly is a modern classic.”

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