From the original Skyline to the GT-R, Nissan has steadily clawed itself away from being known as the manufacturer that had the not too exciting Almera – and a car called the Cedric. Those days are long, long gone. One thing that the good old Skyline possibly lacked, depending on your viewpoint (and subsequently the GT-R to an extent), was good looks. But this new update to the powerful GT-R is set to readdress this.
The new Nissan GT-R features a larger engine grill finished in subtle and classy looking matt-finish chrome – while it may be practical to provide the more powerful engine (we’ll come to that in a bit) with extra cooling, the change makes the GT-R look somehow more balanced and compliments well the contrast coloured side sills and the extra air intakes on the bonnet, also with a contrast coloured surround. The return of what looks like a Sunset Orange paintjob is an added bonus.
The exterior isn’t the only thing that has benefitted from some nice touches. The interior has been given a bit of an overhaul too. I must say, that when I was given the opportunity to drive the GT-R on a track day in around 2009, I was disappointed with the look of the dash – it strangely felt too much like being in the middle of a computer game when glancing down. The GT-R of old featured 27 buttons on the dash, I was mind boggled to find out, while this facelift provides just 11 to come to terms with.
All subjective of course, but maybe the problem occurs when you design the dash to look hi-tech and stand out – there’s just no way of knowing how the look and feel will age over time; such things are unpredictable. In any case, the inclusion of soft, tan-coloured cow skin leather offsets all the hi-tech with a more tactile feel for the new GT-R.
Now, about that engine, the 3.8 litre V6 twin-turbo will now give you approximately 20bhp more power than the outgoing model at around 562bhp and until Nissan release official stats and figures, I’m sure that prospective owners will be happy with the existing 2.8 seconds that it takes the GT-R to accelerate from zero to 62mph.
It’s not so much the extra power provided that is the most interesting thing here though – after all, when a car is this powerful, any noticeable gains are going to be miniscule in everyday use. What is interesting is the new titanium exhaust in conjunction with the equally new Active Sound Enhancement will apparently provide an improved note to the power the GT-R puts out, providing even more joy to owners who drive through tunnels with the windows down.
The Nissan GT-R is a modern classic among supercars and with this extra refinement, I’d expect the start price to jump well into the £80,000-plus mark – but because this is a Japanese manufacturer, it still provides reasonable value for what it is – and especially, for what you actually get for your money.
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