Nissan Targa Tasmania

Targa Tasmania 2014: Day 5 highlights

Targa Tasmania 2014

The drama continued right to the very end of Day 5 which eventually saw long-time campaigner Jamie Vandenberg (Nissan GT-R) claim his first Targa Tasmania victory.

Vandenberg inherited the lead on Day 4 following the demise of Steve Glenney (Nissan GT-R) and Jason White (Mitisubishi Lancer Evo IX). Despite holding a lead of under 20 seconds from Matt Close (Audi TT RS), Vandenberg looked to be relatively safe after the 58km Mount Arrowsmith stage mid-way through the final day.

However, on the short Tarraleah stage which followed the engine in his GT-R showed signs of imminent expiry as smoke began to bellow from its exhaust. The team thought their day was over and put 3 litres of oil into the engine and hoped for the best, expecting they’d not make it through the remaining two stages.

In more ways than one Vandenberg was fortunate to win the rally. Matt Close looked set to take the lead, possibly on the final stage of the event. But this drama fuelled Targa Tasmania was not done with yet and Close crashed out while passing another competitor on the second-last stage of the rally.

It was a desprately cruel blow for Close who would have been an equally worthy first-time winner. Alas for him he will have to wait and fight another day.

To the victor the spoils and, somehow, Vandenberg managed to limp his GT-R across the ceremonial finish line at Wrest Point Casino to put an end to one of the most dramatic Targa Tasmania rallies ever staged.

Thankfully, the MINI John Cooper Works GP I was assisting had a trouble-free run all rally and driver Andrew Robinson and navigator Tom Browell were thrilled to stand on the podium and collect their trophies for finishing in second place in the Showroom category. After a few of our own final day mishaps in recent times it was a nice relief to head into the Targa Bar with a huge smile on our faces.

Reports from all categories can be read on the Targa Tasmania website:
Outright & general | Classics | Modern | Showroom | Regularity


2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo revealed

Nissan GT-R Nismo

Maybe Nissan didn’t fool around with the engine in the MY14 GT-R because they knew they’d have this extreme Nismo version to attract headlines. In fact we’re sure that’s what happened.

And this GT-R Nismo is fast, too! How fast? Alcantara steering wheel and bright red rev counter fast, that’s how fast! Black wheels and white paint, plus a massive rear wing also tell you this is going to be one quick weapon. Those visual cues don’t lie, you know. They don’t.

Actually, what doesn’t lie are numbers. Raw numbers tell the truth. And how about this for some truth: thanks to a pair of competition-spec GT3 turbos the road-going GT-R Nismo pumps out 441kW (591hp) and in the hands of racing driver Michael Krumm it lapped the Nürburgring in 7:08.679 (see video below).

We told you numbers don’t lie. Nissan has got themselves a couple of seriously impressive key performance stats there.

Also involved in the development of the GT-R Nismo was former F1 driver Sebastien Buemi. Clearly, Nissan wasn’t messing about when it decided to make production version of its GT3 racecar.

Dunlop has come on board with specially developed tyres, Bilstein has handled suspension duties while Nismo’s aerodynamic package ensures this car has the serious downforce it requires.

The GT-R Nismo goes on sale in Japan in February 2014, with Europe and the US coming on line later next year. We’re not sure if Australians will be able to get their hands on the Nismo, but we’ll do what we can to find out. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.


2014 Nissan GT-R update revealed

2014 Nissan GT-R

The R35 Nissan GT-R seems to have been around forever now. In reality it’s only five years old. But Nissan hasn’t rested on its laurels and the MY14 GT-R promises to be the best yet.

Although, there’s no mention of power gains from the car’s impressive 3.8 litre twin-turbo V6. But when you’ve already got 404kW on tap perhaps you might consider that enough.

This time around Nissan’s lab coats have messed about with suspension tuning, fooling themselves that the car has a premium interior and introducing the all important LED headlights. Nissan promises a smoother ride, better build quality and greater refinement. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either.

There’s also a super-dooper new Nismo version, which you’ll be reading about soon.


How fast can the Nissan GT-R Nismo go?

2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo prototype

While Matt Prior from Autocar presents a good case for the demise of lap times as a subjective measure in contributing towards a decision to purchase one car over another, Dale Lomas from Bridge to Gantry reports that Nissan is going all out with its latest Nismo GT-R:

The Nürburgring is always being used for something, but the prices to hire the track are so expensive that it’s very unusual to hear only one car going past every 7 or 8 minutes. It’s even more unusual for that one car to enjoy a compliment of safety marshalls and timing beacons in the industry/sport-auto positions (T13 start and end). But that’s what the Nismo GTR has this morning.

The GT-R has always been something of a giant killer at the Nürburgring and when the car was first released pretty much anything with a Porsche badge on it was firmly in Nissan’s sights. Porsche wasn’t always happy about that. At one stage Porsche even claimed Nissan cheated on its way to headline grabbing lap times.

Fast forward a few years and it’s quite something to see Nissan has booked the entire Nordschleife in what appears to be a determined chase for a super fast lap time. We’re not for one moment suggesting this Nismo GT-R will go faster the 918’s 6:57 lap time, but, well, you just never know with these things. As it stands Nissan claims its best time at the Ring with a GT-R is 7:18.

Let’s wait and see what happens next!

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

Audi Nissan Porsche Video

Chris Harris and the element of surprise

Chris Harris is a lucky bastard

Here’s your latest Chris Harris fix. Today he’s at the wheel of the highly desirable Audi R8 V10 Plus, the equally wantable 997 Porsche 911 Turbo S and giant killing Nissan GT-R that’s been warmed over by Litchfield.

He tracks the cars around Anglesey, down the Bruntingthorpe drag strip and on the road. Whatever order you think these cars will be ranked at the end of this comparison, think again. Most of all have fun watching the verdict being reached.

Although, the results of the flat out drag race will probably be exactly what you expect to see. And, wow!


The man with the golden GT-R

Usain Bolt's golden Nissan GT-R

When you’re the world’s fastest human being it’s fitting that you drive one of the world’s fastest cars. Usain Bolt has been representing Nissan as a brand ambassador for some time and in appreciation of his role Nissan has furnished Mr Bolt with a tailored MY14 GT-R in Bolt Gold paint.

Following a test drive of a GT-R at Nissan headquarters in October last year engineers customised the car to suit Bolt’s driving style. Also added to the special creation are 10-spoke Rays alloys and a “flamboyant white interior”.

It’s only the second gold GT-R in existence. The first, also created in Bolt’s honour, was provided as first prize in an online charity. That car will be on its way to its new owner in the coming weeks.


VIDEO: 107 seconds with the Nissan GT-R

Chris Harris drives the 2012 GT-R

Chris Harris was at the launch of the 2012 Nissan GT-R held at Silverstone recently. A known lover of Porsches and part-time factory racer, what will he make of the latest iteration of Godzilla? Click through to the break and find out.


Nissan GT-R – MY12 specs released

MY12 Nissan GT-R

It looks just like the old one, but Nissan is adamant they have made changes to their flagship GT-R model. First, the big news, a reversing camera is now standard!

Of more merit is a 20PS power increase, taking the peak figure up to 550PS (404kW). Twenty seems to be the magic number, too, as torque has also been given a 20Nm boost, now topping out at 632Nm. Coupled with revisions to intake efficiency, exhaust valve cooling and a few other tweaks Nissan reckon low-mid range engine response has been significantly improved.

The transmission is smoother thanks to some minor mechanical tweaks and the use of a specially developed competition-based oil. Of particular note to Australian buyers is word that RHD models will have a tailored suspension setup. As well as the driver the propeller shaft for the front wheels is on the right side of the car. Nissan compensates for this by having different spring rates for the left and right side as well as changing the installation method for the rear suspension arms.

So, do these changes make a jot of difference? According to Car magazine, they do: “The engine’s response is cleaner, there’s a new appetite to the way it revs to the limiter, the chassis is more fluid and the four-wheel drive system works with more subtlety and there’s less pitch under braking.” Job well done, it seems.

As with previous model year updates Nissan Australia is planning for a March release. Manufacturer’s list pricing has been confirmed at $170,800 retail price. Although, the MY12 GT-R will go on sale in Japan later this month. More detail from Nissan is available after the break.

UPDATE: Short promo video added below.

Nissan Oh the humanity

Nissan GT-R lights my fire

First filed 20 February.

We’re sad to report on the loss of a Nissan GT-R due to fire. The incident happened near Bukit Tinggi in Malaysia. From the evidence in this YouTube clip appears to be the result of a collision between the GT-R and a Mk6 Golf GTI.

It’s currently unknown if either of the drivers were injured, or if there were any passengers in either car. Fingers crossed those involved escaped unharmed.

As you can see by the parked cars alongside the road it looks like a favoured route for weekend driving with a number of drivers piloting tasty looking machines witnessing the incident.

[Thanks to Jamil for the tip]

UPDATE 21 February: Pics have been added below. [Source:]


MY11 Nissan GT-R does 0-100 in 3.0 seconds

Nissan GT-R

The arse end of a Nissan GT-R is all you’re likely to see if the driver chooses to plant their foot. When details of the updated 2011 GT-R were released performance data was not published. But when you have a trump card like this up your sleeve, why not make a song and dance about it.

Nissan completed their testing in Japan during mid-November and recorded two 0–100km/h runs of 3.0 seconds on consecutive days. The weather was fine and sunny, with temps in the mid-teens.

Three seconds flat! Surely, the Nissan GT-R has to rank as one of the best bang for buck cars you can drive off a showroom floor.

[via autoblog]


Nissan GT-R – MY11 specs released

Nissan GT-R

Nissan has just confirmed details of the MY11 changes made to its all-conquering GT-R. No car can show its face these days without LED daytime running lights, you see.

Of course, Nissan’s engineers went further than that, also trimming 10kg from the GT-R’s portly weight. Fuel consumption has been improved, along with a reduction in CO2 emissions. Minor tweaks have also been made to Godzilla’s suspension and brakes. These are complemented by new forged alloys from Rays.

Inside gets a once over, as well. Usual stuff like a revised instrument panel and nav display have been thrown in. But there are big changes, too. The steering wheel emblem now has “a new velour-like coating, expressing a glossy texture”. Amazing!

Outside has seen some cosmetic tweaks, notably the front spoiler can now feed in more air. These revisions also increase downforce by about 10%. Two new exterior paint colours—Jet Black and GTBlue—have been added to the colour palette.

However, the big news is more power. Quite a bit more actually. At its initial launch the GT-R had 353kW/588Nm. Well, now the little (big) Nissan that can boasts 390kW/600Nm. That’s quite a significant increase.

Australian deliveries for the MY11 model are expected from March next year.


Nissan improves Godzilla

Nissan GT-R

For the 2010 production cycle Nissan have introduced a number of updates to its hero GT-R model. A bunch of interior equipment has been refreshed, including the satellite navigation system. But, really, who cares about that. What about performance, have they made Godzilla any faster?

Nissan’s engineers have increased the flow of the catalytic converter, fiddled about with the suspension and nicked the cooling ducts from the rear diffuser of the Spec-V model. They have also improved cooling for the hard-working transmission.

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

There’s no power or torque increases, but there has been a rise in the GT-R’s asking price. List pricing now starts at $158,800 for the base model, while the Premium model, which includes two-tone leather a flash stereo and 20″ wheels, is now priced from $162,800. So far 260 GT-Rs have been sold in Australia and these modest price increases of 1.9% are unlikely to hurt sales at all.

More from Nissan after the break.