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.

Nissan GT-R

Nissan Finesses Its GT-R Supercar For 2010-11

Two years on from its international debut and one year on from local launch in Australia, Nissan has announced a series of refinements for the multi-awardwinning GT-R supercar, continuing the evolution of this standards-setting performance machine.

To date, more than 260 Australian customers have taken delivery of the R35 version of the legendary GT-R family.

The new Nissan GT-R has won critical acclaim around the world including more than a dozen top-flight Car of the Year awards from publications such as CAR Magazine (UK), and Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine (USA). Panels of judges also awarded it the prestigious titles of the 2009 International Car of the Year and 2009 World Performance Car of the Year.

In addition, the Nissan GT-R is taking on – and beating – a grid of exotic rivals on some of the world’s most testing racetracks, competing in the new FIA GT1 World Championship.

The 2010 Australian specification Nissan GT-R benefits from a number of enhancements. These include a revised navigation system, recalibrated suspension settings and an improved-flow catalyst.

The satellite navigation system is now HDD-based, displaying through the 7-inch digital display, along with a new data logging function. Automatic headlamps and speed-sensing windscreen wipers are also fitted.

There are also new entertainment functions, such as Bluetooth audio connectivity and a USB port with iPod connection that allows the driver and passengers to enjoy their favourite music on the move.

From a performance perspective, the 2010-11 Nissan GT-R’s suspension has been retuned to offer enhanced, premium quality ride comfort, while continuing to provide the driver with a feeling of direct contact with the road surface.

The damping force of the shock absorbers (rebound stroke and spring rate) have been changed to increase steering stability and ride comfort, and the stiffness of rear suspension radius rod bushings has been strengthened. Wheel alignment settings are also fine-tuned.

Rear diffusers with cooling ducts, previously available only on the GT-R SpecV (not offered in Australia), have been extended to non-SpecV models, improving cooling performance around the rear floor area.

The 2010 Nissan GT-R gains improved low- and mid-range engine response thanks to newly adopted hexagonal meshed catalyst cells that reduce airflow resistance within the twin system exhaust, and the cooling efficiency of the transmission’s heat exchanger has been improved by using a larger-diameter coolant pipe.

Power and torque outputs from the 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 VR38DETT engine remain unchanged at 357kW and 588Nm for 2010-11. Colour and trim specification also continue as before.

The specification changes coincide with a modest increase (of 1.9 percent) in the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of the Nissan GT-R.

As a result, the 2010-11 Nissan GT-R is priced from $158,800 (plus dealer delivery and statutory charges) and the Nissan GT-R Premium, with its two-tone interior leather trim, Bose entertainment system and smoke grey 20-inch alloy wheels, is priced from $162,800 (plus dealer delivery and statutory charges).

The Nissan GT-R continues to be available exclusively from a handpicked selection of 11 Nissan dealers across Australia. These outlets have dedicated GT-R workshop facilities and specially trained technicians to look after these technologically advanced vehicles.

Nissan GT-R on the track

The Nissan GT-R secured its maiden win in the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship series at Silverstone in May, when Sumo Power GT-R drivers Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes were awarded the famous RAC Tourist Trophy for taking out the 2nd of the 10-round FIA GT1 series.

Two Nissan-powered teams, Sumo Power GT and Swiss Racing Team have each entered two cars in the series, battling teams driving Aston Martin DB9, Corvette Z06, Lamborghini Murcielago R-SV, Maserati MC12, and Ford GT rivals.

The FIA GT1 World Championships is open to privateer teams with no direct manufacturer teams allowed. Nissan is able to supply the team with technical support via NISMO.

The Nissan GT-R engine is bored out to 5552cc and produces 600hp (as per regulations), and 650Nm of torque in VK53DE guise. The car weighs in at 1250kg (again as stipulated by the regulations), and drives the rear-wheels via a six-speed Ricardo transaxle.

A prototype raced in 2009 in anticipation of the FIA GT1 series provided a test bed for data acquisition, resulting in changes to aerodynamics, weight optimisation and an increase in dynamic performance.

The Sumo Power GT team was established in 2010 in the UK to participate in the FIA GT1 World Championship, and is run by James Rumsey, with Nigel Stepney serving as chief engineer.

The Swiss Racing Team was established in 2000 in Switzerland and has a successful track record in FIA GT racing.

“We were very excited about Nissan returning to a world championship after nearly 20 years away,” said Yuichi Sanada, Nissan Motor’s Global Motorsports Program Director.

“The FIA GT1 World Championship is an ideal venue for Nissan to showcase its technology globally through the participation of its iconic model the Nissan GT-R,”

“At Nissan the idea of the FIA GT1 World Championship is a very exciting one, and seeing the GT-R on track in competition with these other world famous brands is spectacular,” said Soichi Miyatani, NISMO President and Nissan CVP.

“With the strong global television exposure in place we are sure that this agreement will be a key to us further enhancing the reputation and stature of Nissan’s highperformance cars. It also gives us added exposure away from the on-track action as we look to reinforce the Nissan brand within this core car-loving audience on a global basis,” he said.

In Japan, Nissan is in its third season of competition in the SUPER GT Series, deploying three GT-R racers powered by a new 500hp 3.4-litre engine (VRG34A) for the GT500 class in 2010. The cars are being raced by NISMO, Team Impul and Kondo Racing.

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