Advertisement

Reviews

Perfection attained? - First drive: Nissan GT-R (2012)

  • First drive: Nissan GT-R (2012) - 0
  • First drive: Nissan GT-R (2012) - 1
  • Print

Nissan's monstrous GT-R has received a raft of improvements for 2012, including hike in power and interesting suspension upgrades...

We love the Nissan GT-R. But the ultimate alternative supercar has far more heritage than you might think – with the original Prince Skyline hitting the market in April 1957, with a quick 2000GT version following on in 1964 (after it maker was bought by Nissan in 1961). The first GT-R arrived in 1969, scoring a string of notable successes in touring cars over the course of the next few years.

But the Skyline GT-R remained very much a Japanese cult, remaining that way until 1989 when the R32 turned up in Europe to blow the doors off anything that looked vaguely like a rival. And each successive GT-R has rocked-up to the supercar party to run rings round the establishment, both in terms of sheer speed and ability and purchase price.

The current R35 GT-R is a case in point – it is comfortably the quickest four-seater coupe around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and hurls itself from 0-60mph in a shade over 3 seconds. Nothing at the price (£71,950 in the UK) comes close in terms of sheer ability and raw pace, and it really is a weapons-grade example of the appliance of science.

But that hasn't stopped Nissan making it even better. For 2012, the GT-R gets more power (up from 525bhp to around 560 - the exact figure remains a secret until 7 November), a few subtle cosmetic tweaks up-front, and an intriguing asymmetic suspension set-up.We managed to bag a brief ride of the 2012 GT-R at a wet Silverstone, and ran it in changable conditions alongside its 2011 counterpart. Pulliing out of the pitlane, it's clear that the additional 40bhp-or-so from the twin-turbo V6 makes a noticeable difference. The car feels more urgent at the top end, and eager to rev, delivering a seamless speread of power through its impressively quick-changing paddle-shift six-speed 'box. In the dry, and with launch control engaged, we're hoping the big news will be a 0-60mph time of 3 seconds-dead.

Underway, it's clear that the improvements in dynamics are all about making the GT-R even sharper and more responsive. That aysmmetric suspension set-up (it's stiffer on the driver's side) might seem like an odd thing to do, but chief engineer Katzutoshi Mizuno is absolutely convinced that it's a step-change - and one that reflects his near-fetishistic attention to detail. All we know is that on track, the 2012 GT-R turns-in more keenly, and the mid-corner transition from under- to oversteer is even more controllable. It's improvement by degrees, and we're sure a longer run will be even more revealing.

In summary – nothing came close to the 2011 GT-R in terms of technological density, sheer speed, and focused madness for the money. And now they've made it just that little bit better for 2012.

Katzutoshi Mizuno, father of the GT-R project, spent time explaining his ambitions for GT-R: 'Every year, I want to make it faster, but not at the expense of driveability. What makes the GT-R unique for a supercar is that anyone can drive it.'

 

COMMENTS

Find Articles

Please select a field.

To

 GO
 

Advertisement

 

Magazines

Magazines

Put your passion into gear

From Customs, Chevys, Fords to the Classics, these magazines provide the latest cutting edge information to fuel your passion.

MODEL INFORMATION

Required Information

 GO