Revealed, the 2011 Nissan GT-R

8 years 8 months ago #1 by NewsBot
It's 22 years since the Nissan Skyline GT-R appeared on the horizon. Today's GT-R has abandoned the "Skyline" part of the badge but not the ethos: supercar performance for a fraction of the cost.

The Nissan costs less than half the price of a Porsche 911 Turbo - and, thanks to significant 'MY11' tweaks, can now match it for acceleration. And potentially beat it.

Nissan says the GT-R is now capable of sprinting from a stationary position to 100km/h in three seconds. We didn't have our timing equipment with us, but the claim seems accurate, judging by the mighty eye-bulging, neck-straining-forces experienced during runs at Phillip Island racetrack using the Japanese supercar's launch control system.

Increased turbo boost pressure, adjusted valve timing and a revised exhaust system all contribute to a 33kW lift in power to 390kW for the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6. Torque rises by 24Nm to 612Nm, available again from 3200rpm but now with that peak pulling power continuing for another 800rpm to the tacho's 6000rpm mark.

Consequently, it's no longer so pointless revving gears to the tachometer's redline for performance, though this remains an engine that will give you the biggest punch if you change up slightly earlier to reap the rewards of its manic mid-range.

Even the GT-R's gearbox software acknowledges this. Leave the six-speed dual-clutch auto to do its thing (which it does superbly) rather than control it yourself via the magnesium paddleshift levers (still annoyingly fixed to column rather than moving with the steering wheel) and it never hangs on to gears too long.

The track also reveals the GT-R's newly developed tyres, designed to be even stickier for both dry and wet surfaces, actually do have limits, whereas on the road the grip levels feel like they're infinite.

This is an extraordinarily rapid car that belies its not inconsiderable weight (about 1.7 tonnes - Nissan doesn't publish the figure). And one with a clever all-wheel-drive system that you can sense working through corners as it shuffles torque backwards and forwards between the front and rear wheels searching for optimum traction.

The fact you don't always need to finesse the throttle, and can rely on the system to straighten the car out of corners as you push the right pedal into the carpet, is indicative of an engineering approach that continues to be endearingly savage rather than suave.

Brutal performance, apt for a car Australia nicknamed "Godzilla", is accessed via controls that feel just right - perfectly weighted pedals and steering - but this isn't a fuel-efficient sports car despite a minor improvement over the outgoing model. We averaged 20L/100km in the city, barely improving to about 18L/100km elsewhere.

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