2016 Nissan GT-R coming
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Nissan GT-R: Fresh look, more power, coming soon

  • More power, more style for 2016
  • Due in South Africa before year-end
  • Nissan claims more class, refinement

NEW YORK – The Nissan GT-R, launched back in 2007, has been re-armed with a fresh look and more power and took centre stage for its launch today (March 23) ahead of the official opening of the 2016 New York International Auto show.

It’s destined for South Africa in the second half of 2016 so get up-to-date with the car first with Carman’s Corner. Try this, for starters…

Nissan says the new GT-R “has an exciting new look, inside and out”.

2016 Nissan GT-R coming
BIGGER SHOULDERS, NOISIER EXHAUSTS: Major styling makeover for the coming-soon 2016 Nissan GT-R. Image: Nissan/Motorpress

There are, the automaker says, also major driving and performance enhancements and key new features – “the most significant changes to the model since it was introduced”.

The new GT-R’s exterior, The Corner was told, has had a makeover across the front with a new chromed matte-finish “V-motion” grille, said to be one of Nissan’s latest design signatures.

It’s been enlarged (better engine-cooling) and treated to an updated mesh pattern while behind it flows a redesigned and ‘significantly reinforced” bonnet intended to contribute to stability during high-speed driving.

2016 Nissan GT-R coming
RE-STYLED BONNET COVERS MORE POWERFUL ENGINE: Rims are 20″ ‘Y-spoked’ and forget aluminium. Image: Nissan/Motorpress

A re-designed front spoiler lip and front bumpers immediately below the headlights have, Nissan says, “given the new GT-R the look of a pure-bred race car and generate high levels of front downforce”.

“The GT-R’s familiar shape defines its profile,” we were told, “but the sills have been pushed out to improve airflow.”

The tail has also been redone: the GT-R’s hallmark four-ring tail lights remain but new bodywork is said also to have improved airflow, along with side air vents next to the quad exhaust tips.

2016 Nissan GT-R coming
SIMPLER FACIA LAYOUT: 27 switches now down to 11, with touchscreen taking over. Image: Nissan/Motorpress

The belt line has been raised and, Nissan asserts, the overall changes have given the car a wider and more assertive look from the rear.

“These exterior changes,” Nissan adds, “not only result in a sportier-looking car but also create an aero-dynamically efficient vehicle and keep the GT-R stable at high speed.”

The cabin, the automaker says, has a premium feel of a high-performance sports care facia and instrument panel are new and covered with “artfully stitched” high-quality leather.

The centre section houses satnav and audio controls and the less-cluttered layout now has 11 instead of 27 switches while a 20cm touchscreen has easy-to-use (you’ll be going fast, remember!) large icons.

2016 Nissan GT-R coming
BETTER PADDLES FOR CORNER CHANGES: Still a six-speed box but if you’re a paddle-change pundit you’ll find everything more comfortable. Image: Nissan/Motorpress

The paddle gearshifters have een bmoved from the steering column to the steering wheel for easier-access changes through a curve and, along with the aircon controls, have a better feel.

Nissan’s executive design director Mamoru Aoki told The Corner in a media release: “As the icon of Nissan’s driving performance, the GT-R continues to evolve. With the signature V-Motion grille, the GT-R now has the latest Nissan design language.

“Its exceptional aerodynamic performance and upgraded interior have given the GT-R a more mature character, which will continue into the future.”

The GT-R’s 3.8-litre V6 quad-valve twin-turbo engine – each, like an AMG, assembled by only one expert technician – now delivers 421kW (previous 397kW) and 633Nm (previous 628Nm). Data: Wheels24

MORE STABILITY, FASTER CORNERING

The improved output, from individual ignition-timing on each cylinder and extra boost from the turbos, gives the new GT-R better acceleration in the middle to high rev-ranges (3200rpm and higher). There’s also a more refined six-speed dual-clutch transmission and the resonance from the new titanium exhausts, Nissan adds, “enhances the driving experience”.

The GT-R, its maker says, now has a more rigid shell and a revised suspension which has brought more stability to fast direction changes. Helping are 20″ tyres on “Y-spoke” machine-finished forged aluminium rims.

Despite all the performance enhancements, the 2016 GT-R claims to be the most comfortable yet “with a new sense of elegance and civility rarely found in such a high-performance supercar”.

The ride, Nissan says, is smoother than the previous model, and the cabin much quieter.

Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist for the GT-R, had this view:

“The new GT-R delivers a heart-pounding driving experience at all times and on any road for whoever sits in the driving seat. We’ve continued to push its performance boundaries – it’s even more potent but refinement has been added to take the entire driving experience to an entirely new level.”

The 2017 Nissan GT-R will be available this summer.

Nissan South Africa says the car will arrive later in 2016 with specifications to be announced then. Marketing general manager Graeme Birch told The Corner: “The Nissan GT-R is one of our halo products and we are excited to welcoming it to South Africa. More details in the not-too-distant future.”

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