2012 Nissan GT-R

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2012 Nissan GT-R
 Nissan’s Multi-Dimensional 530-Horsepower Supercar Makes North American Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show, Set to Go On Sale in Early 2011

Entering its fourth year of availability in the North American market, the 2012 Nissan GT-R has a new look, new colors, new wheel design and, most important to fans of pure power, more horsepower under the hood. In addition, a new “Black Edition”– with unique seats, interior colors and wheels – joins the GT-R Premium model. The latest iteration of Nissan’s legendary supercar makes its North American debut that the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show and will be available at official “GT-R certified” Nissan dealers across the United States in early 2011.
The rather austere cabin of the 2012 Nissan GT-R is meant to convey an impression of performance and technology. The front seats have prominent bolsters and faux-suede upholstery inserts to keep occupants firmly located during high-G maneuvers, yet they remain comfortable during long-distance drives. The interior itself is well-constructed, with plenty of soft-touch materials, and most controls have a solid, positive feel. Opting for the Black Edition spices up the interior's appearance significantly.

The navigation screen can be used to display a variety of parameters, such as G-force during cornering, steering input, gear position and lap times. If this all sounds a bit video gamelike, there's a good reason. This interface has been designed by Polyphony Digital, the developers of the popular Gran Turismo series of driving simulation games.

Entering and exiting the GT-R takes no more gymnastic aptitude than that required by more conventional cars -- a rarity among high-performance exotics. The rear seats are much smaller and difficult to access, but they are adequate for child-sized passengers. Trunk space is commendable for this type of car, providing a deep well that can accommodate up to 8.8 cubic feet of cargo.
The newly refreshed front fascia features aggressive double rectifier fins and new integrated high intensity LED running lights. Additional plated parts are used for the headlight inner panels, enhancing the car’s strong visual presence.

The redesigned rear fascia features a lower center of gravity than the previous design, created by using asculpted lower section and extended length. Underfloor cooling performance is also enhanced and air resistance reduced by extending the rear diffuser.

In addition, cooling performance for the muffler is improved and rear downforce is increased by about 10% through use of a new rear fascia outlet and new vents on the lower rear fenders that help remove air from the rear wheel wells. Newly designed larger diameter tailpipe finishers are also adopted. Six exterior colors are available, including two new colors: Deep Blue Pearl and Jet Black. Other available colors are Solid Red, Gun Metallic, Pearl White and a limited production 4-stage metallic Super Silver.

GT-R’s newly designed, lighter weight and more rigid forged aluminum 20-inch wheels, once again manufactured by RAYS®, help improve suspension response. Knurling inside the wheels is modified to help keep the tires from slipping around the wheels under heavy acceleration or braking. The wheels also feature a new premium dark (near black) finish, which provides a high quality, high-performance look. The Black Edition features special black six-spoke RAYS® lightweight wheels in place of the Premium model’s 10-spoke design.
More important to GT-R fans are the changes made to the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6, which deliver a healthy 45-hp boost (to 530), and a rise in torque from 434 to 448 lb-ft. Modifications were made in the areas of boost pressure, valve timing, air/fuel mixture, and exhaust flow. Nissan claims improvements in emissions and fuel economy as well.

Nissan made improvements to the six-speed dual-clutch transmission’s “R mode” launch control; we hope they will bring 0–60 times back down into the low threes. (The company chose to reprogram the system for 2010—slowing the car’s sprint by 0.6 second to 3.8 in the process—due to transmission reliability issues.) Also of interest is a two-wheel-drive mode that prevents low-speed binding in parking lots; it activates when the car is traveling at speeds below 6 mph and the steering wheel is turned more than halfway to full lock. We’d like to see a two-wheel-drive mode we could use on the track, too.

The GT-R’s structure has been strengthened with a new strut-tower brace and another brace added behind the glove box. Chassis tweaks include modifications to the front springs, shocks, and anti-roll bar; an increased front caster angle for improved straight-line stability; a lower rear roll center; and new front brake rotors said to improve fade resistance while extending rotor life.
Standard safety features on the GT-R include antilock Brembo brakes, stability control and traction control. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are also included. In Edmunds brake testing of a previous GT-R, we've recorded a best 60-0-mph stopping distance of 98 feet, which ranks among the shortest distances we've ever seen.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Nissan GT-R achieves an impressive level of performance by utilizing technology rather than brute force. Instead of a large-displacement V8 that makes a burly rumble, the Nissan's twin-turbo V6 sounds like the sort of jet turbine you'd find in a sci-fi flick. All four wheels work in concert to maintain a tenacious grip on the asphalt, and the car accelerates past the national speed limit with startling immediacy. Braking is likewise as urgent and powerful.

The GT-R really shines on serpentine roads or racetracks, where its handling limits rank with the top supercars. The suspension is unfazed by speed, so the car tracks through curves with robotic precision. The steering is as communicative and responsive as we've ever experienced in an all-wheel-drive car. However, the GT-R's curb weight of 3,800 pounds keeps it from feeling as nimble as a Porsche 911.

The GT-R is much less polished in the confines of a congested city. The shift action of the transmission is clunky and loud while in automatic mode in stop-and-go traffic, and it will clatter like a racing transmission at a walking pace. When the road is open, the GT-R regains its composure, and the transmission shifts quickly and positively in automatic mode. On the whole, the transmission responds better when it's shifted manually. Road noise can be intrusive at times, but we think it's a small price to pay for the 2012 Nissan GT-R's otherworldly performance.


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