The Nissan GT-R Nismo takes a bow
By David Szondy
November 25, 2013
For some unfathomable reason, Nissan apparently thought that its GT-R just wasn't mad enough, so they handed it over to Nissan Motorsports (Nismo) to refine it using experience gained on the Nürburgring Ring and at Le Man. The result, the Nissan GT-R Nismo, was unveiled last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Nissan GT-R has the reputation of one of the top-tier supercars. It was designed as a car that had everyday accoutrements, yet could go like a bat out of Hell around the corners at the track. Its axles are assembled in a hydraulic rig, so its already pressed down with the weight of a complete car before the suspension is bolted on, and on the road the onboard computers constantly monitor g-forces and tweak performance within a fraction of a second.
The Nissan GT-R Nismo aims at producing the "ultimate" Nissan GT-R and flagship of the Nismo lineup with a race-oriented model capable of ultra-precise handling thanks to "factory tuned" supercar dynamics and "revolutionary" enhanced aerodynamics that produce over 100 kg (220 lb) of additional downforce over the 2014 GT-R when running at 300km/h (186 mph).
On the standard GT-R, the body is a chaotic collection of curves, creases, and surfaces that seem to make no sense, but which are designed to feed the air stream running over the car into the massive rear spoiler. It’s intended to generate buckets of downforce, absolute stability when taking corners, and shave a few more seconds off the stopwatch on track day.
The GT-R Nismo is intended to take that and ramp it up to the next level. The body shell is more rigid thanks to adding adhesive bonding to the spot welding. Nissan says that this also produces precise suspension response under extreme loads. Using Computational Fluid Dynamic simulation, Nismo improved the aerodynamics to minimize drag and improve road handling by redesigning the widened carbon front bumper, the lower front engine undercover strake, and the carbon rear spoiler mounted on the boot to provide more downforce and lower the center of gravity.
Under the bonnet is a 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine with new high flow, larger diameter turbos used for GT3 racing, optimized ignition timing for the individual cylinders, and an upgraded fuel pump. In short, it’s now blasting a jaw-dropping 600 bhp (441 kW) and 481 lb ft (652 Nm) of torque.
The front double-wishbone suspension has specially developed links to improve high-g cornering and general stability. There are also high-rigidity bolts to increase wheel-hub attachment stiffness, and a lighter, more rigid 17.3 mm (0.68 in) hollow rear anti-roll bar.
The suspension is based on the one developed for the Nismo racing GT-R for the 2012 Nürburgring 24-hour race. For the new GT-R Nismo, this has been modified to keep the road-handling qualities while reducing road noise and harshness. In the front and rear suspensions are the bespoke Bilstein DampTronic dampers that have been tuned for high grip levels and progressive handling response. The suspension can be set for Comfort, Normal and "R" modes. The latter is for track days.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says, "With a 7:08.679 lap time, we can authoritatively say that the Nissan GT-R Nismo holds the volume production car lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe, which is the gold standard of high performance achievement."
Inside the Nissan GT-R Nismo there are ergonomic, carbon-fiber backed RECARO seats (available in Europe and Japan). The instruments and trim are a combination of carbon-like finish and red flashes, which is reflected in the red stitching on the seats, center console, door trim and steering wheel. There’s also an interactive system, which allows the driver to download and review digital data from the connected services advanced performance telemetry system.
The Nissan GT-R Nismo goes on sale in Japan next February, and in the US and Europe later next year. There’s no price tag, but don’t expect this one to be cheap.
The video below shows the Nissan GT-R Nismo’s debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.