Piers Ward26 April 2012

Driven: the Nissan GT-R Track Pack

Piers Ward takes to a damp Silverstone in the track-prepped GT-R, titanium muffler and all…

Nissan GT-R Track Pack

So, what's this then?

It's an even more hardcore version of the already hardcore Nissan GT-R, designed to answer customer demand for a more track-biased GT-R now that the hugely expensive V-Spec has gone off sale.

What makes it so special?

Well, it's a GT-R for starters, so epic four-wheel drive performance comes as standard - there are no bhp upgrades on this edition. The Track Pack takes all that power and grip, and slings it in a more focused package. About 15kg has been removed (the rear seats have been binned and the alloys are now lighter), the springs in the suspension have been stiffened, and the brakes have got new cooling ducts. The latter alteration can reduce the operating temperature of the brakes by as much as 100 degrees C - vital for a track day car. Less so for a road car.

Owners of the normal GT-R will know that a loyalty card at a chiropracter is essential, but fear not - those stiffer springs shouldn't alter things too much. Unlike in the V-Spec, which was ludicrously hard, the Track Pack retains the dampers from the normal GT-R, so it should be as supple as the normal car. We only drove it on a soaking wet Silverstone so the nuances are tricky to determine, but it certainly didn't feel horrendous there.

Oh, and there's a new titanium muffler.

See more pics of the Nissan GT-R Track Pack

Does it feel any different?

Being honest, not really. As I say, a soaking wet Silverstone isn't ideal to really test it, but the GT-R is so brutally fast and so capable that most mortals (ie you and me) will simply never get to the sort of limits to be able to tell. The steering feels fractionally sharper because the lighter wheels have reduced the unsprung weight, but we're talking margins of degrees here. What was a bloody good car is still a bloody good car.

So the ‘ordinary' GT-R is already man enough for the track job?

Exactly. The biggest problem Nissan has is that the normal GT-R is just so damned good - this Track Pack doesn't alter anything enough to make the lesser car any less appealing. And, the TP costs £10,000, pushing the total cost of the car to £84,450. Still good value, but not that good value. Want our advice? Buy the standard car, and spend the change on tyres and brakes when you go on a track day.

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