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This is the new Nissan GT-R
With more power, new looks and a different interior, Godzilla has had its most significant facelift yet
Watch out, New York! Godzilla is back in town. Not the rampaging sea monster, but the latest and greatest Nissan GT-R.
Nissan’s latest revision of its superlatively quick flagship is the most extensive yet. There’s a new face, interior, and more power. Obviously.
The nip ‘n’ tuck includes the most significant cosmetic changes to the R35 model since was it was introduced in 2007, and perhaps its most major before the R36 comes along. To avoid looking out of place at the family photo, you’ll notice a new, bigger (to increase engine cooling) matte chrome finish “V-motion” grille similar to the one on the Qashqai and Juke.
There’s also a more pronounced jutted chin spoiler, fresh aero work in the front bumper and under the headlights, plus extra ridges in the bonnet to increase stability at high speeds.
Eagle-eyed GT-Rists may notice the swollen, contrast-coloured side sills. They direct airflow more efficiently than before, while at the rear, the black ‘belt line’ has risen further up, to the full Simon Cowell. Why? It tricks your eyes into perceiving a wider, more aggressive look to go with the more sculpted bum-based bodywork.
The GT-R has always been a brutal-looking thing. A brutal-looking thing that can bend physics and simultaneously pulverize your organs, admittedly. But the latest facelift makes its stying more resolved than before. And, to our eyes, harks back to the original GT-R concept more than any other R35 to date.
But where the GT-R has always struggled compared to its German counterparts is on the inside. Luckily, those clever people at Nissan have listened and been hard at work giving the four-seat, front-engined machine some new innards.
Given the look of some of the plastics on display, we’re not talking Rolls-Royce luxury, but there’s an entirely new dashboard and instrument cluster. The whole thing is covered in soft-touch cow skin with increased sound deadening throughout the cabin, all to give the GT-R some proper ‘GT’ qualities to warrant the silver letters of its badge.
The previous generation’s clumsy and messy buttons have been banished and simplified to make for an improved centre dash and infotainment package. Where there were 27 buttons previously, there are now just 11 thanks to the integration of the sat nav and audio into the new eight-inch touchscreen.
Dominating the cabin is a new stylish leather-bound steering wheel. But where the paddles for the whip-crack six-speed dual-clutch transmission used to be mounted to the dash, they’re now fixed just behind the wheel. This allows your hands to stay firmly on the wheel when in need of grabbing another gear while playing the hero on track. The gearbox is also, apparently, smoother and less noisy than before.
The primary focus for this facelift was on the cosmetic side, but predictably, the engineers found a little time to fiddle with the oily bits too.
Thanks to a reworking of the twin-turbo V6 that’s attached to that brutally effective four-wheel-drive system, the engine now delivers 562bhp at 6,800 rpm, and 469lb ft of torque. Those are respective rises of 20bhp and, um, 3lb ft.
Performance figures haven’t been announced, but given it’s only a small bump in oomph, we’re not expecting much time to be shaved off the current 2.8 second 0-62 time. Your neck will still hurt if you try to replicate it often enough, though.
There’s good news for your ears though. According to its makers, the GT-R’s unmistakable yelp under acceleration has “never sounded better.” This is partially thanks to a new titanium exhaust and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) valves that open to allow those bazooka quad exit exhaust pipes to scream freely. That should keep the YouTube cold-start collectors happy.
Unfortunately there’s no news on pricing yet, but expect it to climb a little from its current £78,000 start point. But point-to-point the GT-R has always been one of the fastest cars in the world, and it ought to remain fiendishly good value for money.
And the GT-R ought to remain feverishly debated in internet comment sections, too. So those new looks: tell us what you think of ‘em below…