Nissan GT-R

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Nissan GT-R (R35)[1]
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Manufacturer Nissan
Production Q4 2007–present
Assembly Tochigi, Tochigi, Japan
Predecessor Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door coupé
Layout Front engine, all-wheel drive
Platform Premium Midship
Engine 3.8L VR38DETT twin-turbo V6
Transmission 6-speed semi-automatic dual clutch transmission[2]
Wheelbase 2,780 mm (109.4 in)
Length 4,655 mm (183.3 in)
Width 1,895 mm (74.6 in)
Height 1,370 mm (53.9 in)
Curb weight 1,740 kg (3,800 lb)
Designer Kazutoshi Mizuno
The Nissan GT-R is a sports car produced by Nissan released in Japan on December 6, 2007, the United States on July 4, 2008, and the rest of the world in March 2009.[3][4][5]

Contents

History

Between 1969 and 1974, and again between 1989 and 2002, Nissan produced a high performance version of its Skyline range called the Nissan Skyline GT-R. This car proved to be iconic for Nissan[6][7] and achieved much fame and success on road and track. The Nissan GT-R, although no longer carrying the "Skyline" badge, has heritage in the Nissan Skyline GT-R. Like the Skyline GT-Rs R32 through R34, the Nissan GT-R is all-wheel drive with a twin-turbo 6 cylinder engine; however, the evolutionary, incremental changes between Skyline models R32 through R34 have been done away with. The four-wheel-steering HICAS system has been removed, and the former straight-6 RB26DETT engine has been replaced with a new V6 VR38DETT.[8] Because of the GT-R's heritage, the chassis code for the all-new version has been called CBA-R35,[9] or 'R35' for short (where CBA is the prefix for emission standard), carrying on the naming trend from previous Skyline GT-R generations. The GT-R has also retained its Skyline predecessor's nickname Godzilla.[10]

Concepts

GT-R Prototype at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show

Two concept vehicles were displayed at motor shows prior to the unveiling of the production model. The first concept was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001 to preview what a 21st century GT-R would look like.[11] At the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled a redesigned concept, the GT-R Proto, stating that the production GT-R would be 80-90% based on this concept.[12]

Production

Production model

The production version of the GT-R debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, launching in the Japanese market on December 6, 2007. The U.S. official launch was 7 months later on July 7, 2008. Universal Nissan in Los Angeles provided a customer with the delivery of a new GT-R, fresh from the production line at 12:01 a.m., on July 7, 2008. The Canadian launch was also in July 2008. Europe became the third consumer market, where it launched in March 2009. The large disparity in initial marketing between these regional releases is due to Nissan having to build GT-R performance centers where the car is serviced. Also the engine and rear-mounted dual-clutch gearbox are built by hand, thus limiting production to around 1000 cars a month.[13]

Facelifted GT-R

2011 MODEL(EGOIST)

The revised GT-R (2012 model year for the US) features an engine with revised mapping, changes to valve timing, larger inlets and a revised exhaust system which boosts rated power to 530 bhp[14] and 612Nm of torque from 3200 to 6000rpm. Changes also include a new more rigid front strut bar made from carbon composite, larger front brake rotors, new lighter and stiffer wheels, and revised Dunlop tires. Cosmetic changes include a new front bumper with integrated LEDs which adds cooling to the radiator and front brakes while reducing drag, a new rear diffuser which improves downforce, additional rear cooling ducts, and improved interior quality. The revised GT-R went on sale in Japan from mid November 2010 and February 2011 in North America, Europe and other regions.[15]

Nissan’s VP of global product planning Andy Palmer has confirmed that the current GT-R (R35) will be replaced by 2013.[16]

Specifications

2007-2010
The VR38DETT engine

The Nissan GT-R is powered by the VR38DETT engine, a 3,799 cc (3.8 L; 231.8 cu in) DOHC V6 with plasma transferred wire arc sprayed bores.[17] Two parallel Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) turbochargers provide forced induction.[18] Production vehicles produce a manufacturer-claimed engine output of 485 PS (357 kW; 478 hp) at 6400 rpm and 434 lb·ft (588 N·m) at 3200-5200 rpm.[19] The engine also meets California Air Resources Board Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards.[20] A curb weight of 1,730 kg (3,800 lb) or 1,736 kg (3,830 lb) with side curtain airbags is achieved using a jig welded steel chassis with aluminum used for the hood, trunk, and doors.[21] A rear mounted six-speed BorgWarner designed dual clutch semi-automatic transmission built by Aichi Machine Industry[22] is used in conjunction with the ATTESA E-TS system to provide power to all four wheels and along with Nissan's Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC-R) to aid in stability. Three shift modes [23] can also be selected for various conditions.[24]

  • Displacement: V6 3,799 cc (3.8 L; 231.8 cu in)
  • Horsepower: 485 PS (357 kW; 478 hp) at 6400 rpm
  • Torque: 434 lb·ft (588 N·m)
  • Redline: 7000 rpm
  • Drivetrain: Premium Midship AWD
  • Curb weight: estimated 3,820 lb (1,730 kg)*
  • Top Speed: 193 mph (311 km/h)*
  • Drag coefficient: 0.27*
  • MSRP: US$80,790 to $84,060[25]**
* manufacturer claimed
** 2011 model year for North America
present (facelifted)
  • Horsepower: 530 PS (390 kW; 520 hp) at 6400 rpm
  • Torque: 612 N·m (451 lbf·ft) at 3200-6200 rpm, (632 N·m (466 lbf·ft) with high-gear 'boost' on SpecV only)
  • Drag coefficient: 0.26* (~10% improvement in downforce)*
  • Top speed: 315 km/h (196 mph)
  • MSRP: US$89,950 (Premium) or $95,100 (Black Edition)[26]****
* manufacturer claimed
**** 2012 model year for North America

Performance

Cutaway model showing rear mounted transmission

Nissan claims the GT-R can reach a top speed of 193 mph (311 km/h),[27] Motor Trend recorded a top speed of 195.0 mph (313.8 km/h).[28] It has been tested to achieve 0-60 mph (97 km/h) times as low as 3.2 seconds with "launch control"[29] and 3.8 seconds without[30] (improved to 3.5 seconds in models produced since March 2009[31]). Nissan's chief vehicle engineer [Malcolm Noronha] has indicated that he has never used the term "launch control", which refers to the act of turning off vehicle dynamic control (VDC) and launching the car at around 4500 rpm.[32] However, Nissan's director of product planning John Wiener clearly stated in an interview with Jay Leno that "we (Nissan) actually offer a 'launch mode'".[33] The GT-R user's manual states that turning off the VDC is only meant for escaping low-traction situations such as mud or snow. Nissan has re-programmed the 2010 model year GT-R to reduce the engine speed at launch to around 3,000 to 3,500 rpm with VDC enabled, which is meant to improve acceleration times. The new programming was also installed on old 2009 vehicles still in Nissan's inventory, and is available for existing 2009 vehicles.[34] The new facelifted GT-R however now has a launch mode, which Nissan calls "R-Mode Start", and is activated by setting the Transmission and VDC to "R" mode (the Suspension settings can be left in normal mode), holding the brakes, then the throttle, and finally releasing the brakes. The engine speed is now held at 4,000 rpm in this mode, and it no longer voids the warranty. However, the system allows a maximum of 4 consecutive hard launches before locking itself out, after which it can be unlocked by driving normally for 1.5 miles. Tests by Edmund's Inside Line have shown the 2012 GT-R to achieve 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds with R-Mode Start activated and did the 1/4 mile in 11.2 seconds going 122.7 MPH.[35]

Motor Trend achieved a standing quarter-mile time of 11.6 s at 120.0 mph (193.1 km/h).[36] Autocar achieved a 0-100 mph (160 km/h) time of 8.5 seconds.[37]

With a manufacturer claimed lap time of 7:26.7 on the base model's Dunlop tires[38] and previously 7:29 min on standard Japanese market tires, the GT-R is currently one of the fastest production cars to lap the Nürburgring circuit,[39][40] although Porsche accused Nissan of falsifying those claims in September 2008.[41][42] Porsche claims to have conducted their own test of the GT-R using no modifications and stock tires and achieved a best time of 7:54. Nissan officially disputed Porsche's claim in October 2008.[43][44] The German magazine sport auto achieved a time of 7:50 on the Nürburgring with a car supplied to them by Nissan during an initial short test in 2007,[45] while testing by Drivers Republic of a GT-R and GT2 in stock form resulted in times of 7:55 for the GT-R and 7:49 for the GT2 respectively.[46] Both tests were conducted in partially damp conditions and by automotive journalists rather than professional track drivers. In 2009, in a full "super test" sport auto achieved a time of 7:38 minutes on the Nürburgring with a standard GT-R driven by Horst von Saurma,[47] identical to a later "super test" Corvette ZR1 time.[48] In a first test with the facelifted GTR model, 'sport auto' recorded a lap time of 7:34 on the Nürburgring with a standard GT-R driven by Horst von Saurma.[49]

Autocar released a video comparison of the GT-R with the Porsche 911 GT3 and BMW M3. Driven by test driver Chris Harris the GT-R was the fastest of the three.[50][51][52] Autocar released another comparison test at the Isle of Man on a 4.5 km closed public road with the Audi R8, Lotus Elise, and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. The GT-R's time of 1:56:69 was behind the Gallardo's 1:55:99 time, however because the GT-R was Japanese-spec its top speed was limited to 112 mph, the reviewer noted the GT-R was stuck on the limiter for ~10–11 seconds and without the limiter would have "blitzed the Lamborghini".[53] In CAR Magazine's test with the 911 Turbo, BMW M3, and Audi R8 at Rockingham the GT-R was the fastest.[54] Evo tested the GT-R alongside the 911 GT3 at the Bedford Autodrome circuit, the GT-R ran a 1:21.7 lap time compared to GT3's 1:22.6 time.[55] In a Fifth Gear test with the 911 Turbo, Bruno Senna was able to achieve faster lap times in the GT-R.[56] Car and Driver compared the GT-R on Reno-Fernley Raceway with the 911 Turbo and BMW M3, the GT-R's lap time of 1:26.7 made it the fastest on the track.[57] Road & Track was able to achieve quick lap times with the car on Buttonwillow Raceway, clocking in at 1:56.9 which was over 5 seconds faster than the Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 and 911 Turbo.[58][59] In an Edmunds.com 6-way test on the Streets of Willow and an improvised mountain road, the GT-R posted faster times than the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Carrera.[60] Auto Bild compared the GT-R with the 911 Turbo and V10 Audi R8 at Contidrome, the GT-R's time of 1:30.95 placed it ahead of both the Porsche 911 (1:31.75) and the Audi R8 (1:32.11).[61]

A GT-R pictured in London

In another Autocar comparison with the PDK 911 Turbo (997.2) and V10 Audi R8 on the Castle Combe Circuit the GT-R's laptime of 1:14.6, was faster than the 911's time of 1:14.9 and the R8's 1:15.5 lap time.[62] In December, Auto, Motor und Sport published a comparison between the GT-R, PDK 911 Turbo (997.2) and the Audi R8 V10. Around the 'small' Hockenheimring circuit, the GT-R achieved a time of 1:12.0 against the 911's 1:11.5 and the Audi's 1:12.3.[63] The sport auto magazine had tested the GT-R on the 'small' Hockenheimring circuit and had recorded a lap time of 1:10.7 during the full "supertest".[64] In July 2009, CAR Magazine published a comparison of the revised 911 GT3 (997.2) and the GT-R at the Nurburgring. A time of 7:49 was achieved for the GT3 and 7:51 for the GT-R.[65] It should be noted that these times are not directly comparable to previous Nurburgring tests, as they included a section of track near the pits normally excluded from timing. At Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch Road and Track managed a 1:20.9 lap time compared to the ZR1's time of 1:20.1 and the 911 Turbo's (997.2) time of 1:21.3.[66] In another Motor Trend comparison at the Streets of Willow, driver Randy Pobst's laptime of 1:20.25 in the facelifted GT-R was slightly faster than the competing Corvette Z06 equipped with optional carbon ceramic brake rotors.[67]

On Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, Edmunds.com was able to achieve lap times of 1:25.09 with the 2009 GT-R compared to the Corvette ZR1's time of 1:23.87.[68] On the Las Vegas Motor Speedway infield road course, Motor Trend was able to achieve lap times with the GT-R that were almost as fast as the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and 911 GT2 and 1.2 seconds slower than a Corvette ZR1.[69] The pre-2011 GT-R currently holds a lap time of 1:19.7 around the Top Gear Test Track, with the Facelifted GT-R holding a time of 1:17.8, equalling the Pagani Zonda F, beating the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 by 2.6 seconds, and being the fastest Japanese car to lap the track.[70] [71]On Top Gear Australia's test track the GT-R posted a lap time of 1:07.06, putting it in second place 0.14 seconds behind the 997 GT2. Top Gear laps are conducted from a standing start and under varying conditions.

Design

The customizable multifunction display integrated into the dash of the GT-R

Nissan chief creative officer, Shirō Nakamura, has likened the new GT-R to the eponymous giant robots of the Gundam series. Nakamura stated: "The GT-R is unique because it is not simply a copy of a European-designed supercar; it had to really reflect Japanese culture."

Nakamura noted that the GT-R's square lines and vents were influenced by Gundam robots. Nissan's American designers sculpted the rear three quarters of the vehicle, while their European designers sculpted the roofline.[72]

Polyphony Digital, creators of the Gran Turismo series of racing video games, were themselves involved in the development of the GT-R, having been contracted to design the GT-R's multifunction display.[73]

SpecV

GT-R Spec V
Nissan GT-R Spec V

Nissan introduced the GT-R SpecV on January 7, 2009 at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Salon.[74] Exterior changes from the base GT-R consist of a carbon fiber rear spoiler, grille, and brake ducts, along with an exclusive Ultimate Black Opal paint job. Interior changes include a set of carbon fiber Recaro front seats with the rear seats being completely removed. Carbon fiber covers the center storage box, instrument panel, and replaces the majority of the interior trim.

The GT-R SpecV is powered by the standard twin-turbo 3,799 cc (3.8 L; 231.8 cu in) V6 with no increase in horsepower. A new high gear boost controller that allows a temporary increase in boost pressure to the IHI twin turbochargers, now larger than those on the standard GT-R, should deliver more torque in mid to high-range revs. Other mechanical changes include a titanium exhaust, reworked suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and 20-inch (510 mm) NISMO wheels. Overall weight is decreased by 132 lb (60 kg) over the standard GT-R.[75]

Japan sales began on February 2, 2009 at seven pre-selected dealers who are staffed by mechanics with special GT-R SpecV training and are knowledgeable of racing circuit driving. Pricing is set at ¥15,750,000 (over US$160,000). Nissan has yet to announce any plans to sell the Spec V in the USA.

In Auto Express testing the SpecV posted a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, pulled 1.12 g on the skidpad and 74.7 mph in the slalom. An earlier tested Corvette ZR1 (2011) resulted in an identical slalom speed but a lower 1.06 g on the skidpad.[76]

Motorsport

Super GT

Nismo GT-R for 2008 season of Super GT

Nismo, the motorsport arm of Nissan, entered the Nissan GT-R in the Super GT race series in the GT500 class for the 2008 season, replacing the Nissan 350Z.[77]

The GT500 version of the car has a completely different drivetrain compared to the production car. The race car is upgraded to a VK45DE 4.5-litre naturally aspirated[78] V8 instead of the twinturbo V6 VR38DETT. It uses a 6 speed sequential manual gearbox and a RWD layout from its predecessor, the 350Z race car.[79]

A prototype was spotted testing around the Suzuka Circuit as well as Fuji Speedway in Japan.[80][81] The car went on to win the opening race of the 2008 Super GT season at Suzuka scoring a one-two finish for Nissan.[82] The dominant performances in the opening race has led to all GT-Rs being applied a 50 kg weight penalty in addition to the race weight penalty under the Special Adjustment of Performance under the Super GT regulations.[83] In race two, the GT-R repeated their 1-2 result in Suzuka despite the race winning car of team Nismo carrying a 100 kg weight penalty making it only the 3rd team in JGTC/Super GT history to do so. The last time this feat was achieved was 10 years ago by Nismo Skyline GT-R racing under the same number 23.[84] Despite the weight handicap, it did in fact become the champion in this 2008 season through the Xanavi Nismo GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer, as well as winning 8 out of 9 races driven by 4 different teams using GT-Rs.

The GT500 version scored 4 victories in the 2009 Japanese SUPER GT Series GT 500 class. In 2010 the VH45DE 4.5 litre engine was replaced by a newly developed 3.4 litre engine (VRH34A).[85]

FIA GT/GT1 World Championship

Swiss Racing Team's Nissan GT-R competing in the FIA GT1 World Championship

On February 27, 2009, Nismo announced a partnership with British racing team Gigawave Motorsports to enter a GT-R in four races in the 2009 FIA GT Championship season. The entry will not be competing for championship points, but will be used by Nismo to refine the performance of the GT-R for future customer teams to use the car in the planned FIA GT1 World Championship in 2010. Nismo driver Michael Krumm and Gigawave driver Darren Turner will co-drive the GT1 GT-R.[86]

The GT-R safety car leading a pack of cars at the Super GT race at Fuji Speedway in May 2008.

The Sumo Power GT-R won the 2010 RAC Tourist Trophy at Silverstone Circuit as part of the FIA GT1 World Championship on May 2, 2010.

The 2011 season saw Swiss Racing Team switch to Lamborghini which left Sumo Power run four GT-R's, two under the Sumo Power GT name and two under JR Motorsports. JR Motorsports won the drivers championship for the 2011 season.

Other categories

A production-based GT-R made its world motorsport debut in Australia's Targa Tasmania tarmac rally in April 2008,[87] however it sustained damage early in the event and did not complete the rally.[88] Later in 2008 a GT-R won the Competition Modern class in the Targa West[89] before returning to Targa Tasmania in 2009 to take the outright win in the Modern class.[90] In 2009 Nissan's GT-R won the One Lap of America competition.[91] In 2010 the GT-R finished 2nd over all in the One Lap of America competition.

During the 2010 SCCA World Challenge season, a pair of GT class GT-Rs were campaigned by Brass Monkey Racing and driven by Steve Ott and Tony Rivera.[92]

On June 4, 2010, Nismo announced a Club Track Edition[93] GT-R available via its Nissan supported Omori aftermarket factory. This domestic market trim is a non-street legal, race ready variant equipped with a 6 point roll cage and upgraded with Nismo race package developed through its Tokachi endurance racer program.

On June 25 and 26, 2011, the #71 Schulze Motorsport Nissan GT-R took part in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring 2011 driven by Michael Schulze, Tobias Schulze, Kazunori Yamauchi and Yasuyoshi Yamamoto. The car finished the race in 36th place overall, achieving a victory in the SP 8T class after overcoming several technical problems.[94]
It was the first time a Nissan GT-R took part in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

On July 7 2011, a Nissan GT-R was spotted testing at the Ciudad del Motor de Aragón for a possible FIA GT3 European Championship entry. Not much is known about the car currently: the car appears similar to the GT1 car, but it is likely the internals will be far different due to GT3's much lower power restrictions.[95]

Non-competitive appearances

The GT-R was used as the official safety car for both the 2008 Japanese Super GT, and the 2009 Australian V8 Supercars series[96] before a dispute over alcohol advertising led to the arrangement being discontinued after four rounds.[97]

Aftermarket tuning

Despite early concerns about the difficulty of modifying the Nissan GT-R, many aftermarket tuning parts are now available. The previously reported "untuneable" ECU has since been hacked by several tuning houses.

COBB Tuning was the first company to access the GT-R's encrypted ECU. With their AccessPORT anyone can reprogram both the engine and transmission control units with off the shelf or custom maps. Mine's also has limited control of the ECU, and others (MCR,[98] HKS, and Top Secret) have bypassed the unit. They have been seen testing modified GT-Rs with the former two having conducted tests at the Tsukuba Circuit.[99][100]

Japan based tuner Mine's has created the VR38DETT super response engine which uses lightened engine internals like titanium rods, lightened pistons and many other components that allows the engine to rev-up fast. The Mine's R35 GT-R has always been one of the most sought after GT-Rs in the world for its highly responsive driving feel with the right amount of power at 800ps.

Japan tuners like Mine's, HKS, Jun, Greddy, MCR, Top Secret, and more focus mainly on overall balanced performance for the GT-R that can perform at the circuit, mountain touge, short courses, and streets whereas US based tuners mainly focus only on high horsepower applications and straightline speeds.

In a review by Motor Trend editor Scott Kanemura, it was revealed that the GPS system fitted to the GT-R would remove the 180-kilometer per hour (112 mph) speed limiter when the car arrives at a race track, but only on tracks approved by Nissan. Aftermarket ECUs have been developed to bypass the speed limiter, in addition to stand-alone speed-limiter defeaters. The GPS check will not be implemented in American models.[101]

In August 2008, Nissan's official motorsport and tuning arm Nismo announced the "Club Sport" tuning package for the GT-R . The package, which is also fitted to the SpecV,[102] includes Bilstein Damptronic compatible dampers, 20" forged aluminum wheels from Rays Engineering, Bridgestone run-flat tires, Recaro carbon fiber-shelled bucket seats, a titanium exhaust, and a revised rear diffuser with an added cooling duct.[103] The package is supported by a warranty and saves over 20 kg.

United States based tuner AMS Performance has pushed the R35's power levels and performance numbers. Their Alpha 12 performance package for the R35 boosts output to over 1500 horsepower and boasts 60-130 mph times of just 3.3 seconds. An AMS tuned R35 GT-R was the first in the world to post an 8 second quarter mile time at 169 mph. The Alpha 12 GT-R is also capable of doing a 0-60 MPH (0-100 KMPH) time of 2.1 seconds.

Awards and recognition

Awards

Recognition

  • Yahoo- Listed as having one of the best resale values of any sports car. - July 2010[115]

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Further reading

  • Gorodji, Alex (2008). Nissan GT-R: Legendary performance, Engineering Marvel. Minneapolis: Motorbooks. pp. 192 pages.. ISBN -978-0-7603-3036-4. 

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