2012 Nissan GT-R Test – Review – Car and Driver

4 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Nissan GT-R Test – Review – Car and Driver
Nissan GT-R

2012 Nissan GT-R

Godzilla goes on a power trip and comes back with a 2.9-second 0-to-60 time.

Can it do 2.9 to 60 mph? Answering that question consumed a significant part of the 2012 Nissan GT-R #x2019;s press launch in California in January. Nissan claims this latest version can, but it wasn#x2019;t able to prove it, despite several attempts.

The best the car could manage was 3.0 seconds. So, in entomological terms, it was about three beats of a bee#x2019;s wing slow, a glaring gap between claim and reality. Nissan#x2019;s man said it was because the track surface was cold that day.

The assembled press snorted skepticism.

At 2.9 to 60, the new GT-R is 0.7 second quicker than an example we tested for a July 2008 comparison test. and it shaves 0.3 second from the quickest time we#x2019;ve ever recorded for the model. (The slowest GT-R time in our logs: 4.1 seconds.) The 2012 barrels through the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 126 mph, almost a full second and 11 mph faster than that July 2008 comparo car. Tokyo, beware: Godzilla is more powerful than ever.

Nissan: Good at Engineering, Not So Good at Names

In Nissan#x2019;s bone-dry techno-speak, the 2012 Nissan GT-R is called the R35 GT-R (12MY M/C). Catchy, isn#x2019;t it? The R35 is the current model designation; you may recall the previous Japan-only R32#x2013;R34.

The #x201C;12MY#x201D; refers to the 2012 model year, of course, and the #x201C;M/C#x201D; stands for #x201C;minor change,#x201D; according to chief engineer and resident GT-R god Kazutoshi Mizuno.

That #x201C;minor change#x201D; bit is perhaps a touch of Japanese modesty, but it#x2019;s apt. This GT-R#x2019;s biggest news is that horsepower from the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 jumps from an already ridiculous 485 to a totally absurd, USDA-guarantee-of-certain-arrest 530, and torque swells from 434 lb-ft to 448.

Nissan GT-R

There are some nitty-gritty suspension tweaks to enliven the steering and improve the big rocket#x2019;s straight-ahead tracking, some structural bracing to reduce body flex, a few styling alterations to clean up the aerodynamics, some changes to the stability and electronic suspension controls#x2014;you#x2019;d need to turn to page 274, subparagraph G, of the owner#x2019;s manual to read about them#x2014;and some new packages on which to spend more money.

Speaking of money, the price increase is not insignificant: $5890 more from the base 2011 to the base 2012 model, which is dubbed Premium and starts at $90,950. There#x2019;s also a new Black Edition that runs $96,100 and features a red and black interior, leather Recaro seats, and lighter six-spoke wheels with, of course, a black finish. For the body color, buyers of the Black Edition can choose any GT-R hue.

Feel the Rush

Beyond the track sheet, you can definitely feel the R35 GT-R (12MY M/C)#x2019;s extra power, much like you#x2019;d feel being whacked from behind by a six iron. Besides the engine, the other changes are far subtler. It#x2019;s a good thing Nissan brought along a couple examples of the 2011 model to compare against the new car during our single day of driving and track lapping.

Every production car on the market represents a snapshot, the final spot where the engineers decided to call it a day after exhausting their development time and budget. Improvements can always be eked out with more time and budget. That#x2019;s what the 2012 GT-R represents: the old GT-R plus three years of time and a little#x2014;very little, because the sports-car market has been sucking wind lately#x2014;extra development money.

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