Currently reading: Nissan GT-R Nismo gets stiffer body and new aero
Facelifted halo GT-R model unveiled on eve of the Nürburgring 24hr endurance race; promises greater downforce and track-ready suspension

The Nissan GT-R Nismo, the brand’s ultimate performance version of its flagship super-sports car, has been renewed as part of the firm’s 2017-model-year update for the Nissan GT-R model family and unveiled on the eve of the Nürburgring 24hr endurance race last night.

A stiffened body structure, retuned track-ready suspension and a more aerodynamic body with even greater downforce are chief among what separates the new GT-R Nismo from the 2014-model-year version. The revised model goes on sale next week at an as yet unconfirmed price, with UK deliveries set to begin in December 2016. Its predecessor cost £125,000, so we expect a small increase on this price for the facelifted model.

Adding between 2% and 6% to the car’s local torsional rigidity, the standard GT-R’s revised body-in-white provides a more effective platform for Nismo’s engineers to tune the halo GT-R's stiffened coil springs, adaptive Bilstein DampTronic dampers and beefed-up anti-roll bars. As a result, Nissan claims the GT-R Nismo is 2% quicker than the 2014 version through a benchmark slalom handling test and develops a similar amount more peak lateral grip. Rays 20in forged alloy wheels are fitted to the car as standard.

The GT-R Nismo inherits most of the styling updates carried out on the new 2017-model-year GT-R, among them an enlarged radiator grille making for better cooling for the car’s 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine and a more deeply sculpted - and more rigid - bonnet that contributes to greater high-speed downforce at the front wheels. Enlarged ‘canard’ planes just ahead of the front wheels also create downforce up front and make negative air pressure outboard of the front wheels, sucking air out of the front wheelhouses and improving the car’s coefficient of drag.

The front and rear bumpers, bootlid spoiler and sill extensions are made of lightweight carbonfibre, while its bucket seats are also carbonfibre-backed. The car’s 1720kg claimed kerb weight is unchanged since the 2014 version, likewise its 592bhp and 481lb ft peak power and torque outputs.

On the inside, the widespread use of Alcantara upholstery distinguishes the GT-R Nismo from its lesser rangemates, appearing as it does on the steering wheel, dashboard and centre armrest. The car also inherits the decluttered carbonfibre-clad centre console and upgraded infotainment system of the standard 2017-model-year GT-R.

In response to questioning about the new GT-R Nismo’s benchmark Nürburgring lap time, Nissan chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura said: "We haven’t set one for the new car yet.”. It can, however, be expected to be a reasonable improvement on the 7min 08.68sec time recorded by the 2014 version.

Read the 2017 Nissan GT-R Prestige review

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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