What is it?
The longtime supercar-slaying Nissan GT-R – ‘Godzilla’ to those on the most familiar of terms – has just been renewed for a scarcely believable ninth year in the showroom. At this age, the ‘R35’-generation GT-R would likely, if it were a child, be showing desultory interest in Roman Britain or the 12-times table and instead operating a playground-wide reign of extortion and fear, the likes of which an aspiring gangland mobster of the future would be rightly proud.
If it were a Porsche or Ferrari, of course, the GT-R would have been replaced already. But instead of an all-new version, Nissan is giving us what it describes as the biggest and most transformative facelift the car has ever had.
The modification applies a wide-ranging cabin update with new seats, dashboard and infotainment system included. It also incorporates an exterior design refresh comprising new bumpers, a new grille and bonnet, deeper side sills and a new rear diffuser, along with an aerodynamic reappraisal that increases cooling and downforce without adding drag.
A structural redesign has stiffened the car’s bodyshell around the A and C-pillars in particular, and a suspension update includes stiffer mountings, lighter wheels and revalved Bilstein adaptive dampers. Meanwhile, an engine update adds extra boost pressure and new ignition and exhaust systems to the car’s big-bore, twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6, increasing power by 20bhp and delivering a more marginal increase in torque. An update for the transmission tweaks the control software of the car’s six-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle gearbox.
The car arrives in the UK in August in three trim levels – the cheapest of which can be snapped up for a fiver less than £80,000. A Track Edition ‘Engineered by Nismo’ tops the regular model line-up, getting its own wheels, tyres and trick damper tune, while a separate limited-run ‘GT-R Nismo’ will be offered above even that, with the same 592bhp power output and chassis tune as the 2014 model year version.