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Nismo GT-R

Club Sport pack turns Nissan coupe into circuit superhero

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If Nissan wanted to give GT-R owners more confidence and fun at higher speeds on a race track, then it has certainly done that with the Nismo Club Sport. Incredibly, it’s even more capable than the standard car. But that extra ability comes at a high price, and we suspect that most buyers will be more than happy with the standard GT-R’s performance. For those who want more, there’s always the V-Spec edition, which will boast more power and is due in 2010.

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It’s one of the most technically advanced supercars ever made and our Performance Car of the Year (see Issue 1,035). But when it comes to the GT-R, Nissan says there’s still room for improvement.

That’s why the Japanese firm has come up with a special Club Sport package, aimed at turning the GT-R into even more of a driver’s car. Developed by Nissan’s motorsport arm Nismo, the aftermarket kit can be fitted to any GT-R and consists of suspension, wheel and tyre upgrades, a titanium exhaust system, a rear diffuser and lightweight Recaro racing seats.

However, at a total cost of around £35,000, the Club Sport package isn’t cheap, and takes the price of the GT-R to £85,000 – which is about the same as a Porsche 911 GT3.

Is it worth the money? We headed to a test track in Japan to find out. One thing’s for sure, the updates are comprehensive. In come new Bilstein dampers, higher spring rates, 20-inch wheels and sticky Bridgestone tyres. The titanium exhaust doesn’t boost the output of the 473bhp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6, but it weighs 5kg less, while the new seats save a further 12kg and provide more support.

And they need to – on track, the GT-R generates tremendous grip in corners. The Club Sport package allows you to brake later and harder, the body rolls less, there’s greater steering precision and virtually no understeer. And when the GT-R loses grip, it does so progressively, always telling the driver what’s happening. It’s enormous fun.

However, it’s difficult to justify the price tag. The suspension package can be ordered separately for a slightly more realistic £11,000, but buyers will still have difficulty getting hold of the parts, because they are not available through Nissan dealers in the UK.

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