Nissan GT-R MY12

Nissan's supercar-beating coupe gets another round of upgrades for 2012, including more power and revised suspension

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As a supercar for all conditions, the Nissan GT-R remains peerless. With more power and trick suspension, the MY12 car refines the formula slightly but its essence is the same. Drive it on a slippery track and this 500bhp plus coupe still demands respect, but in the back of your mind is the fact that few things – barring a Porsche 911 GT2 perhaps – would be quicker point to point. And there’s the GT-R’s trump card, that it’s happy to cruise at 150mph on the autobahn with all your luggage in the back. The only question is, with four years left until it’s replaced, how much better can it get?

The Nissan GT-R has received its annual round of upgrades for 2012. With more power and an unusual new suspension setup, it promises to out pace and out handle every model that’s gone before.

Kazutoshi Mizuno, chief engineer and father of the GT-R project, told us: “From the very outset the plan with the GT-R was to update it every year and keep improving it. The GT-R as you see it now still has four years left to go.”

Video: watch Jack's video of the 2012 Nissan GT-R

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The big step came with MY10 to MY11, where an extra 45bhp was extracted from the twin-turbo V6, bringing the total to 523bhp and 612Nm of torque. Nissan is refusing to release official figures for the MY12 car until an official announcement in Japan on November 7, but engineers hinted that the power hike will be milder - so around 553bhp, a 30bhp increase, seems feasible.

More intriguing are the suspension tweaks which is now slightly stiffer on the left-hand side, to compensate for the weight of the driver and the steering column. It’s a geometry that’s unique to the GT-R and sums up the minute attention to detail that this car is all about.

We had the opportunity to drive the refreshed model back to back with the outgoing car on the Silverstone circuit – crucial to highlight the improvements. Firstly, it’s faster, not by huge amounts, but there’s more urgency in the upper rev range. The exhaust note seemed louder too – a product of the freer flowing pipes that helps to liberate the extra bhp.

Despite the track being wet, acceleration was savage down the straights and the stability under braking was superb, but the lack of grip and the weight of the GT-R, meant we were forced to tip-toe around the slower corners. In truth, the suspension changes were imperceptible, but the GT-R’s body control was so impressive in the first place that comes as little surprise.

Although stuck with six-ratios, while competitors are forging ahead with seven and eight-speed dual-clutch boxes, the transmission is still remarkable fast and smooth. And customers wishing to get a little more from their GT-R, although we can’t see why you would, can now order a track pack, which adds stiffer suspension, lighter wheels, improves brake cooling, rips out the rear seats and adds specially-designed sport seats in the front.
 

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