2017 Nissan GT-R
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – One of the more memorable drives over the past decade of my testing cars was a week behind the wheel of the GT-R.
A stop at a convenience store/gas station in West Virginia resulted in the car being surrounded by people asking, “Please, can I take a picture of your car?”
I told my wife after the GT-R finished posing, “I think they liked it.” The reaction was the same where ever we went in the still new to the market sports car.
Now for 2017 Nissan has updated the car especially in the interior. There is a new dashboard with a “horizontal flow,” (Nissan’s term), and lots of leather while the center stack layout has been simplified with the number of navi and audio controls reduced from 27 switches to only 11.
An enlarged 8-inch touch panel monitor features larger icons and “dials are now machined from real aluminum alloy,” the maker said. Shift paddles are now mounted on the new steering wheel allowing drivers to change gears in mid-turn without having to take their hands off the wheel.
I thought the interior looked like a nice update from the original 2009 offering.
And there is more power. The 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged engine is now rated at 565 horsepower at 6,800 rpm with 467 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 20 HP and 4 lb-ft. Nissan said maximum torque output is now available across a wider range of the powerband.
If you want to impress the folks at work gathered around the coffee pot, the engine’s name is actually “VR38DETT.” Each engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room and the name of the craftsman is included on a plaque located to the front of each engine. Kind of a nice credit.
And then there is the NISMO, the GT-R’s performance mow-cheen. The 2017 model just made its world debut at the Nurburgring Ring in Germany.
“The GT-R NISMO emphasizes the ‘R’ in its nomenclature. Its direct ties with racing make it at home on any racetrack, providing the highest levels of excitement and exhilaration for the driver. With the 2017 GT-R as a starting point, the new NISMO version has become a more well-balanced machine …” said Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Product Specialist, GT-R.
Nissan did not release details of any hot laps around the famed track. It said changes to shock absorbers, springs and stabilizers result in improved slalom times and cornering performance – both increase by two percent.
The power of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 remains at an awesome 600 horsepower and the tranny is a 6-speed dual clutch.
Of course it gets the interior upgrades of the base model, along with Alcantara suede and leather Recaro seats.
Up front a larger grille will allow more air in to keep things cool, there is a reinforced hood, and the front bumper now is made of carbon-fiber sheets.
No performance figures have been released for the 2017. You are most likely looking at a zero to 60 in about 3 seconds.
For a 2016 model, prices started at $101,770 for the base model and $149,990 for the NISMO.
It has been my experience that they are both well worth the investment if you like to drive.