Godzilla, but more re­fined

AL­WYN VILJOEN pon­ders of­fer­ing the other kid­ney for the lat­est it­er­a­tion of Nis­san’s GT- R

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

THE most re­spected car un­veiled at this week’s New York In­ter­na­tional Auto Show is the 2017 Nis­san GT- R.

The good news is Nis­san South Africa has con­firmed the lat­est it­er­a­tion of Godzilla will also come to our show­rooms later this year.

General man­ager of mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions Graeme Birch told me­dia the lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors are ex­cited to wel­come the new GT- R to South Africa.

“We will be an­nounc­ing more de­tails in the not- so- dis­tant fu­ture”, said Birch.

A decade af­ter its in­tro­duc­tion in 2007, the lat­est GT- R of­fers the most sig­nif­i­cant changes in the model.

The ex­te­rior gets a com­plete makeover, both to make what Nis­san de­scribes as a sportier- look­ing car, and to cre­ate an aero­dy­nam­i­cally ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cle, with less drag that re­tains the same amount of downforce as the GT- R in which Mar­burg’s Dezzi Gutzeit be­came King of the Hill at the Si­mola Hill­climb in Knysna last year.

Nis­san’s ex­ec­u­tive de­sign di­rec­tor Mamoru Aoki said as the icon of Nis­san’s driv­ing per­for­mance, the GT- R con­tin­ues to evolve.

“With the sig­na­ture V- Mo­tion grille, the GT- R now pos­sesses the lat­est Nis­san de­sign lan­guage.

“Its ex­cep­tional aero­dy­namic per­for­mance and up­graded in­te­rior have given the GT- R a more ma­ture char­ac­ter, which will con­tinue into the fu­ture,” said Aoki.

Be­side the new de­sign lan­guage, the grille has been en­larged to pro­vide bet­ter en­gine cool­ing and now fea­tures an up­dated mesh pat­tern. A new hood, which flows flaw­lessly from the grille, has been sig­nif­i­cantly re­in­forced, con­tribut­ing to sta­bil­ity dur­ing high­speed driv­ing.

And that front spoiler lip be­low the head­lamps gen­er­at­ing high lev­els of front downforce. The GT- R’s familiar wind- cutting shape de­fines its pro­file, but the side sills have been pushed out to im­prove air flow.

The rear of the car also re­ceived a thor­ough makeover.

While the GT- R’s hall­mark four- ring tail­lights re­main, look closely and you’ll no­tice new body­work to help im­prove air flow, as well as side air vents next to the quad ex­haust tips.


We have not yet had the priv­i­lege of just sit­ting inside the new GT- R, but want to re­mind read­ers that the first drive in 2007 re­sulted in this au­thor of­fer­ing a kid­ney for a GT- R.

Nis­san’s state­ment said the cabin greets the driver with a premium in­te­rior “that is be­fit­ting a high- per­for­mance sports car of this cal­i­bre”.

The en­tire dash­board and in­stru­ment panel are new and cov­ered with high- qual­ity leather art­fully stitched.

The shape of the dash­board adopts a “hor­i­zon­tal flow” that de­liv­ers a sense of in­creased sta­bil­ity for the car’s front- seat oc­cu­pants, while the line from the in­stru­ment clus­ter to the cen­tre con­sole pro­vides a dis­tinct driveror­i­ented en­vi­ron­ment for those be­hind the steer­ing wheel.

The cen­tre dash­board lay­out has also been im­proved and sim­pli­fied. In­te­grated nav­i­ga­tion and au­dio con­trols re­duce the num­ber of switches from 27 in the pre­vi­ous model to only 11 in the 2017 model.

An en­larged eight- inch touch­panel mon­i­tor fea­tures large icons on the dis­play screen to make it easy to op­er­ate.

A new Dis­play com­mand con­trol on the car­bon- fi­bre cen­tre con­sole al­lows easy op­er­a­tion.

The shift pad­dles are now mounted to the new steer­ing wheel, al­low­ing driv­ers to change gears in mid- turn with­out hav­ing to take their hands off the wheel.

How it goes, re­port­edly

The GT- R’s award- win­ning 3,8- litre V6 24- valve twin- tur­bocharged en­gine — each unit hand­crafted by its own Takumi tech­ni­cian— now de­liv­ers 421 kW ( 565 hp) at 6 800 rpm.

The im­proved out­put, which are the re­sult of in­di­vid­ual ig­ni­tion- tim­ing con­trol of the cylin­ders and ex­tra boost from the tur­bocharg­ers, al­low the new GT- R to pos­sess su­pe­rior ac­cel­er­a­tion in the mid- to high- ranges ( 3 200 rpm and above).

It comes mated to a thor­oughly re­fined six- speed dual- clutch trans­mis­sion that fea­tures smoother shifts and less noise.

That familiar GT- R tone also has been up­graded with an en­gine that has never sounded bet­ter, ac­cord­ing to Nis­san.

The GT- R has al­ways been re­garded as one of the world’s best han­dling ma­chines, and for 2017, its cor­ner­ing abil­i­ties have be­come even bet­ter.

A more rigid body struc­ture and new sus­pen­sion re­sult in bet­ter sta­bil­ity through quick lat­eral tran­si­tions and higher over­all cor­ner­ing speed. Grip are comes from 20- inch tyres, on “Y- spoke” alu­minum rims.

Still a com­muter’s dream

De­spite all the per­for­mance en­hance­ments, the 2017 GT- R is the most com­fort­able model to date, with a new sense of el­e­gance and ci­vil­ity that one would rarely find in such a high- per­for­mance su­per­car.

The new GT- R ex­hibits a smoother ride qual­ity than the out­go­ing model, and its cabin re­mains much qui­eter at all speeds and new sound ab­sorp­tion ma­te­ri­als.

Chief prod­uct spe­cial­ist of the GT- R Hiroshi Ta­mura said, “The new GT- R de­liv­ers a heart- pound­ing driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at all times and on any road for who­ever sits in the driver’s seat. We have con­tin­ued to push its per­for­mance bound­aries to the outer lim­its — it’s even more po­tent than be­fore.

“At the same time, more re­fine­ment has been added to take the en­tire driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to an en­tirely new level.

We’re proud to bring you what we feel is the ul­ti­mate GT that pos­sesses amaz­ing per­for­mance, new­found ci­vil­ity and a rich rac­ing his­tory.”


The GT- R, al­ready the car of choice for KZN’s fastest quar­ter mil­ers and SA’s blis­ter­ing hill clim­bers, just got bet­ter, and its com­ing to SA.

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