The Nissan GT-R seldom sits still, whether on the track or in the engineering department. And the Japanese automaker appears ready to give the sports car one last tweak before it rolls out an all-new model, likely for 2018.
Known internally as the R35, Nissan is teasing the debut of an updated GT-R ahead of its news conference at the New York International Auto Show next week. Don’t be surprised to see it get a few minor exterior tweaks, as well as a bit more power than the current, 545-hp version.
Dubbed Godzilla by its fans, the Nissan GT-R is meant to give challenge to a variety of ultra-high-performance competitors, from the Chevrolet Corvette to the Audi R8 and Porsche 911. Like the ‘Vette, the Japanese model has a significant price advantage over its European rivals.
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The R35 version has been around since 2007, undergoing only modest design tweaks, while getting a significant boost in power over the years, as well as the addition of a NISMO edition.
What’s in store this time isn’t clear. Nissan has only released a shot of a largely silhouetted rear end with the familiar GT-R taillights lit. There appear to be no dramatic changes, at least to the sports car’s basic shape.
On the performance side, Nissan updated the GT-R in 2013, boosting horsepower by 15 and torque by 15 pound-feet. Non-NISMO versions got another 5 hp last year thanks to some electronic control tweaks.
A special Anniversary Gold Edition was also added for 2016 to mark the sports car’s 45th anniversary.
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The 2016 Nissan GT-R makes 545 hp and 463 lb-ft in stock trim from its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6. The NISMO GT-R bumps that to 600 hp and 481 lb-ft, enough to get it from 0 to 60 in around 2.9 seconds.
While the 2017 version of the GT-R is not likely to yield many major enhancements, word has it that an all-new version of the sports car will come as early as 2018. And it’s expected to yield some significant changes in design and powertrain.
For one thing, the next model will likely pick up many of the design cues first seen in virtual form with Nissan’s 2020 Vision Gran Turismo Concept.
Under the hood, it may pick up a more advanced, electrified powertrain, though it’s unlikely to go to the extremes we’ve seen with either the BMW i8 or the new Acura NSX which uses a combination of three electric motors and a twin-turbo V-6.
We’ll be listening for news about both the 2017 update and coming GT-R makeover at the Nissan news conference in New York next week.