What is it?
The revised-for-2012 version of the mighty Nissan GT-R, sampled very briefly during a driving event at a rain-sodden Silverstone – and without any official performance figures yet revealed.
There are some internal changes to the 3.8-litre V6 engine, with revised inlet valves, manifolds, heads and pistons. We’re told that the motor now wants to rev much harder beyond 5000rpm, although there’s no word on outputs. Still, Mizuno-san, the GT-R’s legendary project manager, says that the leap from the 2011 model year to the 2012 model year brings greater gains than the ’09-to-’10 tweaks – which saw power rise from 483bhp to 530bhp – so you’d have to guess at around 560bhp for the latest iteration.
Another neat detail is the new asymmetrical set-up. The GT-R’s transaxle gearbox sits just to the right of the main propshaft, which means in right-hand drive form it carries 50kg too much corner weight on that side of the car. This has been addressed by adding spring rate and damper support to the right front of the car, and removing it from the front left. The actual pivot position of the respective sides has been adjusted too.
How does it drive?
Two laps at a sodden Silverstone don’t make a proper test – at least not for evo – so we’ll have to wait until we have slightly more time in the car to deliver a verdict.
However, on the brief acquaintance, I can confirm that the engine does indeed pull more aggressively beyond the 5000rpm mark, even if it doesn’t feel 100bhp stronger than those first R35 GT-Rs did back in 2007.
As for the asymmetric chassis set-up I’m afraid I couldn’t properly test it in the very slippery conditions at Silverstone during my brief squirt in the car.
Anything else I need to know?
There will be a track pack option in right-hand drive markets this time. That makes the car a two-seater with grippier buckets, a brake cooling system that’s claimed to reduce rotor temperatures by up to 100 degrees, plus new springs and adjustable dampers.
Far from being the soulless simulator that some people expect, the GT-R remains one of the most characterful and mind-scrabbling experiences available. We await prolonged exposure to this new version with great expectations.