Can it execute 2.9 come 60 mph? answering that question consumed a far-reaching part the the 2012 Nissan GT-R’s push launch in California in January. Nissan cases this latest variation can, however it wasn’t able come prove it, despite several attempts. The best the automobile could manage was 3.0 seconds. So, in entomological terms, the was about three beats of a bee’s soup slow, a glaring gap in between claim and also reality. Nissan’s guy said it was because the track surface was cold the day. The assembled push snorted skepticism.

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Well, we have the right to now confirm that Nissan isn’t complete of it. Our 3859-pound test automobile did an ethical 2.9 secs to 60 mph on our an enig high-desert test track running California 91-octane pump gas with the ambient temperature in ~ a slightly it will be cold 51 degrees. In fact, the did that twice before the clutch gained hot and also 10ths the a 2nd started to heap on. The 4th launch experienced it running around 3.3 to 60. After four launches, the computer requires a 1.5-mile cool-down cruise prior to it would enable the execution that any more launch-control starts. We did the cool-down but couldn’t get much better times. The an initial two operation were the fastballs.

At 2.9 come 60, the new GT-R is 0.7 2nd quicker than an example we tested because that a July 2008 compare test, and also it shaves 0.3 2nd from the quickest time we’ve ever before recorded because that the model. (The slowest GT-R time in ours logs: 4.1 seconds.) The 2012 barrels through the quarter-mile in 11.2 secs at 126 mph, almost a full 2nd and 11 mph quicker than the July 2008 comparo car. Tokyo, beware: Godzilla is more powerful than ever.


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Nissan: great at Engineering, no So an excellent at Names

In Nissan’s bone-dry techno-speak, the 2012 Nissan GT-R is dubbed the R35 GT-R (12MY M/C). Catchy, isn’t it? The R35 is the current model designation; you may recall the vault Japan-only R32–R34. The “12MY” describes the 2012 design year, the course, and the “M/C” represents “minor change,” follow to cook engineer and resident GT-R god Kazutoshi Mizuno.

HIGHS: Spits an ext flame, sub-three-second sprints, obtaining faster and smoother through age.

That “minor change” bit is perhaps a touch that Japanese modesty, however it’s apt. This GT-R’s greatest news is that horsepower native the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 jumps native an currently ridiculous 485 to a totally absurd, USDA-guarantee-of-certain-arrest 530, and also torque swells native 434 lb-ft come 448.


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There room some nitty-gritty suspension tweaks come enliven the steering and also improve the large rocket’s straight-ahead tracking, some structural bracing to mitigate body flex, a few styling alterations to clean increase the aerodynamics, some transforms to the stability and electronic suspension controls—you’d need to turn to page 274, subparagraph G, that the owner’s hand-operated to read about them—and some brand-new packages top top which to spend more money.

Speaking of money, the price increase is not insignificant: $5890 much more from the base 2011 come the basic 2012 model, i m sorry is referred to as Premium and starts at $90,950. There’s likewise a new Black Edition that runs $96,100 and features a red and also black interior, animal leather Recaro seats, and also lighter six-spoke wheels with, of course, a black color finish. Because that the human body color, buyers of the black color Edition can choose any type of GT-R hue.


Feel the Rush

Beyond the track sheet, friend can absolutely feel the R35 GT-R (12MY M/C)’s extra power, much like you’d feeling being whacked native behind through a six iron. Besides the engine, the other alters are much subtler. It’s a great thing Nissan lugged along a pair examples that the 2011 version to compare against the new car during our single day that driving and track lapping.

Every production auto on the market represents a snapshot, the last spot wherein the engineers chose to contact it a work after exhausting their breakthrough time and also budget. Improvements can always be eked out with an ext time and budget. That’s what the 2012 GT-R represents: the old GT-R plus three years that time and also a little—very little, because the sports-car market has actually been suck wind lately—extra advancement money.

That time and also money purchase those couple of exterior changes and structural enhancements. Tying the cast-aluminum former shock towers with each other is a brand-new carbon-fiber brace through a honeycomb core that to reduce flexing in the outermost part of the double-wall fire wall directly behind the engine. The bulkhead behind the dash gets extr bracing to tamp down vibrations and also side-to-side racking, and the dashboard itself it s okay fancier stitching and also a carbon-fiber appliqué because that the move plate, which to be a peasantlike black color plastic before.


Minor—Very Minor—Exterior Changes

The most evident differences top top the GT-R’s exterior room two glowing eyebrows of LEDs in the corners that the prior bumpers. Extra dimples at those same bumper corners and also a reshaped chin spoiler channel more air come the political parties of the car, enhancing the low-pressure zone under the nose and helping to minimize aerodynamic lift. The upper and also lower grille openings space mildly reshaped, greatly for styling but also partly to improve underhood airflow, which in turn aids in brake cooling. In the rear, a brand-new extended diffuser enhances underfloor cooling and also reduces wait resistance. Take away collectively, the aero improvements help the drag coefficient drop native 0.27 to 0.26 and increase downforce by around 10 percent. Fuel economic situation goes up, from 15 mpg city and also 21 highway to 16/23.

What’s the Actual Power Bump?

The rise in economic climate is a feat, considering the an extensive 45-hp bang to the VR38DETT V-6, due mostly to greater boost push made possible by far better engine cooling. Peak an increase rises indigenous 10.9 psi to 13.0, and timing and also fuel mixture are remapped accordingly. Mizuno claims a 1-mm boost in the stroke of the thermostat allows greater coolant flow, which helps compensate because that the greater cylinder temperatures. The two air-inlet pipes the feed the gorgeous entry manifold have larger diameters, and exhaust backpressure was reduced.


We inquiry Mizuno exactly how much of the horsepower bang was already in the engine, because the media and the blogosphere have actually long speculated that some GT-R engines currently made more than 500 hp. It was a rarely topic on which the normally chatty Mizuno to be mute. However, that did permit that absolute bottom-line quarter-mile power will count on where you to buy gas. In says that offer 94 pump octane, it’ll it is in no problem. In California, which uses only 91, you’ll have to be choosy around where you tank up, Mizuno says, as part brands are better than others. (We apparently determined wisely, given our blistering times.) However, the agency stands behind the 530-hp claim for all 50 states.

Staying in the driveline, engineers finessed the software regulating the dual-clutch six-speed infection to make for smoother engagements throughout normal driving and also jackrabbit launches. The car’s warranty now covers use of the start control; stories of exploding transmissions and denials of warranty cases have dogged the GT-R since its debut. However, the software currently requires a 1.5-mile simple drive after every four launches. Mizuno claims this is to protect the driver’s neck from injury, back we doubt a desire come stem escalating infection temperatures likewise factors into that change.

In the suspension, one more degree of former caster firms increase the car’s straight-ahead feel and also adds much more edge to its off-center response. Suspension flex must have been a problem in the earlier GT-R, as the former shock attachments points were moved outward ~ above the lower manage arms to adjust the lever point for additional stiffness and affect absorption, and also the shocks now have actually aluminum pistons instead of plastic ones for—you obtained it—extra stiffness. The rear suspension geometry was adjusted to lower the rear roll center. Choose we said, tiny details.


What perform Godzilla and Smoking have in Common?

The prior brake rotors room 15.4 inch in diameter, increase from 15.0, and also the GT-R now has one spec tire for the world. Before, many U.S.-market cars obtained Bridgestone tires when the remainder of the civilization got Dunlops. However now Dunlop SP sports Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT run-flat hams come on every GT-Rs.

LOWS: tho heavy, stiff ride eventually gets tiresome, that’ll be another $5890, please.

If there’s a performance improvement from the Dunlops, it’s quite subtle. Our braking distance from 70 mph dropped just three feet, to 153, and also the skidpad performance was unmodified at 0.96 g.

The tires have a amendment compound and construction changes targeted at far better ride comfort and durability. Along those lines, the GT-R’s “comfort” suspension setup was transformed to be an ext relaxed, and Mizuno says he have the right to now circle a track in comfort mode without dropping ash off his cigarette, reportedly a significant test criterion.


We didn’t shot the cigarette test, yet we did pound over part of main California’s squiggliest roadways in the 2011 and also 2012 models. Together we said, the power difference is the most noticeable change. It yanks the GT-R out of corners with considerably more urgency, provoking more oversteer—yee-ha!—as the tires fight because that grip.

The suspension changes are harder to detect. On the road, the 2012 feels a tiny less nervous and vulnerable to pavement pitching and ruts. However the drive is tho pretty stiff and also active, even in lull mode. That wasn’t until we got to the track, whereby we might switch earlier and forth between the old and brand-new GT-Rs, that the suspension revisions revealed us in full.

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The contempt greater effort it takes come turn right into corners feels a little much more organic, a tiny less robotic than before, and also the ’12 vehicle tracks truer under the straights v an overall much better stability and sense of control. The brake pedal has actually less flex and an ext immediacy to it once the brakes room fresh, however during lapping, the 3800-plus-pound mass starts to eat into the power of the share street pads pretty quickly.


Chin Up, current Owners

The R35 GT-R (12MY M/C) represents advancement by half-degrees—and number of 10ths. Yet we have a post to owner of larger GT-Rs: You have nothing to be ashamed of. Your auto is quiet a stunning, ballistic Corvette killer, also next to the brand-new machine. And also Nissan claims it will market a kit to aid upgrade GT-R 1.0 come GT-R 2.0. No pricing or time on the kit has been announced, and U.S. Availability has yet to be decided.

If you to be hoping because that bigger changes, blame the market. GT-R sales in the U.S. Dropped indigenous 1730 car in 2008 come 1534 cars in 2009 and plummeted come 877 critical year. Officially, the firm isn’t complaining, however you can’t error Nissan for no upending the piggy bank to fight over 877 cash-register rings. Be grateful that Godzilla still lives and is getting better—and quicker—with age.


SPECIFICATIONS

2012 Nissan GT-R

VEHICLE TYPEfront-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

BASE PRICE$90,950

ENGINE TYPEtwin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection Displacement232 in3, 3799 cm3Power (SAE net)530 bhp
3200 rpm

TRANSMISSION6-speed dual-clutch automatically

DIMENSIONSWheelbase: 109.4 in Length: 183.1 in Width: 74.9 in Height: 54.0 in Curb weight: 3859 lb

C/D check RESULTSZero come 60 mph: 2.9 sec Zero come 100 mph: 7.1 sec Zero come 120 mph: 10.0 sec Street start, 5-60 mph: 3.7 sec standing ¼-mile: 11.2 sec
126 mph height speed (redline limited): 191 mph Braking, 70-0 mph: 153 ft

FUEL ECONOMY EPA city/highway driving: 16/23 mpg C/D observed: 19 mpg

c/d trial and error explained


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