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Nissan GT-R (2011) – upgrades & performance review

Nissan GT-R (2011) – upgrades & performance review

Nissan GT-R (2011) – upgrades & performance review

[9 March 2011]

Although Nissan's refreshed GT-R appears from the outside to be little more than a standard mid-cycle refresh, under the skin the changes are notably more substantial.
This refresh includes changes not only to cosmetic bits, but also to the chassis and drivetrain in ways previously unknown and certainly unexpected. The changes are so substantial, in fact, Nissan's internal name for the model will be revised from the CBA-R35 to the DBA-R35.
Exterior upgrades for the latest model year Starting with the basics, the front and rear exterior fascias were restyled to give the GT-R a fresh look. The front fascia will now include integrated LEDs in the bumper, and design changes will not add 10 percent additional downforce from the front of the car.
The next noticeable change to the exterior of the vehicle comes in the form of new 10-spoke Rays forged aluminum wheels – as captured in our spy photos. The wheels not only offer a new look, but they also drop 13 kg, which results in a welcomed 3 kg drop in unsprung weight at each corner.
Interestingly, Nissan even went back and modified the paint across the board – claiming higher quality. In particular, the white colors are said to be a much better match now when comparing the plastic and metal panels which had unacceptable levels of variation before. Nissan has also added two new metallic colors, red and black.

Interior upgrades

Changes for the interior are essentially in line with what most have come to expect from a refresh, with just a few changes here and there. For starters, the lighting for the instrument cluster has switched from red to blue, while the rest of the dash enjoys a switch to real carbon fiber for the HVAC area. The HVAC controls also receive a new style of knobs.
There are several other very subtle changes, including the use of a softer material for the seat belts, variations to the tensioner, a modified steering wheel logo and new metal trim texture for the A/C vents and paddle shifters.
Showing just how dedicated Nissan is to the GT-R, they even went as far as to work on the doors – claiming even further reduced NVH as well as improved fit and finish.
A change that will likely be much appreciated by all, all standard GT-R models will enjoy upgraded seating options. The Pure and Black Editions will receive total redesigns, aimed at bolstering comfortable and stability while reducing incoming vibration during extreme driving or while traversing rough roads.
Meat and potatoes – the REAL changes Although modified cosmetics and ergonomics are always welcomed during a vehicle refresh, Nissan decided to go deep under the skin of the GT-R to provide some unusually substantial upgrades.
Nissan decided that the handling of the GT-R wasn't quite where it needed to be, and as a result, they added several chassis improvements. First up were the forward suspension strut towers, which have been strengthened with carbon and aluminum materials for improved joint stiffness.
In addition to strengthening the front suspension, Nissan paid attention to the dashboard support area, which received reinforcement as well.
Despite these revisions, the entire vehicle will reportedly come in 10 kg lighter than the outgoing model.
In addition to a beefed-up chassis, Nissan also revised the entire suspension, complete with new spring rates and dampers, revised geometry and a new leverage ratio. These changes will help to improve the efficiency of both the shock absorbers and the stabilizer, giving the GT-R an overall more confident driving feel.
To achieve this, Nissan has adopted a piston-free aluminum design which it claims reduces friction, and increases oil flow and accuracy.

Powertrain tweaks

With the improved chassis and suspension, the GT-R is now capable of handling more power - which is a good thing since Nissan upped the power of the VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 to now produce 530 horsepower (versus the previous 485 horsepower) and 448 lb-ft of torque (versus the previous 434 lb-ft).
This boost was achieved by a combination of modifying the boost pressure of the turbocharger, valve timing and air mixture ratio, and through reducing intake air resistance by enlarging the inlet pipe diameter. In addition, exhaust air resistance was reduced through use of an enlarged section of exhaust pipe.
To keep this power - and the occupants - on the ground, aerodynamics have been improved for the new model with downforce increased by about 10 percent and the coefficient of drag reduced to 0.26 (from 0.27). Stability is improved by enlarged fascia and grille openings, which also help reduce air resistance inside the engine compartment.
The volume of air that passes through the radiator and cools the front brakes was also increased.

For more information please visit Nissan GT-R (2011) offical website