Nissan has this week announced Australian availability of an extensively updated 2011 GT-R, following its international unveiling in October last year.
As revealed last year, the major changes have occurred beneath the skin, along with subtle but significant cosmetic and aerodynamic adjustments.
"When the current Nissan GT-R made its debut, I said we would reveal it in its true form within three years,” Kazutoshi Mizuno, the GT-R's Chief Vehicle Engineer said. “This promise is now fulfilled.”
"I had this car in my head,” he added. "The performance, the dynamics - they were all completed in my head."
“I wanted to make a supercar that would perform in all conditions and would be driveable by all enthusiasts, not just professional drivers. The GT-R is for anyone, anytime, anywhere."
Of most interest to fans and buyers will be the GT-R's power boost, up from 357 to 390kW. Torque takes a leap also, jumping from 588 to 612Nm (available between 3200 to 6000rpm).
In November 2010, Nissan recorded a new and official 3.0 second 0-100km/h for the 2011 GT-R, shaving 0.5 seconds off the 2010 model's run.
Fuel economy is also improved, dropping to 12.0 l/100km thanks to revisions to boost pressure, valve timing and the air mixture ratio.
An enlarged inlet-pipe diameter offers reduced intake resistance and enlarged sections of the exhaust piping have also resulted in reduced exhaust air resistance.
There's also a 'SAVE' mode for improved efficiency in normal driving situations, and Nissan says the GT-R's 'R mode' now promises better launches along with an improved VDC-R system.
Body And Handling
The 2011 GT-R's body has come in for some strengthening work, with a new lightweight strut bar - made of carbon composite with aluminium honeycomb material - installed in the partition wall of the engine bay.
Suspension and braking have also been updated, with the front end seeing changes to the lever ratio of the springs, along with the shock absorbers and stabiliser bar. The result is improved vertical load response from the contact of the tyres with the road.
Front caster angle has changed too, increasing from 5°35 to 6°00 for improved road-holding in turning. At the rear, a lower roll centre height has improved grip in cornering.
There's also a new aluminium free-piston shock absorber, designed to generate more precise damping force for improved road holding and load shift, along with reduced friction and quicker response.
The brakes are larger now too, with new 390mm rotors designed to improve braking force, fade resistance, pedal control and durability.
Overall, the GT-R has benefited from a weight saving of 10kg.
Wheels and Tyres
Available in 'Hyper Blue Black' and 'Hyper Titanium' colours, new Rays forged alloy wheels cut 3kg each from the GT-R's unsprung weight.
The Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT tyres have a new compound to improve tyre grip. With renewed structure and improved tread and sidewall rigidity, straight-line stability in rutted roads is enhanced.
Styling And Aero
As predicted, the 2011 GT-R features day-time running lights in its front bumper. There is also a a revised diffuser at the rear, improving rear downforce by 10 percent.
Combined with revised canards at the front, the updated GT-R's drag coefficient is down from 0.272 to a very slippery 0.268 - compared to the 0.29 Cd of the 2010 Porsche 911.
Inside, the 2011 GT-R gets a revised instrument panel pad and navigation system display, along with new stitch lines for a more quality-focused feel. Nissan has also used a real carbon centre cluster finisher, along with matte-black switches.
The chrome-plated rings of the console and air-conditioner outlets are now finished with a new 'black smokey' coating.
There are also new seats, offering better holding in cornering and better thigh and lower-back support.
Pricing and Availability
The GT-R's mechanical and power updates have come with a hit to the pocket, but most buyers are likely to consider it acceptable, given the gains for 2011.
For the 2011 model year, the Nissan GT-R is priced from $168,800 (plus on-road costs), making a $9000 increase.