The 2012 Nissan GT-R has arrived in Australian showrooms, bringing with it a range of mechanical updates that make it accelerate faster and corner quicker than ever before.
Peak power from the GT-R's 3.8 litre VR38DETT twin-turbo V6 has been boosted by 14kW to 404kW, and torque has risen to 628Nm - 16Nm more than last year's model.
The torque curve has also been fattened up, and peak torque is now available between 3200 and 5800rpm.
Nissan was able to improve the GT-R's outputs by making careful refinements to the engine, with few mechanical changes.
The exhaust valves are now sodium-filled and the lower intake manifold's shape is more precisely matched to the intake ports in each head, while a leaner fuel map and revised ignition and valve timing allows the GT-R to extract more power out of less fuel.
That's right. Even though it's more powerful than any GT-R before it, the 2012 model burns just 11.7 litres of high-octane petrol per 100km - 0.3 l/100km less than the outgoing GT-R.
The gearbox has also been strengthened through the addition of a beefier flywheel bearing and more durable shift forks.
Competition-grade differential oil is now specified too, which helps improve the longevity of the GT-R's six speed twin-clutch transaxle.
Thanks to its revised powertrain and drivetrain, the GT-R now launches from zero to 100km/h in a blistering 2.8 seconds. Top speed is 315km/h, and locally-delivered GT-Rs are not fitted with an electronic speed-limiter.
The body has been reinforced behind the dashboard and around the rear of the engine, and for 2012 Nissan has equipped all RHD GT-R's with a special asymmetric suspension tune.
With both the driver and the transmission's second prop shaft sitting to the right of the GT-R's centreline, the GT-R in right-hand drive form didn't have an optimal left-right weight balance.
Nissan has rectified that by installing a firmer spring on the front left and altering the rear suspension geometry to have the left control arm facing upwards, and the right control arm facing downwards.
According to Nissan, this gives the 2012 GT-R a better dynamic balance when driven at speed, and more consistent cornering performance regardless of whether the car is turning left or right.
It's definitely faster than before, but a lack of external changes mean you'll be hard to differentiate between a 2011 and a 2012 model in traffic.
Inside it's a similar story, however a blue tinged ring inside the tachometer provides the only visual clue that you're in a 2012 GT-R
Spec levels have been slightly tweaked for 2012 too.
The high-end 11 speaker Bose audio system previously reserved for the Japanese-market Egoist grade GT-R is now standard on all Australian-delivered cars, and its rear subwoofer enclosure is now mounted on a stiffer cast-aluminium frame for better bass reproduction.
A reversing camera is now standard too, and is indispensible considering the GT-R's high rump.
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The 2012 Nissan GT-R is on sale now for $170,800 before on-roads, which is a modest $2000 increase over the sticker price of last year's GT-R.
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