Nissan's premium sports car, the GT-R, goes on sale this week offering enhancements in efficiency, performance, handling and driver comfort, combined with a heightened equipment level.
Nissan's fourth-generation R35 flagship model follows the evolutionary programme set out by GT-R Program director Kazutoshi Mizuno, building on the model's strengths since it was launched at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.
When it was launched the R35 Nissan GT-R created a new class of supercar and since then more than 20,000 examples have been sold worldwide.
While performance and handling were exceptional, the real achievement of Mizuno and his team was to make the car's immense potential accessible to all drivers under all conditions.
The latest GT-R, with a 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 engine, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nissan's second and last outright victory in the Bathurst 1000, achieved in 1992 by drivers Mark Skaife and Jim Richards in an Australian-built and developed R32 model Nissan GT-R Skyline.
In a world first, the 2012 GT-R has been optimised for right-hand drive markets. Accounting for the added weight of the driver in a right-hand drive vehicle coupled to the fact that the propeller shaft driving the front wheels in the car's permanent all-wheel-drive system is located on the right side of the car, the GT-R's suspension for RHD versions has been set asymmetrically.
Intake and exhaust efficiency have been significantly improved. The matching of the ports of the intake manifold and cylinder head is now even more precise, while the intake duct is made of resin rather than aluminium. These developments have decreased the resistance of airflow to the engine, increasing its performance.
Exhaust efficiency is also improved through the development of a more compact - and lighter - underfloor catalyser. By making the air/fuel ratio leaner and optimising the valve and ignition timing, the engine has achieved even greater efficiency. In addition, the clearance of the cams and valve heads is now achieved with greater precision. Through these improvements in efficiency, power output has risen from 390kW to 404kW at 6400rpm while maximum torque has increased from 612 to 628Nm between 3200 and 5800 rpm.
These gains have been maximised by precise assembly of the GT-R's engine.
The shift feel and quietness of the GT-R's six-speed dual clutch transmission have both been refined thanks to a strengthened design of the shift fork arm and a firmer fixing bearing for the flywheel housing.
A special differential oil R35 Competition Type 2189E (75W140), which was developed for competition, is now used in every version of GT-R.
To exploit the 2012 GT-R's greater power and torque, certain areas around the rear part of the engine compartment and dash panel have been reinforced to deliver more responsive handling. As a result, a greater sense of the vehicle's grip on the road is transmitted to the driver.
The current model is priced at $185,000 and the new model is expected to sell for $218,926.
Nissan New Zealand is yet to confirm how many models will be on sale here.