The Nissan GT-R has been around for almost nine years now, with several minor facelifts along the way. Other than a new ESM-pleasing colour, how many changes can you spot on the 2017 Model Year GT-R?
Existing as a rival for the Porsche 911 Turbo, there’s a chance Nissan’s engineers have adopted the German marque’s love of incremental styling changes. But, in GT-R terms at least, the new 2017MY car actually features some relatively dramatic alterations. The splitter certainly juts out more from the revised front bumper, the leading edge of the front wings appear more pronounced, a new bonnet has appeared, and there’s new corporate grille surrounding the GT-R badge. At the sides there are more prominent sills to cut through the air easier, feeding into a revised rear end that features new vents aside the quad exhaust tailpipes.
No, it’s hardly revolutionary, but as a pure facelift it was never going to make huge changes. Nissan claims the alterations have decreased aerodynamic drag, whilst maintaining downforce at the same level of the previous version GT-R, proving this isn’t purely just a styling exercise. The addition of the distinctive ‘Katsura Orange’ paint option is all about aesthetics, however, and is meant to reflect the new car’s sophisticated character. Possibly the only time we’ve seen tango paintwork and sophisticated in the same sentence. The US-market gets the slightly less subtle name of “Blaze Orange” for the satsuma hue.
Where the GT-R has changed, for the better we’d argue, is inside with alterations that go some way to dispensing with the slightly low-rent interior of the previous car. With a new dashboard design, wrapped top to bottom in premium leather, featuring a more cohesive layout it makes the 2017 GT-R appear more of a quality product. That dedication to enhanced quality even features in the claim that the dials and switches have an improved feel and better sound. Forget worrying about steering feel; climate control knob sensation is where it’s really at in 2016.
Power from the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 has been boosted by 20hp to 565hp over the previous model, whilst torque features a tiny 4lb-ft improvement to 467lb-ft. Combined with revisions to ignition timing and turbo boost delivery, Nissan claims that the new GT-R features enhanced mid- and high-rev range performance, too. It’s a strange mixture of increased performance and additional luxury, but one that belies the demands of a competitive market. No performance figures or prices yet, but expect those before it goes on sale next month with first deliveries in the Autumn.