A new report out of Japan suggests that the Nissan GT-R, aka Godzilla, will be bowing out the opposite of gracefully with a high-zoot model that will mark the end of this generation.
That same report suggests it will be a bit before any replacement for the flagship performance car will reach the market.
Generally, when most folks turn 50, they throw themselves a party and reflect on their first five decades while musing about aging gracefully. The Nissan GT-R might not be renting the community hall for a soiree, but it sure has aged gracefully – at least if its engine has anything to say about it.
Sure, the Z and GT-R are older than Methuselah, thanks to Nissan’s glacier-like design cycle. However, it’s tough to argue with a hand-crafted 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 making 600 horsepower. Despite its age, this is a car worthy of your attention.
Nissan launched the GT-R as successor to the high-performance Skyline variant of the same name. Considering the old platform’s reputation as a giant slayer, expectations were incredibly high, but Nissan surpassed them when it launched the GT-R in 2007. The following year, “Godzilla” reached American shores to embarrass most everything on four wheels — getting a little faster every year until it plateaued around 2013.
While still one of the quickest vehicles most people will ever lay their chapped and quivering hands upon, the R35 GT-R is no longer impervious to counterattacks and remains fairly expensive. It’s also getting very old. A technological marvel when it debuted, the GT-R has lost its edge and has gone from a totally unbelievable sports car to one that’s just stunningly impressive.
Nissan can’t have that.
Nissan R32 GT-R owners in Japan will be able to enjoy wheeling their treasured rides around a lot longer, thanks to a program making new replacement parts available.
The parts will go on sale in Japan the first week of December as part of the new NISMO Heritage program, meaning that poorly modified R32 Godzillas hacked together in the wake of each Fast & Furious movie can now be properly restored.
Alright, at $99,990, the new Nissan GT-R Pure isn’t exactly a K-Mart blue light special. It does, however, halt Godzilla’s spiralling-into-the-stratosphere sticker price. Introduced all the way back in, uh, wow, 2008, the R35 stickered south of $70,000 at its introduction.
The GT-R did see several improvements last year to help justify the steady march of its MSRP, with refreshed styling and 20 additional horsepower. The new Pure trim cuts a few fripperies but retains the same level of performance. That sounds like a tasty recipe.
With news guaranteed to excite tire retailers everywhere, Affalterbach is introducing an even hotter version of its low-slung GT, dubbed the GT R.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R is billed as a more extreme way to get your AMG fix, with 577 horsepower, active aero, rear steering, and the owner’s manual carved into your face with a hunting knife.
Last fall, we had a typical-for-TTAC slap fight between Bark and Mark, centered around Nissan. I’ve been ruminating on this argument for months, but my conversation last week with NISMO chief Hiroshi Tamura — and seeing what Nissan chose to feature in New York — finally pushed me over the edge.
As I walked through the glass doors in the Jacob Javits Center last Wednesday morning, preparing for my first auto show as a member of the press, the automaker that’s defined much of my motoring life was front and center.
Somewhat inexplicably, Nissan had rented possibly the best, highest-traffic space in the entire hall and filled it with a tribute to a six-figure supercar, complete with a bunch of old cars the U.S. never saw when new.
The R35 Nissan GT-R is getting another facelift to keep the eight year old chassis going for 2017. The changes include a corporate “V-Motion” grille along with updated bodywork and a small boost in power.
The grille change is accompanied by an updated reinforced hood and a new front bumper treatment that is slated to give better downforce and stability. The sides and rear have also received updates to give a wider stance while the signature taillights have been kept.
The next-generation Nissan Z (which may or may not be: 1. A crossover; 2. Real; 3. Inspired by a bicycle; 4. FWD; 5. All of the above) may be less expensive than the current car, Nissan design chief Mamori Aoki told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
A lower price would appeal to a younger generation who can’t afford the Z’s current $30,000 price tag, Aoki said. Well, yeah.
Interestingly, the report notes that a less-expensive Z could make room for a more powerful Nissan sports car that isn’t called a GT-R. Aoki told the newspaper that the GT-R would remain a flagship performance car that wouldn’t compromise speed for something as silly as price. Wonderful.
After Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said they would have to reassess whether their GT-R LM program was fruitful, the company announced Friday it was pulling the car out of competition.
“We know people will be disappointed, but be assured that nobody is more disappointed than us,” said Shoichi Miyatani, president of NISMO.
The car had struggled in competition this year with one car finishing at Le Mans well behind the leaders, one disqualification and one DNF at the famed race in France.
After a less than stellar result for Nissan at the 24 Hours of LeMans this year, Carlos Ghosn has stated the program — at least in its current form — is under review.
Instead of replacing the 5.2-liter V10s found in the 2017 R8 standard and Plus models, the boosted V6 from the upcoming RS4 (or maybe a turbo five cylinder?) would slot below the naturally aspirated models.
“It is inevitable that we will go to a turbocharged motor for it at some point. It would be in this model cycle, to give us a fuller range,” Ulrich Hackenberg, who sits on Audi’s Board of Management as a technical director, told Motoring last month.
Nissan may consider building a NISMO variant of its Maxima sedan based on sales of its SR model, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.
Initial sales of the Maxima have been relatively strong so far, and Nissan said it expects 20 percent to 25 percent of its sales to be of the sportier SR model.
A performance version of the Maxima would be welcome news considering the model was nearly killed off four years ago.
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