570hp Nissan GT-R 17MY at the 2016 New York Auto Show

With an all-new model still some way off, Nissan gives the GT-R its biggest round of revisions in almost 10 years

Nissan GT-R MY17Nissan has revealed a facelifted 2017 model year GT-R 17MY at the 2016 New York Auto Show. At first glance, it looks like a simple facelift, but there’s more at work here than first meets the eye – and we don’t just mean that striking new bright metallic orange colour…

Why has Nissan introduced the GT-R 17MY?

The current-shape GT-R is not the freshest car around: it was launched almost a decade ago, and Nissan hasn’t really evolved it much since. Because it’s looking unlikely we’ll get an all-new version much before 2020, the Japanese firm has thus taken the knife to the current car, to both make it look more modern and address customer demands for a bit more performance but a lot more comfort.

The 17MY Godzilla is still extreme, but it’s a bit more plush and cosseting along with it…

Nissan GT-R 17MY: in the metal at New York

The 17MY GT-R looks… familiar. That’s because it is – this is a facelift of a car that’s been around since 2007, remember. But saying that, there is enough in the metal to interest the performance car enthusiasts this car attracts so strongly, not least the introduction of Nissan’s new ‘V-motion’ matt-finish design signature grille. It’s bigger to provide more engine cooling, while an all-new bonnet boasts extra reinforcement to improve high-speed handling. Downforce-inducing front spoiler lip and bumper finish add yet more aggression to Godzilla.

There’s a lot more going on at the rear too. New bodywork improves airflow and there are now side air vents next to the quad exhausts. Nissan says this cleverly creates less drag without affecting downforce generation. Also check the greater use of matt black in the lower body, making the car look wider and more modern. Fancy new Y-spoke 20-inch alloys complete the facelift.

Inside the Nissan GT-R 17MY in New York

Nissan GT-R 17MY

In images, the Nissan GT-R 17MY doesn’t look like it’s been transformed, but believe us, it has. The dashboard and instrument panel are all-new (despite looking similar to the old one) and are now covered in in TAKUMI precision-stitched leather. The new fascia is driver-orientated and, interestingly, has a ‘horizontal flow’ to its shape that Nissan says gives a sense of increased stability for front-seat passengers.

Infotainment is all-new, paddleshifters are now mounted to the steering wheel and the number of buttons has been seriously reduced – from 27 in the old car to 11 in the 17MY variant. Oh, and both paddleshifters and ventilation control ‘sound’ better when used.

Even better infotainment

The gadget-packed infotainment screen of the old GT-R, with its multitude of functions, gauges and displays, was always a highlight. Nissan’s kept this feature-packed excitement but fitted a better, bigger eight-incou touchscreen that now has large icons on the display screen so it’s easier to operate.

There’s a new display command control on the carbon fibre centre console that further helps ease of operation.

Katsura Orange multi-layer paint option

Nissan GT-R 17MY

Nissan has introduced a new paint option for the 17MY GT-R: Katsura Orange, which can be seen on the NYIAS show car. A multi-layer paint finish, it gives a particularly rich and deep look that, with the GT-R’s enhanced front end and crisp black lower body sections, ensures it really stands out despite its familiar profile.

There are more colours inside as well: a new tan option joins red, ivory and black.

Engines: 570-horsepower for the TAKUMI-built 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6

Nissan has retained the familiar GT-R 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 that’s hand-built by a single TAKUMI master technician. Despite expectations, it hasn’t been power-boosted to the round 600-horsepower of the GT-R Nismo, but to a lesser (but still potent) 570-horsepower.

Nissan’s not released performance figures yet but says the boost will be felt most at mid- to high-range engine speeds, although the enhanced sound from a new titanium exhaust should be delivered all the time. The six-speed dual-clutch transmission is also now smoother and less noisy.

Tech: handling honed, ride smoothed

Nissan says suspension has been further honed and the bodyshell has been stiffened, which means the GT-R 17MY will be able to corner at higher speeds and be more stable through switchback transitions. It’s done this while improving comfort at the same time: ride quality is much smoother, reckons Nissan, whole new sound absorption materials mean the cabin is quieter at higher speeds.

It’s “the most comfortable model to date, with a new sense of elegance and civility that one would rarely find in such a high-performance supercar,” says GT-R chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura. It is, he feels, “the ultimate GT that possesses amazing performance, newfound civility and a rich racing history”.

When does the Nissan GT-R 17MY arrive in showrooms?

The revised Nissan GT-R 17MY will be available in the autumn, says Nissan. Prices are to be announced but shouldn’t be too far removed from today’s levels – it’s not an all-new car after all…

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