By BOB GRITZINGER | Contributing Editor The instrument panel "Driving…
Godzilla made a pit stop in Washington, D.C. yesterday. No, not that Godzilla — the one that Nissan enthusiasts have been creating a stir over since its introduction in the United States in 2008. We’re talking about the 2017 Nissan GT-R.
We sat down with Senior Manager of Product Planning for Nissan, Robert “Bob” Munson, to get the skinny on the updated GT-R. While this GT-R isn’t a complete overhaul, Nissan has made several updates to the 2017 model year to make its fanboy favorite more refined.
So, what’s new with the GT-R?
- Carbon fiber accents on the center console
- Simplified head unit, taking it from 27 buttons to 11
- Moved the shift levers from the steering column to the wheel
- 565 hp, a 20 hp increase thanks to individual ignition-timing controls (brought down from Nismo)
- Stiffened body for full range of use of the suspension
- Added insulation, including acoustic glass, for a quieter ride
- Available titanium exhaust
- Hand-crafted, luxurious interior
- All-wheel-drive (AWD)
- “V-motion” Nissan grille
- New hood, better reinforced for high-speed driving
- Carve-outs on the side sills for the convenience of driver and passenger entry/exit
It was a warm, sunny afternoon at Hains Point, an island smack dab in the middle of the Potomac River, separating Virginia and D.C. The guest of honor showed up to the intimate event in Blaze Orange with a Rakuda Tan interior. Surprisingly, the somewhat terra cotta orange leather pairs well with the exterior paint. “This color is very special; it’s a four-stage process,” Munson commented. “It makes a statement in sunlight and in the dark.”
“A super car deserves to have a bold statement color.” — Robert Munson, Senior Manager of Product Planning for Nissan
For this model year, Nissan focused its efforts on fine-tuning the GT-R, functioning as more of a touring vehicle by day and switching into “beast mode” at night. The 2017 Nissan GT-R gets powered by a twin-turbocharged V6. “Also, this is a different type of performance car,” Munson went on to say. “This one is a V6, for example; and a very high output — almost a 100 horsepower per cylinder. It’s also all-wheel-drive. Those kinds of things make this vehicle unique.”
The company has special engineers, called “Takumi”, who hand-build each and every engine with precision and care. We had an opportunity to watch them take apart the GT-R engine at the 2016 NY Auto Show; it was an incredible sight to see.
“The GT-R is a unique, Japanese-flavored super car. It’s something that needs to be experienced.”
“The titanium exhaust is not just there because it’s light,” Munson told us. “It doesn’t have as wide a range of frequency of noise. What that allows us to do is to better optimize the capabilities of the Bose ANC [Active Noise Control] system so that we can have a much better cabin environment.”
“We did everything we can to try to let the person just enjoy the driving.”
The GT-R hasn’t arrived at dealerships yet, but Munson assures us pricing and sales information will be announced soon, hinting at the arrival of the 2017 Nissan GT-R at U.S. ports.