The week started with an invitation to dinner with Mr Hiroshi Tamura (Mr GT-R and the current Chief Engineer on the GT-R Program), Mr Sanada (Vice President) and Mr Victor Nacif (Global Press).
The conversation was wide ranging and covered topics from the new interior of the MY14 GT-R to the Autoclave Carbon on the new Nismo GT-R. As always the Nissan team were keen to hear feedback from owners and GTR Members – of course the possibility of an R36 model, brakes and N-Attack package were all raised and it appears the R35 journey may be continuing for a good few years yet. Mr Tamura and Mr Sanada are working to improve and refine the current model and the split of the models taking the ‘standard’ car in a more GT direction (albeit a bloody quick one) and the Nismo as the out and out performance benchmark.
The N-Attack ‘package’ appears not to be a car in its own right but a set of packages which can be fitted including a brake package, rear spoiler, ECU tweak and suspension. This gives customers the chance to choose the level they wish to upgrade the car and can be dealer fit. Pricing is yet to be confirmed and we are waiting on details for how the packages will be fitted.
As the team had only flown in from Japan that morning we finished dinner early but not before introducing Mr Tamura to the Smurfmobile parked outside the restaurant.
However look what BMW did borrowing John’s colour scheme!!
We reconvened in Geneva the following Wednesday after meeting ex head of marketing for Nissan Europe Simon Croft (now with Aston Martin) and winding him up with the spoof ‘used Aston’ advert doing the rounds. If you haven’t seen it – Google is your friend.
Geneva was the usual huge show with some amazing cars on display (Mclaren P1 looks smaller than you might expect and new baby Lambo isn’t nearly ‘mental’ enough). One interesting announcement was the Infiniti complete with GT-R Engine and seven speed gearbox – an experiment for the future??
The key thing, of course, for the GTROC to see was the new Nismo GT-R in the flesh (or new Stealth Grey). At first glance it looks amazing in the new colour and the carbon parts have an exceptional weave and finish. It also looks a great deal less ‘fussy’ than the photos suggest and looks a lot more menacing than the standard car which, as we all know, is not a shy retiring violet.
Mr Tamura was keen to showcase some of the details and I think perhaps we were the only people geeky enough to enjoy the fact that the front wheel bolts are M14 not M12 as on the standard car to retain strength with increased cornering forces! I am not sure the models on the stand were convinced about three grown men crawling round a car looking at details of wheel nuts and carbon rather than their legs. What was even more impressive was the ever stylish Mr Tamura wearing grey suit, black shirt and orange tie to match car colour, carbon and brake callipers. Now that is attention to detail!
A lot had been made the price (indicated £45,000 over standard car) but when you see it in the metal it looks incredible and will be a very, very rare sight on the roads and track. To highlight the key areas which are different/upgraded:
- Full carbon skirts, splitter, large rear area and diffuser
- New carbon spoiler
- Nismo five spoke wheels (wider but same size tyres)
- Carbon backed Nismo seats (amazing, very comfortable and half electric half manual)
- Alcantara interior finish including instrument binnacle and steering wheel
- Increased power to 592 BHP with GT3 turbos and upgraded fuel pump
- Tweaked suspension
- Only 200 produced worldwide annually and approximately 20 to UK per year
Obviously it is impossible to tell how the car will be on the road as we have only sat in it but the story of one French Journalist, described as ‘demanding’ after his laps got out shouting “What have you done to it – you have turned it into a racing car” might give us some idea.
What I can say is it does genuinely feels very special. The seats are fantastic and it really has incredible presence. Whether people see the price increase over the standard car as worth it remains to be seen but with the order book apparently nearly full for the first years UK assignment it is looking like a success.
Deliveries to the UK will be around September 2014 so we look forward to seeing them arrive and at a GTROC event soon after.