Diversity can be a great thing, especially when you're dealing with the latest and greatest update of one of the world's most respected supercars. Shown within hours of each other in Tokyo and Los Angeles, the revamped 2015 Nissan GT-R and its new ultra-spec alter-ego, the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo prove there's still plenty of cool left in this iconic all-wheel-drive road rager. Where the former has been revamped to deliver even greater refinement in everyday driving, the latter bursts onto the scene with the sole purpose of becoming "the ultimate" variation on the GT-R theme.
Seen here in its new Gold Flake Red Pearl paint, the standard 2015 Nissan GT-R retains the existing 545-horsepower/3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine but gains a bit more curbside kick thanks to redesigned front/rear lighting. Full LED headlamps that include Nissan's Adaptive Front Lighting System are matched with restyled LED taillamps that display a more coherent circular pattern when lit. It's also learned a new trick: all of the exterior illumination comes alive on startup to add a bit more drama to the presentation. The 2015 GT-R also offers a new pale ivory trim choice to perk up its passenger compartment. However, the most tangible changes to this super coupe for 2015 involve a comprehensive revamping of its chassis tuning that improves both control and compliance.
The new GT-R's remake starts with revisions to the programming of its electronic damping system coupled with modifications to the front stabilizer bar and bushings that give the car a more confident feel, particularly on rough roads. Low-speed steering effort also has been reduced and braking feel enhanced thanks to a firmer, more linear pedal. The lightweight 20-inch RAYS alloy wheels are now wrapped in Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT tires -- 255/40 up front and 285/35 at the rear - which Nissan claims improve overall traction as well as sharpens steering response during hard cornering.
On the opposite side of this Jekyll and Hyde coin is the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo. Officially the fastest variant ever, it blatantly announces its bad intentions to the world courtesy of a comprehensive Nismo body kit that was developed using F1-style computational fluid dynamics simulation techniques. The revamped fascias, engine undercover strake and rear carbon rear spoiler add an air of well-deserved menace to its appearance while helping lower the center of gravity as it generates an additional 220 lb of downforce at 186 mph compared to its baseline GT-R sibling -- all while maintaining the same superb 0.26 coefficient of drag. That "I play to win" attitude continues into the cabin treatment which features Nismo touches like Recaro sport seats, unique instrument graphics plus red accent stitching on the seats, console and door panels along with carbon-look accent trim.
As for the getting down to the business of being seriously quick, the 2015 GT-R Nismo benefits from an equally comprehensive upgrading of its engine and suspension. The standard twin turbochargers on the car's potent 3.8-liter V6 engine have been replaced with larger, high-flow units used on the GT-R GT3 competition model while an upgraded fuel pump and optimized ignition timing control also do their part to help crank engine output to 600 horsepower while boosting max torque from 463 lb-ft to 481 peak twist units. The extra muscle should help it manage to complete the benchmark 0-60 mph sprint in less than 2.5 seconds, and its recent 7:08.679 clocking around the famed Nürburgring Nordschliefe circuit stands as the best time of any volume-production car to date.
To ensure cornering prowess matches its straight-line speed, the Nismo team addressed this ultra-GT-R's chassis revamp with equal zeal, also looking to the GT3 for inspiration. The Nismo GT-R's strategically reinforced body structure works in conjunction with unique suspension components including custom-spec springs and Bilstein DampTronic adjustable shocks that offer Comfort, Normal, and "R" settings. The geometry also has been reworked and roll stiffness increased to enhance stability in corners and transitions. The final piece in the dymamic puzzle is a set of bespoke Nismo tires that are the same size as the base model GT-R but here wrap around custom 6-spoke alloys that recall the look of Nissan's classic GT500 racer.
The 2015 Nissan GT-R goes on sale in Japan shortly and will be arriving in the U.S. early next year. The 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo will hit showrooms here slightly later. No word yet on pricing for either model.
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