By Bad Seed
DSPORT Magazine: 2012 Nissan GT-R
If you own a Porsche 911 Turbo, Corvette ZR1, R32/R33/R34 Skyline GT-R or just about any of the six-figure European exotics, prepare to be pissed off. Japan's reigning mass-production supercar, just got better. How much better? Let's just say that even owners of '09, '10 and '11 GT-Rs are likely to be envious of the major improvements from the minor-change 2012 Nissan GT-R. Kazutoshi Mizuno, the Chief Vehicle Engineer and Chief Vehicle Specialist for the R35 GT-R, said it would take about three years to fulfill the promise of making the R35 GT-R a worldclass supercar after the first R35s rolled off the assembly line in late 2007. With the 2012 Nissan GT-R, Mizuno-san has lived up to his promise with the 2012 Nissan GT-R.
For the special-invitation long-lead on the 2012 Nissan GT-R, Nissan outdid itself by selecting the most incredible driving routes ever for a street evaluation. Starting from the coast and blazing through the canyons of Central California we experienced a smorgasbord of road types. There was everything from wide-open mile-long straights to the edge-of-the-cliff, "ohshit- we're-going-too-fast" off-camber drop outs. Despite the significant weight of the GT-R, it negotiated any challenge pointed in its way. The additional power and improved power curve delivered more reactive throttle response. In the earlier R35 GT-Rs, the lag of the drive-by-wire controls made the vehicle respond as if the control system had overdosed on cold medicine. With the 2012 GT-R, the driver-to-vehicle connection is now completely online. Improved steering response, improved gear-selection in the AUTO mode and increased brake response were all evident on the road to the racetrack. If you miss that lag in throttle response, a simple swap to the new "SAVE" mode delivers a noticeable reduction to improve fuel efficiency. Finally, the difference in the "COMFORT" mode setting between the 2011 and 2012 GT-R was noticeable with the 2012 doing a much better job of smoothing the bumps.
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