Where high technology meets high performance, you find some serious automobiles. As an example, look no further than the 2012 Nissan GT-R. As the representative of Nissan's latest technology, the GT-R packs some pretty serious hardware, including a fire-breathing twin-turbo V6, a dual-clutch automated manual transmission, an advanced all-wheel-drive system and a sport-focused suspension with adaptive dampers. The GT-R's performance numbers push it into supercar category, yet the Nissan maintains a significantly lower price point.
This year the Nissan GT-R expands its performance envelope even farther. Power output rises to 530 horsepower (45 hp more than last year) and 488 pound-feet of torque (up from 434) thanks to the combination of revised turbo boost and more free-flowing intake and exhaust systems. The already impressive brakes also have been enlarged slightly to better deal with the added performance potential.
The GT-R's appearance gets a mild freshening that goes beyond just a few cosmetic tweaks. A reshaped front fascia improves cooling of the engine and brakes, while other bodywork changes reduce overall aerodynamic drag and increase downforce. Nissan says the new wheels are both lighter and stronger than before. High-intensity LED running lights might be the most visually noticeable difference for the 2012 model, however.
Within the cabin, a carbon-fiber center stack is new, as are matte-black switches and a redesigned instrument panel pad. The backrests of the front seats have been reshaped. And this year's Black Edition comes with unique wheels, seats and interior colors.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Nissan GT-R is a high-performance sport coupe with a 2+2 seating layout that is offered only in the Premium trim level.
Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels with high-performance tires, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights, Brembo brakes, an electronically adjustable suspension, leather/faux-suede upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control and an 11-speaker Bose CD/MP3 audio system with two subwoofers, satellite radio, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. Also standard is a multifunction driver-configurable information monitor and a hard-drive-based navigation system with 9.4 gigabytes available for audio storage, real-time traffic and weather.
A new GT-R Black Edition adds lightweight black wheels, a unique black and red interior and leather Recaro seats. Options are few and include a no-cost Cold Weather package (darker wheels, Dunlop all-season run-flat tires and a unique coolant-to-water ratio for faster engine warmup), a rearview camera and an extra-cost "Super Silver" paint job that has been given three layers of clear coat and then polished by hand.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2012 Nissan GT-R is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine that generates 530 hp and 488 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission routes this power to the ground via an advanced AWD system.
The previous GT-R was already one of the most impressive performers that have graced our test track, but the 2012 model positively stunned us into silence. The new GT-R reaches 60 mph in only 3.1 seconds -- more than a half-second quicker than before. The 2012 changes also improve handling, as witnessed by a 74.7-mph blast through our slalom and a sticky 1.02g on our skid pad (previously a 71.1-mph run and 1.00g, respectively).
Standard safety features on the GT-R include antilock Brembo brakes, stability control and traction control. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are also included. In Edmunds brake testing of a previous GT-R, we've recorded a best 60-0-mph stopping distance of 98 feet, which ranks among the shortest distances we've ever seen.