2013 Nissan GT-R

Considered to be one of the greatest series of road cars, the first GT-Rs were produced in 1969 (codenamed KPGC10) and soon became the flagship of Nissan performance as the Skyline GT-R. It remained as part of the Skyline family for the KPGC110, R32, R33 and R34 derivations, becoming known simply as Nissan GT-R in 2007. Since then, it has received regular enhancements, with Mizuno-san declaring in 2012 it had become the car he always hoped the GT-R to be.

Nissan GT-R "Track Pack"

Nissan Middle East launched the 2013 Nissan GT-R "Track Pack" at the Dubai Autodrome. The 2013 model year is the fifth iteration from Kazutoshi Mizuno (A.K.A. Mizuno-san), and features improved engine response in the mid- and upper-rpm rev range, increased body rigidity and specification changes to the shock absorbers, springs and front stabilizer. As a result, the vehicle's overall performance is dramatically increased, high-speed stability improved and ride quality is more refined. Additionally, a Premium Edition version is offered which features rich Semiarinin leather and custom-colored interior as fashionable interior package, further enhancing the sense of quality within the cabin.

Driving Impressions
If you look at the new car, you can't tell the difference directly. The new model isn't a big change aside from a re-tuned suspension and further weight loss by removing the back seat. At first we were ticked off when we knew that we wouldn't get to drive it, but instead Nissan had two 2012 GT-R test cars lined up on the track with professional instructors in the passenger seats. With Nissan GT-R creator Kazutoshi Mizuno and his team hanging around, this event started with a great atmosphere.

Mizuno-san started off the afternoon with a presentation on the latest updates of the GT-R, in wrecked English, but it was understandable most of the time. He introduced us to the three other top people in his project crew, the ones making sure that everything he would say is done to perfection. Surprisingly and specifically, one of them is a woman who takes care of computer data, analytics and future projects.

Nissan GT-R, the legendary supercar, has been further enhanced for the 2013 model year, offering more performance, stability, refinement and greater customization. While continuing to be available in VVIP grade for the UAE, further levels of customization have been introduced with more to follow including a unique example for Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man and champion Olympic sprinter, brand ambassador for the 315km/h GT-R and honorary "Director of Excitement".

He spoke about how a car should have the "right weight" instead of just being lightweight with a big engine. One of his examples was the Bugatti Veyron which is only good for straight lines. Mizuno-san claims that the GT-R has the right weight for its size and power. He said lightweight cars like the McLaren MP4-12C and the Porsche GT3 RS are great for cornering, but can't put the power down on the straights because they're too light.

He also mentioned that they will keep chasing the Nürburgring record publicly and with completely showroom-stock cars. He claims that certain other car makers set their own lap records using special tires that are only installed on a limited number of showroom cars before switching to normal tires for the rest of the customer cars. Either way, the latest ring time for the standard 2013 GT-R now stands at 7 minutes 18.6 seconds, shaving 3 seconds off the 2012 model's run, without an increase in power - using aerodynamics, engine-response tuning, body-strengthening and suspension-tuning alone. And it can now do the 0-100 kph run in 2.7 seconds, in perfect conditions of course.

After the detailed presentation, we headed onto the track to drive last year's models. At first we didn't know the difference. An experienced driver in the shotgun seat was enough to let me push the car to its limits and explore the edges of the GT-R's dynamics.

The car is simply easy to drive fast, with previous test drives of fast cars like the Lamborghini aventador in mind and many more; I didn't have any problem handling it. At some point on the track the car did over-steer (the desert sand landing most of the time on the track makes this kind of movement predictable), but the car electronics handled it perfectly and allowed me to continue the lap.

The Autodrome is an interesting track with some funky braking turns. On other point of the track, I managed to make it under steer for a second while coming out of a sharp turn; this made me smile for moment, only for the car's computer to kill the joy of it.

Later on, the GT-R project's head test driver, an older Japanese gentleman, gave me 2 hot laps in the new Track Pack model, where he made it under steer in practically all corners of the track. He drove with the ESP OFF most of the time (in "R" mode off course) which shows how easy it is to drive the GT-R fast. With a bit of training, everyone can drive this amazing supercar perfectly.

That, of course, would make Mizuno-san very happy because he created this car for this exact reason. "The GT-R is rightly recognized as a remarkable car. It has re-written the supercar rule book, promising exceptional performance in a car that can be driven skillfully by just about anybody in just about any road condition," according to Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer, known as the Godfather of GT-R.

Verdict
It is the most intense, single-minded and driven version of Nissan's awesome GT-R supercar!

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