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Nissan keeps adding more to its flagship GT-R sports car to help keep competing alongside its rivals. A new update for the 2012 model year in Europe pegs the engine output at an impressive 542-hp, over the previous year’s 530-hp number. Billed as a 2012 model year car overseas, this improvement, along with a slew of others, is expected to debut on a US-spec version for 2013. (US-Spec models will come officially rated at 545-hp).
Along with the improved engine output of 550 PS (542-hp) and 632 Nm (466 lb-ft), Nissan also claims improved efficiency and an enhanced transmission “feel” thanks to a new shift fork arm, a firmer flywheel housing bearing and a new differential oil.
A stiffer body structure now promises improved rigidity, while Nissan has also developed a new asymmetric suspension, with a stiffer spring rate on the left side and an imbalanced wheel load (when stationary), for right-hand drive versions. This new arrangement is designed to compensate for RHD models where the car is weighted to the right side thanks to both the location of the propeller shaft and the driver.
In addition, Nissan has announced a new track version of the GT-R for right-hand drive markets, like Japan and the UK.
GALLERY: 2012 Euro-market GT-R
In a bid to stay competitive with rivals like the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan is once again planning to increase the performance of its halo GT-R. According to new rumors the 2013 GT-R will feature modified intake and exhaust systems with added boost to generate as much as 570-hp.
For 2012 Nissan upped power considerably from the original so that the current model now makes 522-hp and 451 lb-ft of torque.
Other 2013 model year upgrades are set to include new aerodynamic and cooling adjustments, as well as transmission and suspension changes. No changes are expected for the bodywork, but look for the Premium Black Edition and Egoist to now be offered in North America.
With all these upgrades Nissan is expected to head back to the Nurburgring in search of an improved time in October. The original GT-R once held the Nurburgring production car record at 7.28, which was later topped by the Chevy Corvette and Dodge Viper. Subsequent repeat efforts have seen that time drop to 7:26.7 and most recently a 7:24.22. Even a solid gain won’t help the GT-R reclaim the title, however, with the Dodge Viper ACR recently setting a 7:12 lap time.
GALLERY: 2012 Nissan GT-R
Nissan’s product planning head has made known plans to keep the GT-R legacy alive with an all-new R36 version of the car expected to debut by at least 2013.
Global product boss Andy Palmer made the comments to the folks at PistonHeads, during a recent visit to Nissan’s Nürburgring Technical Center this week. Palmer cited the hard economic times as the reason to cut certain projects within the company, but cited the importance of the GT-R as a performance halo car. The GT-R helps brand Nissan as a performance car company, much in the same way the upcoming Leaf electric car will help give the Japanese automaker a green appeal.
Palmer didn’t say much about the R36 GT-R other than the fact that we should expect the twin-turbo V6 powerplant to stay in place, as well as the all-wheel drive setup.
Nissan is committed to its flagship sports car and aims to stick to a production schedule that will see them compete with Porsche.