AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
Rumors regarding the next-generation Nissan GT-R started surfacing late last month, perhaps hinting that there wouldn’t be a successor to the popular sports car. The GT-R’s chief engineer debunked those rumors though, and it appears that the automaker is planning for the next GT-R to debut in 2018.
Nissan‘s GT-R was touted as a supercar killer for half the price, but it looks like the redesign of the car has yet to be approved by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
A source close to the project let slip to Inside Line that development of the next gen GT-R hasn’t even been started yet, because the project has yet to be given the go ahead. Some subtle changes have been given to the GT-R over its five year run, but nothing that can be considered major.
Rumors have already been swirling around the redesign, saying that the new GT-R could possibly be a hybrid, and have over 600 hp. Yet, if what Inside Line says is true, no development has even started on the car yet.
Ghosn’s latest pet project was the all-electric Nissan Leaf, which is on the other end of the spectrum compared to the GT-R, possibly marking a new direction for the company. Chief GT-R engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno also recently retired, another factor that weighs against bringing the GT-R back to life in a new form.
[Source: Inside Line]
Following in the footsteps of the likes of the AMG driving academy and Ferrari’s winter driving school, Nissan now offers the GT-R experience to owners of the supercar who want the chance to learn from driving professionals on a proper race track.
Last February, the 2013 Nissan GT-R Experience kicked off by inviting existing owners of the 2012 Nissan GT-R to get some real life track experience in their cars; best of all, it’s there’s no added cost (excluding the near $100,000 you will pay for the car). Three different tracks were chosen to host the GT-R Experience based on where the most GT-R’s have sold in the U.S. Laguna Seca in California, Monticello Motor Club in New York and Palm Beach Raceway were chosen.
The GT-R experience is organized by the Skip Barber racing school and aims to teach car control while demonstrating the vehicle’s true track capability. Driving exercises include side by side drag racing to show off the GT-R’s launch control, an autocross competiton, on track instruction and a slalom.
Infiniti appears to have some impressive products in its pipeline, including a next-generation G powered by a twin-turbo V6 with 530 hp.
The relationship between the Japanese automaker and Mercedes-Benz is picking up full steam and will go beyond the upcoming Benz-based compact. For 2014, Infiniti will be producing next-generation four-cylinder engines for both Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models at its Nissan Tennessee plant. And as we reported before, the first C-segment hatchback will be produced by Magna Steyr in Austria.
Nissan is out to prove a point on just how formidable the Club Track Edition GT-R is. This year, the Japanese automaker will bring a production version of the Club Track Edition GT-R to compete in the 24 hours at Nürburgring endurance race.
Nissan said that competing in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with a factory model GT-R will allow them to collect data to help improve the GT-R over the next five years. We’re sure that’s part of the reason, the other is clearly to prove how great the GT-R is in factory form.
Now skeptics will probably say it’s not a production model vehicle if Nissan so much as swaps its tires, but so long as they don’t touch the powerplant, suspension, or brakes with any modifications – it’s factory in our eyes. But no doubt Nissan is looking to play a little bit in the Europeans’ backyard, potentially trumping modified Porsches, BMWs, and Mercedes-Benz’s in a GT-R model that rolls off the dealership showroom floor.
Watch the video below of the Nissan team readying the GT-R for the race.
The engineering wizards of Nissan continue to massage more power and performance into their halo GT-R.
As a MY 2013, Nissan has just released its right-hand-drive Nissan GT-R Track Pack for the Japan, UK, Australia and South Africa markets this month. While initial reports suggested that the Track Pack is intended as a right-hand-drive exclusive, Nissan has announced that the hard-core package will be available in left-handed markets as well.
Despite being available in right-hand-drive markets right now, the dates for the other markets are unknown at this point. However, a source suggests left-hand-drive production begins in May. Unfortunately, the Russian, Ukraine and US market are omitted from the initial offerings, but as a hollow triumph, we’re relieved to know it’s not out of the question.
The Track Pack was designed for drivers that want a more authentic experience on a racetrack. Offering a harder edge while remaining road legal, the Track Pack horsepower rating will remain the same as Nissan is not concerned with the GT-R’s power, but more focused on its delivery. the Track Pack sports new cooling vents, front and rear, to increase the airflow over the brakes, dropping the temperature by as much as 100 degrees when driven hard.
Suspension has also been worked on, as different spring rates optimize track stability. Finally, performance Recaro front seats help keep the driver snug while the rear seats are removed for weight. Another weight saving measure, the Nissan GT-R Track Pack gets signature lightweight six-spoke RAYS alloy wheels with a black gloss finish as well.
A limited production model, look for the Track Pack emblem on the center console.
GALLERY: Nissan GT-R Track Pack
Marking the 50th anniversary of the legendary Alpine A110 Berlinette rally racing car, rumors of an all-new Renault Alpine concept for the 2012 Paris Motor Show started circulating.
Details are limited for now but some information is available from Renault marketing director Stephen Norman, who says the new Alpine will follow the path of a lightweight sports car but will not be a stripped down track weapon. He added that the performance sports car would be “made to the highest specification. We can’t come out with something that has wind-up windows and rubber mats,” he said.
The Alpine revival powertrain will seek existing components from the Renault and Nissan parts bin to save cost on an additional parts supplier. While that might not seem exciting at the surface, it also means there’s a chance the Alpine could be based on the Nissan GT-R.
Stay tuned for more details and developments as we draw closer to the Paris Auto Show.
[Source: World Car Fans]
An old nemesis is making a return to Australia’s V8 Supercar series. From 1990 through 1992, the Nissan Skyline GT-R dominated the Australian Touring Car Championship series, running rings around Holden and Ford V8′s. During the 1991 Bathurst 1000, the GT-R even set a top-speed record that could not be matched for nine years. Finally, in 1992, Australia’s racing body charged a weight penalty and a boost pressure reduction in an attempt to level the playing field. However, that failed to slow the GT-R down as it continued to dominate its last season before new rules that required V8 powerplants banned the GT-R’s entry.
After a decade, the Nissan GT-R once again returns to the stage under the the Supercar V8′s Car of the Future program, a new project encouraging a wider variety of automakers to join the series. What’s more, Mark Skaife, the man behind the Car of the Future program, was a former GT-R racer that won many of Nissan’s victories in Australia during the early ’90s.
In order to meet the current V8 Supercar regulations, Nissan’s race car will be forced to use a generic rear-wheel-drive, V8 drivetrain. Despite the fact that it will not be an authentic GT-R racing alongside the fire breathing Aussie V8s, we do look forward to seeing more and more automakers following Nissan’s example to freshen up the Bathurst grid. So far, four GT-R’s under Kelly Racing will be participating in the 2013 season.
Watch video of the announcement below:
Nissan Motorsports International (NISMO) has made the release of the GT3-spec GT-R official, pricing it at around $388,000 based on today’s conversion rates.
A joint project between NISMO and JR Motorsports (JRM), the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 packs a 3.8L V6, twin-turbo powerplant that is seen in the factory production model, but pumps out 523-hp. It may sound odd that it has slightly less horsepower than the factory 2013 GT-R with 545-hp, but it’s probably been tuned to GT3 regulations.
What you do get, however, is a GT-R packed with fully adjustable suspension, a gutted-out interior with a full roll cage, extra cooling ducts and an aggressive aero package. Power on the GT3 GT-R will be delivered through a six-speed, semi-automatic paddle-shift system. Those ordering the race-ready GT-R will receive support from NISMO if you’re in Japan, Asia, North or South America and Oceania, while JRM will support Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
Nissan has announced its new U.S. pricing for the revised 2013 GT-R sports car. At $96,820 USD for the GT-R Premium and $106,320 USD for the Black Edition, the new 2013 model year gains a horsepower boost from 530-hp to 545-hp, while torque increases from 448 lb-ft to 463 lb-ft. To handle the increase in power, Nissan has further fine-tuned the suspension for better performance and handling as well as comfort.
Additional standard equipment available in 2013 models include a RearView Monitor, Nissan Navigation System providing XM NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather capabilities, and Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System. As for the more expensive Black Edition, it receives special lightweight forged aluminum RAYS wheels, a unique red and black interior with leather Recaro sport seats, and a new dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler. The handmade dry carbon-fiber spoiler is only available in a limited monthly production run, featuring a unique coating that allows the carbon fiber weave to be felt by the touch.
Nissan engineers take pride in the continuous advancement of their flagship supercar. Last year, aerodynamic revisions with double rectifier fins and integrated LED running lights allowed the GT-R to increase downforce while reducing drag.