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Nissan GT-R: Modified Japanese on the snowy Nordschleife

Nissan GT-R on the snowy Nordschleife
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A' Rekishi no aru kuruma. ' Hashimoto-san's humble wish is for it to be a car with a history. Nothing easier than that. Such requests from the Japanese importer of chassis specialist KW are happy to give us orders. With a light heart we sacrifice ourselves to make history with this right-hand drive Nissan GT-R. An exclusive, unique, unprecedented one on top of that.

When chassis number R 35-003170 returns to the realm of the rising sun, it will have a lot on the cake. For example, the first transformation to the 'Saakitto Baajon' that was carried out with European funds. Or as one would say in this country: the evolution from the top-class super sports car to the finely honed 'club sport variant'. The GT-R painted in 'Vibrant Red' now has a wealth of experience that ennobles it to a coveted unique item in Japan. Which second of his guild can look back on such an eventful life at this early stage of existence - on hot laps in Hockenheim, including a convincingly completed measurement procedure as well as highly exclusive deeds on the Nordschleife?

Der Nissan mills its tracks in the snowy Nordschleife

Like no other of its species, number 3170 has left impressive tracks in the Eifel. Visible traces - at least until the next thaw. He was the first and probably the only one who was given the honor of milling over the snow-covered Nordschleife. A 'time attack' of the romantic kind of driving dynamics. Not in the 7,29 minutes promised by Nissan with squeezed buttocks and a stubborn look for the ideal line. 3170 was a fun means to a fun end. For illustrious and revealing 30 minutes plus with a sense of senseless beauty and a dreamy look through the side window.

Because what the highly developed all-wheel drive brings to light presses tears of joy into the corners of your eyes. Because of 480 PS as a counterproductive excess power in view of a measly grip level. The splendor of the 3.8-liter V6, flooded by two IHI turbochargers, reaches all fours with sensitivity, lightning speed and optimally dosed. In the unstable extreme case, the force is divided exactly in half. While the full force of the maximum torque of 588 Newton meters acts exclusively on the rear axle in a stable driving condition in dry conditions.

HereHow the power delivery is at least as imposing as the respectable numerical values ​​themselves. Not even the smallest dent, not even the beginning of a breather adorns the way of the rev counter from the idle base up to the 7,000-meter summit. Only then does yellow flicker next to the center of the nimble needle, then red: time to change gears. Although this expression is to be considered historically out of date in view of the well-maintained operation of the double clutch transmission.

After all, neither an overly motivated click nor any learned jumps heralds the shifting process. The union of the new gear wheel pairing takes place almost secretly. Either automatically and then in the sense of lowering consumption at low speeds extremely quickly up to the sixth. Or manually using ergonomically designed shift paddles and in the activated R mode only when the driver is really willing.

So the GT-R holds the gears if necessary and is also ready to storm into the limiter undeterred. A small technical fringe phenomenon, but it offers further breeding ground to throw yourself into a fast lap in Hockenheim in the best possible way in the course of the imposed historiography.

The structure of the GT-R leaves an extremely stable impression

And in the present case this is done with an optimized club sport that is unquestionably tightened for domestic use Coordination of the retrofitted coilover kit. Despite the now rudimentary residual comfort, the dry cushioning does not affect the substance. The structure of the GT-R leaves an extremely rigid and stable impression. And that also nourishes the conviction that the Asian challenger is based on a consistent basic construction, from the aggressive front end to the angular rear.

It is high time to dispel the myths: The all-wheel drive is initially on course with the standard Bridgestone tires (RE070 R). Sure-footed, predictable and unadorned, the relatively fat 1,765 kilograms tackle the task on the small course at Hockenheim. And do great things in the process. After the modifications to the chassis setup, the Nissan, which has been degraded to a two-seater by two Recaro shells, tends to understeer only rudimentary. So there is a bit of security in the genes of this marvel of Japanese engineering, which is somewhat top-heavy at 55.3 to 44.7 percent.

The playful charm doesn’t fall by the wayside, because the usability of the still exotic is a convincing matter of course. Just the keyboard with the shift paddles works perfectly and enables the focus on the essentials - namely on the optimal line selection. Which in view of the stubbornness of the GT-R in a positive senseIt is easy to implement.

Exact feedback from the steering

The GT-R is largely immune to changing load conditions. The active ingredient of the complex all-wheel drive system, which is equipped with plenty of sensors, works. And despite the slight inertia of the mass of the massive 20-inchers, the steering offers precise feedback. The GT-R is by no means alien to the limit range. Whether under pull or under thrust: the sturdy rear end with its transaxle complex hidden underneath never plays the gamble.

The generously dimensioned brake components from Brembo prove to be well designed for their weighty task. As far as controllability and delay are concerned, even on laps that are played quickly, the six-piston pliers do not burn anything. If something burns in this hot environment, it is the lap time with which the moderately modified GT-R glows through the Baden Motodrom.

The irrevocable proof is provided: Friends of Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen workmanship have to dress warmly. With the practiced 1.11.2 minutes, the Nissan GT-R has a 911 Turbo with sports tires (1.11.9 min) easily under control and is quite in the mood to even target a GT2 (1.09.7 min).

At least that's the plan, with the help of a changed wheel-tire combination. 10.5 inches at the front and 11 x 20 inches at the back should do the job. Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST tires stretch over the OZ rims, as also adorned the series GT-Rs that will be delivered from April. However, in the present case, the Nippon steam ram now carries 285 mm rollers at the front and rear in order to hide that last bit of understeer as best as possible.

Elasticity is not the strongest discipline

At least that is the theory. But the weather god uses his veto. No further representative round is to be thought of on the damp terrain. However, the implementation of the obligatory elasticity measurements. And they bring the realization that the nominally blessed with more torque and at least almost 200 kilograms lighter 911 Turbo has nothing to fear, at least in this discipline. Especially in higher speed ranges, the Swabian hurries up and away from the Japanese.

The premature end of the story? Not at all! After all, the deeds that this Japanese harbinger of the 2,500 GT-Rs already ordered in Europe are doing right from the start are simply splendid. Established athletes look old, experienced testers can't believe their eyes. The brilliant sprint on damp floors borders on lazy magic and is anything but witchcraft: The launch control, which is armed in the R position, achieves great things in combination with the all-wheel drive system. For the almost slip-free jump to 100 km /h, even in wet conditions, a fabulous 3.5 seconds are sufficient. In an equally convincing 12.4 seconds, the transferNissan then the 200 mark.

The measured values ​​alone would provide enough material to go down in the history books. But the temptation is too great to assign another chapter to number 3170. That whimsical dance between Hatzenbach and Tiergarten. As a foreword and dreamy epilogue for his great driving dynamics at the same time.

Hydraulic Lift System as a retrofit option

Because - purely by chance, of course - a 20 inch large winter wheel set is within easy reach. And because the chunks of snow in front of the entrance to the exclusively open Nordschleife are not a significant obstacle. Thanks to the retrofitted hydraulic lift system that can be activated at the push of a button, the Nissan is now raised by 45 millimeters at the front and rear. From 80 km /h it automatically lowers again and plows on the white parquet in the direction of Hatzenbach.

The two chargers whisper only softly and the spontaneously appealing V6 sets the subtle, bass-heavy key. The dance begins. Accelerators take over the lead, while steering impulses only act as small correction factors. The slippery, white carpet brings it to light again: The all-wheel drive system is designed for the highest possible driving dynamics.

For this purpose, a battalion of sensors records lateral and longitudinal acceleration, slip, steering and yaw angles. The essence of the optimal torque distribution calculated from this is electro-hydraulically portioned. And to top it all off, a limited-slip differential on the rear axle rounds off the tasty drivetrain. The high-tech effort makes an impression. The GT-R thunders towards the airport as stoically as a Shinkansen. Plows moodily across all fours around the Aremberg curve to unabashedly rush through the Fuchsröhre. The positive acceleration burns deep into the brain stem. On the other hand, the negative counter-movement is only a shadow of itself in this run.

So just don't lose your rhythm, especially not when driving down from the Hohe Acht. Commuting, accelerating, aiming for the target, and then 1.7 tons frivolously heave themselves out of the corner under full load while the flakes dance all around. With a loose swing of your hips into the well and just as lasciviously prancing rear out again. It's your own fault if nobody camps here today. They would be contemporary witnesses of a unique guest performance. In the end, the gallows head remains for a final drifting greeting. Then the long white ribbon at Döttinger Höhe R 35 - 003170 shows the way home. Sayonara. It was an honour. A deep bow to the achievements and out of respect for the future stories that this Nissan sports car will undoubtedly write.


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