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MOTORTREND: Best Drivers Car 2016 Featuring 2017 GTR



A perennial Best Driver's Car candidate, the Nissan GT-R has shown well but never reached the podium. Could this finally be the year? With the most extensive updates to the car to date, there's compelling on-paper case to be made.

The 2017 GT-R updates start at its core, where its frame has been strengthened to reduce chassis flex. Moving outward, an updated interior is more comfortable and less cluttered. The engine has been upfitted with GT-R NISMO ignition control technology, which adds 24 horsepower and 4 lb-ft of torque for 565 and 467, respectively. More important than the peak numbers, the powerband has been broadened and flattened for more linear response. The seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, meanwhile, has been smoothed out with new control software.

Out in the wind, a new nose greatly increases engine-cooling capacity, and a new rear diffuser, a stiffer hood, and massaged creases keep the drag coefficient unchanged. At the corners, updated active dampers and Dunlop tires work with stronger suspension mounting points to tighten up the handling. Steel Brembo brakes are on stopping duty, pulling against super lightweight Rays wheels.



RANDY SAYS

At turn-in, it will rotate, and I found I had to be a little careful with that. I thought I could just throw the thing into the corner, but this GTR is not a big fan of that. In fact, it doesn’t like it at all. It’ll get too loose at turn-in. Once the weight transfers all the way over and you’re trying to aim for the apex, it starts to understeer if I’ve got too much speed. So it does not like a heavy trail brake late in the brake zone. I had to be a little gentler with my entry, a little more precise, a little more measured with the corner entry. And then the power was very strong. There’s a big surge of torque. It’s got strong, what I would call, midrange, which is probably around 4,000-4,500 rpm, so I found myself having to apex later, and then it actually drove out of the corner real nicely. But I had to be a little bit patient with the throttle or in third gear up. Third or fourth would cause understeer. It would cause understeer as a result of the power more than anything. It just accelerates so hard that it runs wide. So you need a nice late apex. It’s also softer than I recall, much softer. I remember GT-Rs being known for being quite stiff, right? And I found it a little frustrating that I have an R mode, and it’s still soft. And the balance was actually pretty good once I kind of got it a little bit figured out not to overdo it. Historically, GT-Rs could be driven more aggressively. And this car was not rewarding that. I had to be a little bit more precise and then it actually felt like we were going pretty fast. I’ve got a feeling this is probably a much better street car. The NISMO was much more race car.



78 Comments

Nissan is not focused on our types I fear.
Will R36 happen and will that be a luxury oriented sled?
No one should be really surprised with the results............
Here is the reason............
Nissan spent 50,000,000 to develop the GTR so they must get ROI.
! R and D spending to create the GTR
2 deliver the greatest supercar in the world in 2008/09
3 Come with the Nismo in 2015 that sets the record at the ring
4 become every other cars manufacturers target and goal
5 make sure you have lots of negitive posts about the GTR until you can actually equal the GTR ( Porsche and Ferrari owners etc. )
6 MILK THE PRODUCT FOR 4 YEARS TO MAKE A PROFIT ( 2016 / 2017 / 2018 )

Now for the good part............
Come out with the next worlds greatest supercar in 2019 .............. MAYBE......... ?????????????

The GTR still remains so easy to mod to 700 /800 HP for the street, why do we care what Road and Track says .............

No one should be really surprised with the results............
Here is the reason............
Nissan spent 50,000,000 to develop the GTR so they must get ROI.
! R and D spending to create the GTR
2 deliver the greatest supercar in the world in 2008/09
3 Come with the Nismo in 2015 that sets the record at the ring
4 become every other cars manufacturers target and goal
5 make sure you have lots of negitive posts about the GTR until you can actually equal the GTR ( Porsche and Ferrari owners etc. )
6 MILK THE PRODUCT FOR 4 YEARS TO MAKE A PROFIT ( 2016 / 2017 / 2018 )

Now for the good part............
Come out with the next worlds greatest supercar in 2019 .............. MAYBE......... ?????????????

The GTR still remains so easy to mod to 700 /800 HP for the street, why do we care what Road and Track says .............


Dreams can come true too
I really don't like the way they went with the new gtr. Its very disappointing. But maybe they want the nismo to stay on top, good for me lol
Interesting results in the stock card. But I'm not too worried about it. Most of us on here mod to FBO levels anyway so the 2017 performance should be same as other DBAs.
R35 is dead, beat by almost everything and just slightly ahead of a Camaro. Time has not stood still and for all intents and purposes the GT-R has. We have been saying it for 2 or 3 years now, that the platform was game changing in 2008, but it really is time for a change. I just fear that Nissan is not going to make it happen.

I really want to see something similar to the current R35, something boxy, Gundam like, but with modern materials more carbon fiber, an updated transmission and suspension geometry. Perhaps a redesigned engine like a 90 degree V6, with a turbo in the valley using a split pulse housing. Something that is once again game changing.
At this rate in a couple of years the GTR will be known notoriously for "that car which can only accelerate in straight lines and does nothing on tracks..." Sounds like an old american muscle... the tide has officially turned... SMH

Interesting results in the stock card. But I'm not too worried about it. Most of us on here mod to FBO levels anyway so the 2017 performance should be same as other DBAs.


The 2017 already has more power than older GTR and it is going slower....so looks like more power isn‘t going to solve much...don‘t you think?
GTR 2017 is going slower on the track due to softer suspension setup. If it had the same suspension as the 2012 with the same 565 hp, I think it would be faster on the track in Motor Trends test.
it is the suspension and it really started with the 2016 as this was probably the worst review ever of an R35

http://www.motortren...t-r-comparison/
I am really disappointed by the results. New car with more power is supposed to be quicker but it is slower! Performance was sacrificed for luxury.

MC please pass our message to Nissan that we are disappointed and unless they step up their game, they will need serious convincing to sell future GTRs or R36 if it ever comes out!
You would have that the world has ended reading these posts. GTR's are still very fast and capable cars.

The sun will come tomorrow and yes people (even car enthusiasts will still respect the GTR).
The grass is always greener on the other side. I don't have my GTR anymore, but I did just buy a Shelby GT350. Its amazing in the corners and it sounds like you're raping a Satan spawned daemon. But that's really the only good thing about it, the quality is horrible, none of the panels are the same gap, the bumper weight is causing the rear bumper to sag, and my headliner is now coming off.--I think, I should have never got rid of my black edition. This new car is like like a 1/2 a second slower that previous models, and lets be honest who tracks a stock gtr all day long for time? I havent taken the GT350 to the track yet, but I highly doubt I'd be as fast as I was in my GTR. AND FYI most people are paying between 5 to 10 k over for a new GT50, and like 25,000-50,000 for a R version. That is GTR territory. Also the R version is pretty much a track car, it would suck to DD, my gt350 isn't as nice to drive on the street as the GTR. So yeah,,, that's 8WOODs review, having owned both cars(2014 GTR).
For the people saying that the normal GTR is for touring and that the Nismo is for track numbers, thE nismo is barely faster at all.

Check the times of Car and Drivers Lightning Lap... a Grandsport is like 6 seconds faster than the nismo:( lol
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Sigmund Freud
Sep 22 2016 07:22 AM
@8wood

thx for pointing that out. I realized the same when I went to look at the new Z06 and 5 years back when I had a peek at the at the time hyped Zr1 corvette.

It seems like american automakers can't by the help of jesus put a high quality piece of automobile together.
No matter how much the car costs, I just hope the new ford gt will have no issues but I fear it will.

The Fords are in my op amongst US cars the best built, Viper and Corvette are horrendous in interior and exterior quality. Gaps in chasis, the interior bascially looks good new but 5 months in and out.. all materials are worn and just look like shit.

The Gtr is a entire different level here, the quality is good overall even though you have plastic..

Actually a point that I came across was sitting in a Lp700 and than a Hurracan. The Hurracan has way more plastic inside the cabin but held up so much better and overall has a way nicer interface and layout.

With the new interior of the Gtr they have given up all the unique interface, the one of a kind look and feel when you get in a Dba, paddles and mfd screen basically lexus like (2017)

Big big mistake in terms of marketing for Nissan the 2017 model.

it is the suspension and it really started with the 2016 as this was probably the worst review ever of an R35

http://www.motortren...t-r-comparison/


Were the 15 to 16 changes in suspension that dramatic? Or would this really reflect the change from 14 to 15 and 16 mostly carried over.

Just curious. I was under the assumption that the 15's and 16's were virtually the same except for the wheels.

You would have that the world has ended reading these posts. GTR's are still very fast and capable cars.

The sun will come tomorrow and yes people (even car enthusiasts will still respect the GTR).


Exactly...other than people on these forum, nobody is going to say "but your 2017 is 5/10ths slower than the earlier model at <insert your track>".

I understand the sentiment about the direction of the new gtr, but until you are really getting 100% out of the car and compete seriously, it does not really matter in real life...cba vs dba vs 2017....:D



Were the 15 to 16 changes in suspension that dramatic? Or would this really reflect the change from 14 to 15 and 16 mostly carried over.

Just curious. I was under the assumption that the 15's and 16's were virtually the same except for the wheels.


the softening really began more in 2015 as 2014 was still a Mizuno based car and its big change was some complicated center of gravity change with the suspension. 2015 was the first one that was part of the GT and R "split" but 16 had some further suspension tweaks like they do every year. so it was more a process than an overnight but 2016 is the first year the understeer comments popped back up in reviews.

For the people saying that the normal GTR is for touring and that the Nismo is for track numbers, thE nismo is barely faster at all.

Check the times of Car and Drivers Lightning Lap... a Grandsport is like 6 seconds faster than the nismo:( lol


Car and Driver uses their different editors as drivers and they do the laps over a 3-4 day period each year. that Grandsport time they laid down is also faster than a Porsche GT3 Mclaren 570 and Huracan and almost tied with a GT3 RS. the NISMO was 4 secs quicker than a DBA by that same logic

instead of reading mag results there Ive been driving GTRs at VIR since 2008 and the NISMO is a total different experience in both cornering and probably 7mph faster on the back stretch
GTR Finished 10th out of 12


For its ninth model year, the GT-R has been revised to make it a kinder, gentler Godzilla. The new interior is “a step up,” Loh said. “Screens are bigger and have crisper graphics, and materials are nicer. But it’s a pretty mild step up, one that doesn’t take the GT-R a level beyond.”
Other changes were far more noticeable. The carryover six-speed dual-clutch transmission wasn’t perfectly silent, but it didn’t make the constant gear-gnashing racket earlier cars did. Additional sound-deadening measures and a softer suspension conspired to make this a much more livable monster. “If there’s one thing the GT-R has lacked since its debut, its refinement,” Walton said. “This one didn’t crash on its suspension, knocking fillings lose, and the driveline and diffs weren’t always whining and clunking away. This GT-R displayed a fluidity the old ones didn’t.”


The GT-R has gone gray.


That’s all good news—but the GT-R’s raison d’être was always speed, not livability. And it’s still got the straight-line speed thing nailed, albeit somewhat diminished by heat and California’s 91-octane gas. As usual, the GT-R was much, much happier with a bottle of octane booster in the tank; it was the only contestant that regularly suffered indigestion on 91.


Thanks to narrow, hard bolsters, several editors felt they were sitting on top of the seats rather in them—and the GT-R’s driving position is much higher than many of the other competitors. Markus said that the big, heavy GT-R “has always felt like one of those cars that, where the laws of physics are concerned, resorts to large-scale technical bribery to work around them, whereas the McLaren merely exploits all the loopholes in them.”

This time, the bribery extends to body roll. Even with the adjustable suspension in its stiffest R setting, the GT-R was noticeably softer than previous versions. In corners, it settled into significant understeer—remedied by its otherworldly ability to explode forth in a neutral drift at full throttle. Aged or not, this all-wheel-drive system is still incredible in its ability to rocket out of corners.

On track, Pobst also noticed the softness, pointing out that he “used to be able to throw the thing into a corner, but this GT-R doesn’t like that at all; it gets too loose at turn-in.” He also noted mid-corner understeer and long brake-pedal travel. The former could be nixed with power, and the latter seemed to have no effect on braking distances, only Pobst’s confidence in the system.

The lap time speaks for itself—the GT-R was once king of the road, but it’s obvious that time has moved on.

And therein lies the problem with this Nissan, and indeed with any numbers car locked in time. Once the incredible numbers are no longer incredible, you’re left with the experience. In the case of the GT-R, that experience just isn’t as organic, thrilling, or cohesive as some of the other cars here. We’ll always love Godzilla, but like the rest of us, our monster has gone a bit soft in the last decade
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Worlds greatest drag race video will be tomorrow. Spoiler..... GTR has the 3rd fastest 1/4 of the 12 cars
Randy P. did not like the GTR years ago because it was so good and you could really attack the course being an average JOE.

Fast forward today ............. He could not attack the course like in the past............

MAKE UP YOUR MIND..... RANDY............

NISSAN NA............ don't listen to a word Randy says and listen to us..................... The real experts and buyers............

Randy P. did not like the GTR years ago because it was so good and you could really attack the course being an average JOE.

Fast forward today ............. He could not attack the course like in the past............

MAKE UP YOUR MIND..... RANDY............

NISSAN NA............ don't listen to a word Randy says and listen to us..................... The real experts and buyers............


lol good joke, what ever little buyers there is, they should be listening to people that are not buying them