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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

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


Lol, cool story man! Good for you I guess? lol

Yes, the Grandsport is a great bargain and did do faster laps than those cars you mentioned. Pretty awesome car.
Final lap times in case anyone didn't want to watch the whole thing. I think the header should have been "2016" and not "2017".

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Final lap times in case anyone didn't want to watch the whole thing. I think the header should have been "2016" and not "2017".


which header?
Such a disapointing track time! Though they do mention previous GTR's with a hard edged ride that can rattle your teeth, right out of your head! The media did nothing but complain. Now its gone soft, they still complain? Seems like they can't make up their mind.

The R is now the big factor with the GTR team and they have done what they set out to do. Its now a car you can live with on a day to day basis, period. For the price you can get a Carrera S. And I would still say the GTR is the better bargin. The Premium is not the super car killer it once was, its now more along the lines of an F-type Jag or the Carrera. Personally I think this is great more people might just take the plung and buy a GTR. With 0-60 at 3.0 and still monster performance will attact more buyers (hopfully). But just so long as they keep the TE and Nismo the top dogs. Having three models must be good for sales.

Maybe they are working on the R36 and that in time will turn things around.


Will there be more GTR's with more improvements in the years to come?
The viper walked away from the competition... wow


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Damn I thought my 2012 dba body roll was pretty bad, even with hks sway bars and kw sleeve kit the car had some considerable roll...dont want to imagine driving the 2017 stock suspension.

My top 3 are R8, 570 and GT350 from this years competition.

Did I read right that they admitted the car was running on shitty 91 fuel?

Did I read right that they admitted the car was running on shitty 91 fuel?



yeah since is a califonia based test. but they used octane booster which is what they have been doing with the GTR for a while now I dont think that was the issue as randy didnt complain about power
Drag Race


Did I read right that they admitted the car was running on shitty 91 fuel?

That's the highest octane you can get in CA. It is what it is
On the drag race, it looks like they lined up cars by expected speed to create that "arrow" tip visual from above. :)

On the drag race, it looks like they lined up cars by expected speed to create that "arrow" tip visual from above. :)


The drag race has never been "real" as they use the times from the individual car tests results to determine the order.

The drag race has never been "real" as they use the times from the individual car tests results to determine the order.


MC,

Do have the results handy of how the GT-R has "done" in prior world's greatest drag race? Its been in like 5 of the 6 races?
The NSX looks so weird... It looks like something out of Halo. Like they TRIED to make it look exotic... but at the end of the day it still looks like a Lexus, Altima, etc.
I love those World's Greatest Drag Race videos. I'd love to do that IRL.

The NSX looks so weird... It looks like something out of Halo. Like they TRIED to make it look exotic... but at the end of the day it still looks like a Lexus, Altima, etc.


urgh...thats what they say about the gtr too.

I love those World's Greatest Drag Race videos. I'd love to do that IRL.


Agreed!


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Interesting week of videos and reviews I must say. As with a previous poster I got rid of my '14 premium and bought a GT350.

The only gripe about the mustang was panel alignment, which was fixed immediately and I was taken care quite nicely by my dealer. No other gripes with the car, and for the price is a bargain.

That said, what people don't know is Ford tuned a lot of timing advance with octane, more than any other car I've read about (factory stock). In fact it says right in the owners manual (like the GTR) 93 is recommended and 91 as a barebones minimum.

There is a dyno with 91, 93, and 98 with a stock gt350. Long story short it made around 25whp and 30wtq more on 98. 93 sees about half those gains.

So the GTR isn't the only vehicle that could have made more power.
Very interesting behind the scenes video. But I think Carlos Lagos was complaining waaaay too much in the Viper. I'm sure all of us would've love to be in his shoes in the Viper to experience this even if it takes 27 takes and hours.
I thought Carlos Lagos left Motortrend?

I thought Carlos Lagos left Motortrend?



he does some daily on demand show for them now

I thought Carlos Lagos left Motortrend?


He left to Edmund's and they unfortunatly replaced him with Jason. However, as of a few months ago he came back but is now as Mc says doing a different show available on demand. Wish he still did ignition.
I liked his car reviews a lot. They were a lot more thought out and less sensational as how MT does their videos now.
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Sigmund Freud
Sep 28 2016 03:35 PM
Lago was great. Very fair with the Gte as well. No bias no bs like 9/10 other reviewers.