As the GT-R enthusiast community has grown, an increasing number of people are encountering the car for the first time. Whether these individuals are potential buyers or just enthusiasts, many enter the community with the same questions. While many of these questions have been asked before, it can sometimes be difficult to find the information again. This guide consolidates these common questions to one place and serves as a common starting point for new members to learn about the GT-R.
If anyone has any additions or corrections, feel free to PM me or post in this thread. Thanks.
The R35 generation GT-R is the successor of the Skyline GT-R. The history of the Skyline GT-R dates back to February 1969. Originally, the Skyline GT-R was a performance four door sedan derivative of the Nissan Skyline- a relatively mid range, quality, driver oriented,model in Nissan's lineup. From 1971, the Skyline GT-R was available as a coupe, and this continued through the first generation (until 1972) and the second generation (1972-1977). Following this time, the Skyline GT-R was no longer offered, although Skylines continued to be built.
In 1989, the Skyline GT-R returned after Nissan entered into Group A international FIA racing. The generation at the time, the R32, premiered a twin turbocharged race oriented straight six motor mated to an all new motorsport oriented all wheel drive system called ATTESA. In 1995, a new version of the Skyline GT-R was offered, the R33, which continued production until the R34 in 1998. The R34 ended production in 2002.
Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the Skyline GT-R raced with good success, particularly in the FIA Group A races in which it entered and within the national Japanese GT series. In 1993 the FIA eliminated the Group A class however, and Nissan moved on to other events.
In 2001 Nissan announced that it would continue building the GT-R beyond the R34. A prototype concept was shown that year. By 2003 the program was underway within Nissan with development at full tilt by 2004. Another prototype was then shown in 2005. In 2007, the production R35 was unveiled and, for the first time, the GT-R was built and marketed as its own car, and not a derivative of the Skyline.
For the first time, the GT-R was also sold globally.
2. Product Position
The GT-R is a global car and is built to be globally competitive in terms of build quality, reliability, and performance. It is positioned as Nissan's premiere sports car, slotting in above the Fairlady Z/370Z and Skyline 370GT/Infiniti G37. It is built at Nissan's Tochigi plant where it shares some of its assembly with the Fairlady Z as well as some of Nissan/Infiniti's highest end vehicles.
3. Specifications & Press Materials (North America)
USDM 2009 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2009
USDM 2010 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2010
USDM 2011 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2011
USDM 2012 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2012
USDM 2013 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2013
USDM 2014 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2014
USDM 2015 - http://nissannews.co...load.do?id=2015
Spec V - While the R35 GT-R was in development, Nissan was also developing a higher performance, more finely tuned GT-R, the Spec V. Announced in January, 2009, the primary features of the Spec V include: engine overboost, larger turbos, a titanium final section exhaust (no rated power increase), new coilover dampers and springs, new Bridgestone RE070 tires, new Rays wheels, carbon composite rotors, new brake ducting and exterior carbon trim, Recaro front seats, and a rear seat deletion. It should be noted that there are a number of other changes made to the car that Nissan has not publicized. The Spec V is offered in the Japanese, Euro, and Middle Eastern markets. It is street legal although it is optimized for performance driving. For the NAGTROC write up on the SpecV please see here.
EGOIST - Rumored for some time as the M-Spec or Spec M GT-R, Nissan announced the GT-R EGOIST in October 2010. The EGOIST GT-R offers no performance advantage in comparison with other GT-Rs and is designed to offer a higher level of exclusivity and refinement. Among the changes to the EGOIST include a new pearl white color, as well as new custom interior trim options. Note that some SpecV features, such as the wheels and exhaust, are available on the EGOIST. The EGOIST is offered in the Japanese, Euro, and Middle Eastern markets.
GT-R Club Track Edition - In October 2010, Nissan announced the Club Track Edition GT-R. Featuring extensive ECM and TCM modifications (including ABS and VDC reprogramming), the Club Track GT-R runs two way adjustible Bilstein dampers on revised suspension geometry with a modified front bumper. On the inside, the Club Track GT-R has a racing harness, single Bride Seat, a fire suppression system, and a Nismo datalogging setup. Power output is rated unchanged and the Club Track also features Dunlop Direzza "long life" racing slicks. This car also includes new transmission logic for faster shifting. It is not intended on being driven on the street however, and is not delivered in street legalized form. It is offered in the Japanese domestic market.
GT-R RC - In January 2011, Nissan announced the GT-R RC, which is a Racing Competition GT-R. The RC GT-R is not a street legal GT-R and lacks a full interior. It is caged and has race-oriented modifications to the braking system, suspension, and chassis- with the inclusion of a full roll cage. The exterior is extensively modified to improve cooling to both intercoolers/radiators as well as brakes. The RC features an airjack system and has custom designed Yokohama Advan 20" slick race tires.
GT-R "For Track Pack” - In November 2011 Nissan Announced the for TRACK PACK" as a customized option for RHD markets. The product of a joint development between Nissan Japan and NordRing, a company owned by the GT-R program’s lead test driver at the time, Toshio Suzuki, the Track Pack features dedicated shocks and springs, air guides for brake cooling (front and rear), a front spoiler with carbon air ducts, and aluminum-alloy wheels made by Rays. For reducing the car's weight, this edition is made in a two-seat configuration, incorporating the GT-R Spec V’s rear seat delete setup. Also adopted are front seats made with genuine leather and high-grip fabric.
GT-R NISMO - Following the restructuring of the GT-R program in early 2013, Nissan decided to launch its internal motorsports division, NISMO as a global brand. As a part of that decision, Nissan decided to launch NISMO versions of many of its models with the GT-R NISMO being the flagship NISMO product. The GT-R NISMO features a strengthened chassis, revised suspension links, revised springs and dampers, aggressively tuned Dunlop NR1 tires, revised roll bars, 600 horsepower via a standard VR38DETT mated to Spec V turbos, front and rear carbon bumpers, a carbon trunk, carbon wing, carbon underbody and sills, and an alacantara appointed interior with red stitching and red tachometer. Depending on the market, the GT-R NISMO features carbon backed Recaro seats or in the North American market, the GT-R NISMO receives a variant of the Recaro Black Edtiion seats.
GT-R NISMO N Attack - While the GT-R NISMO is most commonly associated with the GT-R’s new 7’08” record time on the Nurburgring, this time was actually set by the GT-R NISMO N Attack Package. This package is available to GT-R NISMO owners for installation at NISMO HQ in some markets and includes a number of special features including a carbon composite rear bulkhead, dedicated differentials front and rear, new ECM and TCM programming, Ohlins suspension, carbon fiber front fenders and hood, additional aerodynamic devices, carbon shell bucket racing seats, and more.
5. Production differences year by year
All changes are in comparison to the US model year immediately prior.
This concerns the US market only:
First year offered.
Color Offerings: Ivory Pearl discontinued, replaced by Pearl White; Titanium no longer offered
Exterior: Super Silver GT-Rs feature polished front bumper
Engine/Transmission: +5hp rating on the engine output
Launch Control updated (to "LC2") and warrantied
Suspension: Revised damping and spring rates
Brakes:Brembo logo replaced with Nissan logo
Stiffer brake lines used
Wheels:Black wheel package features darker finish on wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires
Blue valve stem caps to signify nitrogen filled tires
Premium GT-Rs equipped with Dunlop Summer tires standard
Other: Fuel filler cap now 1 click type
Fuel tank capacity increased from 18.75gallons to 19.28 gallons
Side impact and curtain airbags standard on all models.
Exterior: Double clear coat applied to all GT-Rs
Engine/Transmission: Launch Control updated (to "LC3") and warrantied
Suspension: Revised damping and spring rates
Wheels: slightly darker center caps
Bridgestone RE070R tires replaced by RE070R R2
Other: Auto on/off headlights
iPod interface standard
VGA navigation display with upgraded nav modes and media capabilities
CF reader replaced by USB port and moved to the center console
XM NavTraffic and NavWeather features added to the nav system
DBA-R35 Model Update
Colors: Blue pearl added
Obsidian black replaced by jet black (metallic)
Exterior: Revised front and rear bumpers incl new rear diffuser
LED Daytime running lights
Improved aerodynamic efficiency
Engine/Transmission: Now rated 530hp/448lbft (+50hp, +14lbft tq)
Engine boost pressure increase from 10.8psi to 13.0psi
Revised intakes, red trim engine cover, exhaust piping
New ECM and TCM mapping
Launch Control "4" standard, warrantied
Fuel save "eco" mode on transmission switch
2WD mode on transmission switch for low speed 2WD use
Suspension: Revised suspension geometry
Revised damping and spring rates
Revised damper construction
Carbon composite front strut reinforcement
Reinforced chassis firewall
Brakes: Larger 15.4" Front rotors (+0.4") with new construction
Wheels: New split spoke Rays wheels (1.6lbs lighter per corner)
New Dunlop GT Summer Tires (Bridgestone no longer available)
Interior: Blue primary gauge MFD
Revised interior materials
Revised premium seat design & materials
Carbon finished center HVAC controls
Carbon finished lower console panel
Introduction of Black Edition:
Recaro front seats
Spec V wheels
Red trim interior
Black roof liner
Dark interior trim
Exterior: Premium Unchanged / Black Edition retains 2012 equipment and adds hand made dry carbon spoiler (from SpecV/Egoist)
Engine/Transmission: Now rated 545hp/463lbft (+15hp, +15lbft tq)
Revised intake manifold, Intercooler duct piping, compact catalyzer in midpipe, revised valve control timing, air mixture ratio and ignition timing
Suspension: retuned with higher spring rates further reinforced chassis firewall
Interior: Ambient blue accent lighting in tachometer
Introduction of Track Edition (known as For Track Pack in other markets):
-Carbon air ducts on the front lip with brake cooling guides front and rear
-Revised springs & dampers
-SpecV rear seat delete
-Microfiber Premium Edition based seat surfacing with blue trim
-Blue Track Edition label on lower console
-Black Edition rear wing & wheels
Introduction of Optional Premium Interior Package:
-Red Amber colored semi-aniline leather with hand stitching on the front seats
-Red accents on the steering wheel, door trim, armrests, and shift knob
All models feature the following changes from the prior year:
Exterior: No change
Suspension: Retuned dampers, front suspension link bushing location and anti roll bar have been changed to lower the roll center height, maintenance of front suspension alignment improved due to revised cam bolts
Engine/Transmission: New injectors (unconfirmed) and sharper mid-range engine response and improved high end acceleration, revised turbo bypass relief valves, new oil pan baffle to better stabilize oil pressure under G loading, increased torque from driveshaft to the hub bearings
Interior: Nameplate of engine builder added to engine, Black edition receives red/black steering wheel, stitching now white as opposed to gray
Colors: Regal Red Added
Exterior: All models receive new LED headlights and tail lights with signature GT-R tail
Revised forward underbody paneling
All models receive modified GT-R logo side badging
Engine/Transmission: No change
Chassis: Enhanced chassis assembly for added precision with additional noise absorbing materials
Revised steering with adjusted speed sensitivity for easier use at low speeds
Suspension: Fully revised suspension with significantly greater compliance and road contact and fewer steering corrections at speed
Brakes: Revised brake response
Wheels: Black edition wheels now dark blue/gray
Revised Dunlop tire specification
Interior: New ivory semi-aniline soft leather interior
Increased leather coverage on premium interior options (amber & ivory) including pattern designs on doors and rear seats
Carbon fiber accents behind gauge faces
Revised interior MFD with new display layout
Revised BOSE audio system with active noise reduction and ambient noise based automatic volume control
Introduction of GT-R NISMO
6. Key Performance data
Straight Line Acceleration
Nissan's claim 11.8 @ 120mph 11.6 for (USMY2010-2011)
Nissan's claim (USMY2009) 3.5 (No launch control) Nissan does not claim an official 0-60 with LC1 3.3 (USMY2010-2011) LC2
Car & Driver: 3.3sec to 60mph, 11.5@124mph
Motortrend: 3.2sec to 60mph, email@example.com
Road&Track: 3.4sec to 60mph, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nissan's claim: 7'38" Nurburgring on a partially damp track, Bridgestone tires
USMY2010 7'26.7" Nurburgring on a dry track, Dunlop summer tires SpecV wheels
Sport Auto: 7'38" USMY2010 Nurburgring, Dunlop summer tires Independent test
Straight Line Acceleration
Nissan's claim 0-60 2.88
Nissan's claim 1/4 mile 11.2
Insideline 2.9 (1ft roll out) 11.1@124
Car and Driver 2.9 11.2 @126
Motortrend 2.9 0-60., 11.2 @122.7
Road &Track 2.9 0-60, 11.1 @ 124.3
Nissan's Claim 7:24.22 Nurburgring revised Dunlop summer tires *unofficial practice lap ( Official run attempt was scrubbed due to wet track)
Straight Line Acceleration
Nissan's Claim 0-60 2.72
Nissan's Claim 1/4 Mile 10.8
Insideline 2.9 (1ft rol out) 11.1@123
Car and Driver 3.0 0-60, 11.2@124
Road &Track TBD
Nissan's Claim 7:20 Nurburgring is capable (7:22.XX was recorded in an unofficial testing session conducted by Nissan)
Straight Line Acceleration
Nissan's Claim 0-60 2.6
Nissan's Claim 1/4 Mile 10.6
Car and Driver
Road &Track TBD
7:19.1 Nurburgring Lap ( corrected to 7:18.5 due to traffic
7. Why is the GT-R so fast? Was it under-rated? Over-rated?
While it's true that the GT-R overachieves relative to its power to weight ratio, a vehicle's power to weight ratio doesn't tell the whole story with regards to performance.
The GT-R has a lower center of gravity and a more optimized weight distribution than many other vehicles of similar weight due to its platform packaging. The all wheel drive system and traction logic allow the GT-R to put down power more of the time versus many of its competitors. An extensively researched tire&suspension system yields added performance benefits by allowing the tires to maintain better contact with the road surface more of the time in comparison with other cars. The engine's flat powerband near peak power, combined with the transmission's lack of torque interruption during shifting adds even more to these performance gains by allowing the GT-R to put down a significant amount of power, more often, than many of its peers. In the end these design features give the GT-R a significant performance advantage over many of its competitors and the GT-R is able to carry more speed, more of the time in more challenging environments than many of its competitors. For these reasons, the GT-R's performance is much better than would be implied solely by its power to weight ratio.
8. Manual transmission?
Long answer: It's against the design requirements originally established for the car and it is not being entertained by Nissan.
9. Differences between markets?
In general, all markets receive what is essentially the same car.
The US and Japanese markets differ in the following ways:
-US GT-Rs are left hand drive
-US GT-Rs have slightly wider front seat width
-Japanese GT-Rs are speed limited when off race tracks via GPS
-Japanese GT-Rs have options for electronic toll systems
-Japanese GT-Rs feature the "Carwings" navigation system with different features (ex: DVD playback on all models)
-Regulatory differences (lighting)
Another difference worth noting is that GT-R changes are usually worldwide although one model year in one country may not correspond to another. For example, the USMY2009 GT-R is the Japanese MY2008 GT-R.
10. Numbers sold
For US sales figures, please see this link, which is continuously updated: http://www.nagtroc.o...showtopic=33169 with the 2012 Model year the US has become the top selling Market for the GTR
11. Future of the GT-R?
In late 2010, Mizuno stated that the GT-R would be produced for five more years. That implies that the final model year of the R35 will be USMY2015 or USMY2016 assuming Nissan follows through with this and assuming the US continues to receive allocation. However, since this time Nissan has restructured the R35 program. It is now believed that USMY17 may be the last R35.
1 How reliable is the GT-R?
Given all of the technology embedded in it, the GT-R is a very reliable car. It's produced to Nissan's highest standards, on the same assembly line as the reliable Fairlady Z/370Z and several Infiniti products including the G and M.
It's uncommon for a properly maintained GT-R to leave its driver stranded due to any sort of failure. Even in cases of extreme abuse, where say, a gear of the transmission is physically destroyed, the GT-R will often remain drivable- the computer will in such a case lock out the gears not working. One of the few situations that have lead to driver's being stranded is in the event of transmission solenoid failure. In that case, the car may not be drivable, but this is not a common occurrance.
Outside of that, there are other issues as noted below. They are less significant and covered by warranty. Overall, the GT-R is reliable and not a machine that you should have any concerns with driving daily, in any reasonable weather- snow included, anywhere in the world.
2 How expensive is it to maintain a GT-R?
The short answer is that, like any car, it depends. If you only drive the car every so often, and never track it, then it won't be too much more expensive than another car in its price range. Conversely, if you track it extensively, the sky is the limit as several thousands of dollars can be spent each week- like any sports car. Here are some basic numbers:
Regular driving, no track use:
Engine Oil changes & Misc = $200 every 6,000 miles
Transmission & Differential Fluid Changes = $2,000 every 18,000 miles
Tire Change = $2,000 / set (tire life should be somewhere between 8,000 miles and 20,000 miles depending on many factors including how you drive, the roads where you live, weather conditions)
Annual POS (including alignment) = FREE
Brake pads & rotors = $6,000 / set (every 24,000 miles)
In short, at suggested market prices, you can expect to pay an annualized cost of $6,700 assuming you drive 12,000 miles and assuming you go through one set of tires per year.
Note1 = These numbers assume the car is not tracked and that the car is not driven as aggressively as it might be on track. If that were to happen, the interval on fluid changes drops to the 2-3,000 mile range on all fluids (including the transmission).
Note2 =Significant cost savings can be had by shopping around, usually to the tune of at least 20-30%. DIY work will save costs further. Also scheduling fluid changes around the yearly POS can save money as alot of the labor costs include removing the time consuming under trays.. during POS this has to be done for free to check alignment so in theory you should be able to work out a reduced cost of labor for the fluid changes if having them performed during the warranted alignment check
Note3 = Brake costs can but cut in half while maintaining or exceeding OE standards and quality by going aftermarket.
If you track a GT-R extensively, these numbers increase - depending on how aggressively you track. If you run the car at its absolute limit for extended periods of time (through 20 minute sessions) particularly in hot climates, you could find yourself needing to change all fluids immediately. (This is determined by whether or not you hit 280 degrees on the motor or transmission oil as indicated on the car's multi function display). Another cost of extensive tracking is tires - it's possible to go through a complete set in a couple weekends. Yet another consideration for tracked GT-Rs is cooling modifications, as the GT-R was not designed from the factory to spend prolonged periods of time at its limits on a track. While none of this will be a surprise to those familiar with tracking a high performance street car, it's worth noting.
3 What are POS checks?
The Point of Service is an annual service offered by Nissan for free while a GT-R is under warranty. It is required for a warranty to be maintained. The POS includes three things:
(1) Alignment - Note two recommended settings are offered, street and track. By default, Nissan aligns GT-Rs to the track setting at the factory.
(2) Transmission relearn - During this process, the GT-R's transmission computer relearns and adjusts it's clutchpack engagement point and sensitivity.
(3) Engine Intake Balancing - The GT-R's ECM relearns the intake calibration and adjusts idling, accounting for differences between the two engine banks.
Outside of the alignment, the POS is completely electronic and is done via the dealer's diagnostic computer system, CONSULT III.
4. Tell me about the transmission.
The GT-R's transmission is called the GR6. It is a dual clutch, sequential shift, electro-hydraulic, transmission. It was built by Nissan's in house transmission shop, Aichi, with mechanical dual clutch technology from Borg Warner and friction materials technology from Exedy. The assembly includes the All Wheel Drive Clutchpack, Tranmission (including gears, primary clutchpack, and actuators), and final drive and rear differential. In operation, it offers multiple modes including: manual race, manual, economy mode, automatic, automatic race, 2wd automatic, as well as a special launch mode whereby torque is distributed and clutchpacks are engaged to provide a more efficient standing start.
The GR6's clutches are designed to last the life of the car and should exceed 100,000miles under normal use. The transmission is not something that Nissan dealer's will service. If you experience a transmission failure, the dealership will replace the transmission. Out of warranty transmission replacement prices vary but are in the $10,000-$13,000 range not including labor.
4A. Is the transmission weak or flawed?
Initial rumors of the GT-R's weak transmission were started from extensive use of the GT-R's first iteration of Launch Control, LC1. LC1 is an abusive launch and if used enough times, can damage the GR6's first gear. How many LC1 launches can a transmission take? Some have taken more than 200 at upgraded power levels. Others have made it to 100 or less. It's hard to put a definite number on it but the actualy number will vary with launch conditions.
The other issue some transmissions have had is with shifting. There have been instances of actuator failures. In these cases, Nissan has replaced the transmission, although there have been incidents where these gearboxes have been repaired aftermarket.
Outside of these two scenarios, the GR6 has been reliable. Newer transmissions don't seem to have the actuator issue, and new GT-Rs don't have LC1, so for these reasons, newer cars have fewer problems. That said, those who race their GT-Rs at higher power levels often upgrade their transmission internals with with relatively inexpensive components (and more significant components including clutches and gears where necessary) to help ensure trouble-free performance.
4B. Tell me about Launch Control.
The first USMY2009 GT-Rs originally shipped with a launch control system popularly referred to as LC1. It was enabled by putting the car's transmission/suspension/VDC in manual+race/race/off modes. From there, holding the brake would allow you to rev the car to 4,500rpm with the accelerator pedal at the wide open throttle position. The instant you lift off the brake, the computer will drop the clutches and the car will launch forward. This yields 0-60 times of 3.3-3.6 seconds depending on the surface. It's an extremely aggressive launch and is very hard on the transmission internals. It's use is not warrantied by Nissan.
Starting with the USMY2010 GT-R, Nissan offered a new Launch Control, "LC2". LC2 is easier on its gears than LC1. At launch, up to 3000rpms are used as opposed to the 4500rpms seen in LC1. A customer satisfaction program was offered that allowed 2009 owners to upgrade to this new transmission software, aswell as mandated that all unsold 2009 inventory be upgraded be dealers. In its engagement, the transmission computer will slip the clutches as opposed to suddenly engaging them. LC2 is mode independent and is otherwise engaged via the same two step method. Using this technique, the GT-R's launch is somewhat more tame than LC1 but still more aggressive than flooring the gas pedal from a stop. Turning VDC OFF does not seem to effect the initial launch. Note that LC2 is widely viewed as being inconsistent- the RPMs given may vary. Also, LC2 equipped GT-Rs can be launched from higher RPM levels by using a pump method. This involves letting the RPMs drop down after reaching near 3K rpm then immediately slamming the accelerator back to the floor while the brake is still depressed. The results of this are not consistent but will yield more launch RPMs. In performance terms, LC2 is seen as being at least a tenth or two slower than LC1 although some initial tests found it's performance to be similar. Use of LC2 is warrantied by Nissan so long as VDC is ON. The GR6 appears to handle LC2 well- there have been no known failures from launching using it, despite some cars having much more than 200 launches on them .
For the USMY2011 GT-R, Nissan quietly revised the launch control system and created a revised system we refer to as "LC3" . LC3 can only be engaged with the GT-R in Manual+R/R/R but allows 3,300rpms quickly, reliably, and consistently. The launch from LC3 is reportedly better than that with LC2.
With it's platform revision for the USMY2012 GT-R, Nissan publicly announced a new, dedicated, Launch Control. This system called "R Mode Start" (what we term as LC4), is engaged by having the GT-R in Manual+R transmission and VDC settings . It enables a 4,000rpm launch that is reliable and consistent. It is more aggressive than any of the prior Launch Controls except LC1 and is as reliable as LC1. It can be used up to four times in a row before the GT-R must be driven for over a mile for the computer to allow additional launches. On an unmodified GT-R, it is widely viewed as the fastest Launch Control system to date. With the addition of 50 more horsepower, DBA-R35 GT-Rs can achieve 0-60mph times in under 3.0 seconds. At a drag strip, 1.6 60' times are common. It is fully warrantied by Nissan.
For MY2013 the GTR tweaked "R Mode Start" with a slightly different clutch engagement becoming the 5th iteration of Launch Control on the GTR (now LC5)
*Note that with all launch control systems, certain requirements must be met including minimum and maximum transmission temperatures.
5. What's the story behind Nissan voiding warranties?
(First off, this is not legal advice and should not be read as such). According to the commuity's interpritation of the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, Nissan may not summarily void your warranty. Nissan may only deny a warranty claim if you modify your car in such a way that your modification causes a failure.
Whether legal or not, Nissan has, in the past, taken a different view. Nissan not only requires that GT-Rs remain unmodified but Nissan will also not honor a GT-Rs warranty if the car has seen abused. This policy has been practiced by Nissan. Although the exact terms vary by year, the general guideline is that modification to the drivetrain pre-sensor (intake, engine, turbo, downpipes,...) can void your drivetrain warranty. Tuning can also void your warranty. Depending on what you do with VDC OFF, turning VDC OFF can be a cause for voiding warranty. While dealers are the first stop in determining warranty cases, Nissan Japan will make the final call on whether or not a GT-R will be repaired under warranty, especially in all cases where a new engine or transmission is required.
6. What's the story behind GT-Rs not being able to be modified?
All rumor. Both the ECM and TCM can be reprogrammed. Changing tires may trigger warnings, you must ensure the tire sizes are correct to prevent damage to the differentials, and if you do not want a tire pressure warning, you must remount the original sensors in the new wheels. Note that the tire pressure monitoring sensors are similar to those seen in other post 2004 Nissan/Infinitis.
7. Is the GT-R really an all season car?
Yes. The GT-R can be driven in hot environments and cold environments, in rain and snow, with no issue. Be sure to use the right tires, coolant mix, and windshield washer fluid.. For summer conditions, use any of the summer tire options. For winter conditions, use either the All Season Dunlops or the Bridgestone Blizzak tires if there is snow. Many members have found the GT-R to be a competent winter car.
8. What are the best tire options for the GT-R?
Tires are critically important to performance. Nissan says they've gone through over three thousand tire compounds in developing the GT-R. To be sure, many different tires seem to have been tested through the GT-R's development. But there's no one best tire. The best tire for any car depends on a number of factors including budget, environmental conditions, and even driver taste. These are the OE offerings for the GT-R:
Bridgestone Potenza RE070R - Originally these were the standard tires offered on the first Premium Edition GT-Rs. They offer good mix of performance and tire life in summer conditions.
Bridgestone Potenza RE070R (Spec V) - Although these tires carry the same name as the standard RE070R tires, and look similar, they're not. These tires have a wider tread blocks and use different compounds. They are only available for SpecV owners and are not available in the US.
Bridgestone Potenza RE070R R2 - These tires were introduced in the summer of 2010 and replaced the RE070R tires for the 2011 GT-R. They feature a modified tread pattern. Water evacuation channels are larger as are the outside tread blocks. They're said to offer better stability and performance vs the original RE070R tires. Some report that tire life is shorter.
Dunlop SP Sport DSST CTT - These were originally offered on base GT-Rs. It was soon found that these tires were faster than the RE070R tires under similar conditions. They later became the standard summer tire for Premium GT-Rs. Although they offer slightly more grip, they're said to offer significantly shorter tire life vs the original RE070R tires.
Dunlop SP SPORT MAXX GT 600 DSST CTT - These tires were introduced in late 2010 as the replacement tire for the Dunlop summer tires offered factory for the GT-R. These tires are offered on the 2012 GT-R, which is the first R35 to not have an optional Bridgestone tire from the factory. It is said that these tires offer the most grip of all tire options. These tires are also more expensive than the other summer tire options.
Dunlop SP SPORT MAXX GT 600 DSST CTT USMY15 - These tires are different from the standard GT tires in that they have only 7/32” tread depth front and rear as opposed to the 8/32” front and 9/32” rear of prior tires. These tires are spec’d to provide “outstanding road holding and precise response in all conditions thanks to stiffer sidewalls which reduce deformation, improving steering response under hard cornering.”
Dunlop SP SPORT MAXX GT 600 DSST CTT NR1 - These are the tires of the GT-R NISMO, featuring 6/32” front and 7/32” tread depth rear. These tires provide enhanced grip and handling characteristics and feature revised tread blocks with an increase in surface area.
Dunlop SP Sport 7010 A/S DSST -These are the all season tires offered for the GT-R. They come factory on GT-Rs spec'd for cold weather. Although they're termed as all season, they're considerably higher performing than most other all season tires. The UTQG treadwear rating is 240. In same day/same driver testing, Car & Driver found these tires to be 3 seconds off pace vs the Dunlop SP Sport Summer tires on a 3 minute lap at VIR. That makes these tires a great option for those looking to maximize tire life for street driving without compromising performance too significantly.
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 - These are the standard snow tire for the GT-R. Recommend for driving in any real amounts of snow.
Note 1 - None of these tires should be mixed with each other in an installation.
Note 2 - All of these tires are constructed to Nissan's OE specification, and all are runflat. While this means they're all heavy, all of these tires offer outstanding performance for their class. Given that you properly identify your need, and Nissan has been kind enough to cover a broad scope of operation- you can't go wrong with these options.
9. Is the GT-R a good daily driver?
The GT-R was designed to be daily driven. It's transmission requires no manual clutch engagement so its easy in traffic and your significant other can also drive it without a problem. It's civil and very predictable whether at slow speeds or near its limits. You can speak with your passenger at 180mph without having to shout. It has OE tires options for snow conditions, summer conditions, and all weather in between. Those same tires are designed to be safe in failures on a track under load or 50 miles from the nearest city. And maintenance intervals are par for most cars on the road today. All of this said, the GT-R is also a sports car and not a luxury car. In line with its level of performance and overall capabilities comes a compromise in ride quality and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness).
All of this said, newer GT-Rs will be more comfortable to use daily than older ones, with the first significant step forward starting with the “DBA” cars in USMY 2012. The suspension revisions incorporated into these cars is more comfortable than prior GT-Rs. These GT-Rs also feature a slight increase in sound absorbing materials.
The most significant step forward with respect to refinement and suspension compliance began with USMY 2015 GT-Rs which are significantly more compliant than prior GT-Rs. These cars also feature steering revisions that make them easier to steer at lower speeds. Finally there is an increase in sound absorbing materials as well as the implementation of Active Noise Reduction which combined help quiet the interior of the GT-R.
Things to Know - Buying New
1. How many miles should be on a new GT-R?
All GT-Rs are test driven after manufacture at the Tochigi plant in Japan before being delivered to Japanese dealerships or before being put on boats for transport overseas (to the US, Europe, Middle East, etc). There is no exact number of miles all GT-Rs receive, but typical mileage on a new GT-R is in the 15-50 mile range. This is because some GT-Rs are chosen for more analysis as a part of quality assurance, as well as for other reasons. For example, GT-Rs built in certain times of year where the test laps are in a colder environment may require more laps to accomplish the same factory break in procedures.
2. What should I expect or look for in delivery?
While all GT-Rs should go through their own Pre Delivery Inspection and Nissan has gone through great efforts to ensure that the GT-R delivery process is complete, there are a couple things you should also know:
(1) You may be asked to sign a warranty disclosure agreement. This contract between you and Nissan essentially dictates that you understand the GT-R has unique maintenance requirements, will not ride or always exhibit the same level of comfort / noise as an equivalently priced luxury car, and that you understand that modifying your car or tracking it may invalidate your warranty. Of course, none of this should be a surprise to you.
(2) Check the paint of the car. By default the dealer will detail the car before delivery. Be sure that the paint is in an acceptable condition and that the car is free of damage. Some will prefer to take delivery of the car dirty and have the GT-R independently detailed. This makes sense but be sure that the car is not damaged.
(3) You may be asked about an extended warranty. Obviously, if you'll be modifying the car this won't be of much value. If not, it may be. You will likely have the option of buying it post-purchase however, so you should shop around on this.
(4) Make sure the tire pressures are where they should be (29psi cold). There have been more than a few examples of GT-Rs delivered with the tire air pressures significantly out of spec.
3. Break in process. Does it matter? Isn't the car broken in from the factory?
This is a big debate that's beyond the scope of this FAQ. What you should know is that Nissan has its own guidelines on how to properly break in the car. This is described in the owner's manual. If you disobey Nissan's recommendation and experience a problem, Nissan may read the black box on the car and, on discovering that break in was not obeyed, may elect not to cover repairs under warranty. For this reason it's recommended to follow Nissan's guidelines. Indeed since Nissan is financially responsible for the initial reliability of the car they are incentivized to give sound guidance on how to break in the car. But again, what's best for the car and the necessity of soft break ins are very highly debated.
Things to Know - Buying Used
1. Basic info, what to look for in a used GT-R?
Beyond all of the basics (year, miles, ext/int colors, trim, maintenance history) you should know:
(1) If it's an MY2009, was the transmission software updated (to LC2?) If not, how many LC1 launches does it have? Ask if this can be printed (note: consult3 calls these VDC Off Stall Starts)
(2) Ask if a FLICKR print out can be provided of the time spent in the different engine oil temperature zones. If the GT-R spent a significant amount of time with the engine or transmission oil above 280 degrees, the car was either tracked or had mechanical issue. This should be explained and that explanation should be reflected in vehicle's the maintenance history. For example, if driven in higher temperature zones, you may see more preventative maintenance done (more fluid changes). That's to be expected.
(3) Ask if the GT-R was ever tuned or if it ever ran higher than factory/stock boost pressure. If it was, know that Nissan may elect not to honor the powertrain warranty should a failure occur in the future.
(4) Check the amount of brake pad material remaining and tire life left. When checking the tires, be sure to check the inside of the tire, and not only the outside.
Additionally, When you drive the car you should know that many noises are OK. You may hear the transmission select/deselect gears. The transmission may bind slightly when driving or reversing slowly with a significant angle on the steering wheel, and you should know that a transmission hum at idle is normal. Noises from the rear of the car over bumps are normal as well. Also, note that if the car moves at idle too quickly, or doesn't move at all, or if shifts are a little rough, these are all settings that can be adjusted in software to suit your tastes.
2. Should a dealer look at it? What should a dealer do?
Optionally yes, dealers can use Nissan's proprietary diagnostic system, Consult3, to recover pre-recorded data within the GT-R's computer that standard diagnostics will not reveal. This data includes some information that may be valuable including the number of launches for older GT-Rs, time spent in different oil temperature ranges, and current computer faults. See above.
3. Common GT-R Issues?
GT-Rs tend to be relatively reliable in general, as Nissan has continuously addressed recurring issues, however here are a list of the more common issues that have arisen:
-Steering lock unit - Earlier CBA-R35s (particularly 2009) have had steering lock unit failures. This is a failure of a module that locks/unlocks the steering wheel as a part of the security system. Nissan issued a voluntary recall for these and replaced them under warranty.
-Bell housing - Many GT-Rs will exhibit noise from the bell housing / flywheel area. While there is a TSB related to bell housing play for earlier GT-Rs, there is a noise in this area that is normal for GT-Rs.
-Instrument cluster lighting - Earlier CBA-R35s have had LED lighting fail inside the instrument cluster. Nissan has fixed this in production and has replaced failed units under warranty.
-Transmission - CBA-R35 GT-Rs have had a relatively higher rate of transmission issues that relate largely to seal and sensor failures. These issues, if they arise, can cause a limp mode and a loss of even or odd gears. Nissan has largely resolved this by replacing transmissions that have had issues. Replacement transmissions have been current model year units which have not generally had issues.
-Headlights - Earlier GT-Rs have had headlight sealing issues where moisture appears inside of the headlight assembly. Nissan has fixed this in production and has replaced failed units under warranty.
-Dashboard degradation - Some dashboards have degraded and may become sticky in heat. Also, some surfaces, particularly in earlier GT-Rs, may be prone to scratching although these surfaces can easily be replaced (either OEM or aftermarket)
Owning a GT-R
1. Can I work on my GT-R myself? How hard is it to do?
Although the GT-R is a very sophisticated machine, much of the regular maintenance is actually fairly straight forward to do, provided that you have experience working on cars. With the GT-R, there are some additional steps involved, usually in accessing things, but otherwise it's not exotically different. The key things to do are (1) Get the service manual (2) If unsure about something, ASK on NAGTROC or ask your local GT-R certified tech (3) work slowly and be patient.
Click here for a list of DIY Maintenance and How To Articles
The link above should give you an idea of what it's like to work on the GT-R and how to perform different maintenance. Once again it is important to remember that if in doubt, you should always seek help. The NAGTROC community is large and will help you. It's better to ask first than try to fix something that went wrong later. Also, remember to follow proper safety precautions whenever working on your car!
2. Safe GT-R operation? What are the no-nos?
A lot of the common sense things that apply to other cars also apply to the GT-R. Because the GT-R is unique there are also some additional no-nos to keep in mind:
(1) The user manual advises against having the car in neutral while the car is in motion
(2) It should be common sense but do not attempt to engage reverse or drive while moving in the opposite direction. The GT-Rs transmission is much, much closer to a manual transmission in operation than an automatic.
(3) Do not drive the car very hard when it's cold. Allow the engine coolant and transmission oil temperatures to get close to normal before going wide open throttle. Note that by 181 degrees on engine or transmission oil, the car is definitely ready. While the computer may not let you do it, it is not recommended that you attempt to launch the GT-R or drive aggressively in that fashion below 120 degrees.
(4) When stopping with hot brakes, try not to hold your foot on the brake pedal once the car has stopped. Doing so will force the pad against the hot rotor and transfer heat into the rest of the braking system. While this definitely applies to all cars, in the case of the GT-R this will help keep your fluid good for a longer amount of time and also help improve braking feel by ensuring that your rotors never see uneven pad deposition (what many mistakenly refer to as 'warped' rotors).
(5) If you've been driving hard and/or the car's oil temperature is hot, do NOT turn the car off. Drive the car at a cruise until the car cools down to normal temperature ranges before turning it off. This is recommended to help prevent damage to the turbochargers.
3. I'm going to leave the GT-R alone for a while. What do I do?
If it's more than a few weeks, leave the window rolled down more than ¼". This way, if the battery dies, the window will not clip the door frame when opening the door. Also, you can leave the hood unlatched. Traditionally it is advised to add pressure to the tires as well. If you frequently leave the GT-R for extended periods, you may also want to research intelligent trickle chargers.
4. How do I contact Nissan?
The GT-R hotline for GT-R owners is 866-668-1487.
Also see here for Nissan North America: http://www.nissanusa.../apps/contactus
Edited by Davin, 11 August 2014 - 06:29 PM.