First Look: 2014 Nissan GT-R

2014 Nissan GT-R

The one constant in the lifecycle of the Nissan GT-R has been change. Almost every new model year has brought hefty revisions to Japan's all-wheel-drive monster, generally making the GT-R even faster and more powerful than the year before. This year, however, Nissan went easy on the updates and made only a few small suspension and interior changes.

The twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6, for starters, still produces 545 hp and 463 lb-ft of torque, and it's still coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive system. The main difference is that new fuel injectors provide beefier torque response between 4500 and 6000 rpm, and a baffled oil pan helps reduce some friction and maintain oil pressure during aggressive cornering. In recognition of the master craftsmen who assemble the GT-R's V-6 by hand, Nissan adds a stamped aluminum plate under the hood of each car bearing the name of that engine's builder.

Beneath the engine, Nissan redesigned some front suspension components to slightly lower the car's center of gravity and marginally reduce body roll. Bushings have been moved and the anti-roll bar changed, and the springs and shock absorbers have a slightly different calibration. Nissan also installed new cam bolts that make it easier to adjust the car's alignment.

The GT-R is once again offered in two trim levels, the entry GT-R Premium and the racier, slightly lighter Black Edition. The former gains a Premium Interior package for 2014 that adds hand-stitched Red Amber leather upholstery, plus red accents for on the instrument panel, steering wheel, doors, armrests, and shifter. The Black Edition gains as standard red steering wheel accents, red and black leather Recaro seats, and a dark headliner.

It all sounds a bit anticlimactic, given that in other years Nissan has added gobs of horsepower or dramatically improved the car's handling when revising the GT-R. But the last thing a car as astonishingly fast and capable as the 2013 GT-R needed was more performance, so there's no faulting Nissan for simply making minor tweaks to keep the car fresh for the new model year.

Every other revision to the Nissan GT-R has come with a price increase, so expect the new car to start above this year's entry price of $97,820 (which includes a $1000 destination charge). The 2014 Nissan GT-R goes on sale in the U.S. in January.

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