Fresh off of updating the GT-R road car for the 2013 model year, the engineers at Nissan and Nismorecently pulled the wraps off of a subtly revised GT-R GT3 racer that promises more power and more control.
It's been a pretty good year already for the GT-R GT3. Since debuting in March, the GT-R Nismo GT3 has found some success in international racing: Japanese Super GT racers Katsumasa Chiyo and Yuhi Sekiguchi campaigned the GT3, ending up in fourth and sixth place overall in driver rankings. Now in its second year in production, the 2013 GT-R GT3 boasts a few exterior tweaks and some minor powertrain upgrades, implemented to keep the car fresh and keep customer teams satisfied.
For 2013, the basics are still the same: per FIA regulations, the car is rear-wheel drive (which means no clever electronic torque-splitting front differentials here), but the crazy VR38DETT engine is still underhood. The 3.8-liter twin-turbo motor puts out at least 543 hp (almost identical to the current road car), and that power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential manual transmission and a limited-slip rear differential. Curb weight is estimated at 2900 pounds.
The biggest change is arguably to the aerodynamics: the new car now wears huge canards on its front fenders, and the fenders themselves were flared out even more than before. To keep the air moving in the right direction, engineers also tweaked the positioning and angle of the huge rear spoiler. The result is more downforce, so engineers tweaked the suspension settings at all four wheels as well as the brake force distribution to keep the car balanced at speed, under braking, and during cornering. Nissan says that the engine also received some upgrades in the form of new camshaft timing (and the inclusion of some new, stronger moving parts) that should add some oomph and durability to the engine. Specifically, that added oomph amounts to about 23 horsepower--last year's model put out just 520 horses. To harness that modest power increase, engineers set up the transmission with a few new gear ratios.
As with basically any racing car, this upgraded version will cost you many times more than a road car--the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 goes for $436,400 (35 million yen) brand new, and Nismo's production capacity is limited. Granted, there is a shortcut to snagging a 2013 GT-R GT3: by owning (or buying) a 2012 GT-R GT3 and purchasing Nismo's upcoming upgrade package, which includes all of the 2013's tweaks and new parts.