According to Scott Vazin, Chief of North American Product Relations, Nissan approaches the GT-R each year like a race team. The engineers continually take a look at parts of the car that car be improved upon for the next model year. One of the important improvements for the 2010 model year GT-R is new software for the car’s intricate transmission.
The transaxle in the GT-R carries the immense burden of transferring the 480 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque from the twin-turbocharged V-6 to the wheels. Before the reprogramming, the supercar would violently dump its clutch at 4500 rpm in a way that makes most drivers wince. Furthermore, if Nissan were to read the GT-R’s black box and find that an owner disabled the car’s stability control (VDC), to perform a launch or any other reason, the warranty on that complicated tranny is now void. A costly mistake if anything were to go wrong with the $22,415.38 part (plus $1300 in labor, naturally.)
Therefore the 2010 GT-Rs (plus 50 or so 2009s that remain on dealer lots) get new clutch control programming to give owners improved shifting and launch-control-like acceleration with out disabling VDC. Scott says that with the new software the GT-R will deliver zero to 60 mph times in the mid 3 second range with VDC on. In a separate letter to dealers, Nissan says that 0-60 mph times may increase in tests where VDC is turned off to perform launch control.
Currently the company is focusing on implementing the software change in 2010 and unsold 2009 GT-Rs. Then next phase will be to offer owners of 2009 GT-Rs the opportunity to have their transmission control module reflashed with the new software for no charge.