Nissan updates '14 GT-R for performance
NASHVILLE -- Nissan Motor Co. has re-engineered the 2014 GT-R in a bid to re-stoke U.S. sales of the high-end sports car -- and with an eye toward improving its lap times at Germany's Nurburgring racetrack next spring.
Though largely a carryover, the 2014 GT-R's engine performance, suspension and handling have been tweaked to give the 545-hp supercar an edge in performance driving.
Sports cars increasingly use Nurburgring track lap times for advertising bragging rights. In recent years, the GT-R has dueled with the Dodge Viper ACR, Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette C6, Lexus LFA and others.
Nissan pulled the wraps off the re-engineered four-passenger sports coupe last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The United States has become the car's largest market.
Though GT-R production is tightly controlled, U.S. sales are forecast to rise to about 1,440 during the fiscal year ending March 31, says Carl Phillips, the GT-R's North American chief marketing manager.
Through October, the car's sales have dropped 12 percent to 1,054.
The GT-R is assembled in Japan on a craft center-like production line and U.S. dealers have lobbied Nissan to build more. But that is a delicate challenge, Phillips adds.
For 2014, the GT-R receives new fuel injectors aimed at better acceleration at mid- and high-rpm ranges, between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm. The car also gets hand-stitched red leather seats, and a handmade rear spoiler.
Each V-6 engine from the Tochigi, Japan, plant is hand-built by a single technician. Starting with the new GT-R, each engine will have a plate displaying the name of the technician who built it.
The 2014 GT-R will go on sale in January in two packages: Premium and the Black Edition. Pricing has not been released. The 2013 Premium version starts at $97,820 and the Black Edition starts at $107,320. Prices include shipping.
You can reach Lindsay Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.