Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review

Published:24 May 2012

Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
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  • 3 out of 5
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  • 5 out of 5

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker

This is the Nissan GT-R Track Pack, a stripped-down, pumped-up Japanese coupe with designs on the 911 GT3.

A GT-R GT3? Isn’t what the Spec V was all about.

The GT-R Spec V was certainly the hardcore GT-R, but it was also obscenely expensive – double the price of the standard car. The Track Pack only costs around £10k extra but still promises to deliver a faster, harder and lighter GT-R experience than the regular car can. But before foreign readers get too excited, we should say that the Track Pack is for the UK and Japan only.

What do you get for your £10k?

To be honest, not much. The key ingredients include a set of six-spoke Rays wheels with gloss black centres that save a total of 10kg, plus stiffer ‘Ring-honed suspension and additional brake cooling ducts built into the carbon front splitter, and another set behind the rear wheels.

Nissan has also junked the rear seats, and covered the fronts in what Kazutoshi Mizuno, the father of the GT-R, refers to as ‘magic’ cloth, but looks like suede or Alcantara to us. Whatever it is, it’s pretty useful at keeping you glued to the chair when exploring the GT-R’s ample grip.

And this is the point at which you tell us the Track Pack takes the GT-R to a new dynamic level and that Porsche should just call it a day?

Nissan was probably hoping something similar, but the fact is, Silverstone looked and felt like a canal when we drove the Track Pack, so it’d be pointless to try and draw any conclusions regarding this car’s extra ability. Worried about the amount of standing water on the track, Nissan saddled us with chaperones who limited our top speed to 60mph on the waterlogged back straight and kept the ESP firmly on for corners that offered sidewall-stretching grip one minute and epic oversteer the next.

Despite the modest weight advantage, Nissan claims no straight-line performance advantage. But since the standard car already clocks 62mph in 2.8v seconds, we can’t imagine many complaining. It still comes as a shock to experience just how much faster these 543bhp MY12 GT-Rs are than the already rapid originals. The GT-R’s V6 isn’t the most soulful of engines, but you’d need something like a Veyron to equal its kick in the back when the turbos come on song.

Verdict

We’ll need another go in dry before we can say for certain, but the gut feel is that you’d have very nearly as much fun in the standard car, would still have use of the back seats and would save yourself £10k. Maybe it’d be different for habitual trackdayers and buyers obsessed with one-upmanship, but for the rest of us, the problem is that the regular GT-R is just too brilliant for its own good.

Specs

Price when new: £84,450
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3799cc 24v twin-turbo V6, 543bhp @ 6400rpm, 465lb ft @ 3200-5800rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch, four-wheel drive
Performance: 2.8sec 0-62mph, 196mph, 24mpg, 275g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1740kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4670/1895/1370mm

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  • Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review
  • Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review
  • Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review
  • Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review
  • Nissan GT-R Track Pack (2012) review

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker

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