Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
6 minute read
19 Oct 2016
9:58 am

Refinement added to Nissan’s GT-R package

Mark Jones

Dedicated Nissan team in Melrose is there to keep your car in tip-top shape.

I do have some sympathy of how difficult it must be to control a media fleet, but getting your hands on a Nissan GT-R has always proven to be difficult.

The last time I got a media test car from Nissan SA, was back in 2011.

My good friends at Melrose Nissan organised me a 2013 Track Pack to test then – and now for my 2017 GT-R, they have come to the rescue once again.

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But it wasn’t just to give me a car to drive for a few days; it was also to introduce me to their dedicated high power GT-R team, and their first in SA “GT-R Buyback Offer” that sees the future value of your GT-R being guaranteed – plus their unique “GT-R Track Support” initiative that allows you to enjoy the full potential of your GT-R in a safe, controlled environment.

Nissan High Performance Centre Melrose

Melrose Nissan have been part of the South African GT-R story from the start, being one of only two Nissan High Performance Centre’s (NHPC) in the country.

The NHPC is a dedicated business unit that focuses solely on looking after GT-R sales and service requirements.

The people responsible for GT-R are hand-picked, knowledgeable and highly trained with equal amounts of passion and experience in dealing with premium customers to ensure the entire ownership experience is as good as the car itself.

The Team

Service manager Mike Grobler has operated some of the best dealership service departments in the country, while maintaining an industry-leading customer satisfaction score.

Mike also races cars in his spare time and has long been associated with many car clubs and racing activities. Sales manager Donovan Lotter has been with the Nissan brand for almost two decades; most of that time spent with Melrose Nissan.

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He is highly knowledgeable on the Nissan GT-R and passionate about the car and its customers. Sales Executive Michael Broom’s background is in the premium and luxury car sector and is the newest member of the team.

He is heavily involved in SA Motorsport administration and media, and is the man behind the MMI GT-R Track Support Program for all GT-R owners.

GT-R Buy Back Offer

GT-R customers now have the option of returning their car after 12, 24 or 36 months at a Guaranteed Buyback Value, or to trade the vehicle on another new GT-R at an even higher value.

Mileage is limited to 10 000km per year and the buyback offer goes up to as much as 85% of the original purchase price.

Terms and conditions apply and are available from NHPC Melrose on request.

GT-R Track Support

GT-R customers at NHPC Melrose are treated as heroes, not clients. From sales to servicing and the newly-launched GT-R Track Support Programme, the focus of the team is to provide an ownership experience like no other.

The basics are, your car must go to them before the event so that they can do a pre-track inspection, set your wheel alignment for track use and ensure all systems are working properly.

They can also source and fit tyres for you if required. At the track, they are on hand all day to look after your GT-R, and offer any help needed with improving your lap time and getting the most out of your GT-R.

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You must go back to them after the track day so they can do a post-track inspection and reset the wheel alignment and check all the systems once again to ensure your GT-R is in tip-top shape and your warranty intact.

2017 Nissan GT-R

So what is the actual car like? From the outside you will notice a refreshed front end, incorporating Nissan’s “V-Motion” grille, a redesigned and stiffened bonnet, 20% increased front cooling area, LED daytime driving lights incorporated into new vents, re-profiled front splitter and a bumper lip.

The side has new sills and a re-profiled C-Pillar to enhance aerodynamic performance, along with a rear bumper and diffuser from the NISMO model that lends a wider, lower look to the rear.

Also peeking out the rear is a new titanium exhaust that is fitted with a control valve for quieter operation at idle and low speeds, all running on new 20-inch Rays wheels that are standard on both Premium and Black Edition models now.

Jumping inside, the changes are equally dramatic: there is an increase in sound insulation materials and measures to reduce cabin noise harshness, along with Active Noise Cancellation, and Active Sound Enhancement to improve the engine and exhaust note in R mode by amplifying sounds through the vehicle’s sound system.

You also get a revised interior with a leather-covered dash that is lowered by 30mm to improve driver visibility, a new Nappa leather steering wheel design, new transmission tunnel design covered in carbon fibre, updated centre console and dash layout that sees just 11 buttons being used, instead of 33, a new eight-inch monitor and new display configuration, plus a new IT commander controller for the information, media and navigation functions.

Punch the start button and everything sounds as it always did under the bonnet, but the 3.8 litre V6 twin turbo set-up now delivers 408kW and 632Nm, which is a slight increase over the previous, lighter model, and still ensures that you are driving one seriously fast car at a massively reduced price versus the cost of cars that are fractionally quicker than this.

GT-R

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That being said, our test car did not quite hit the claimed numbers by Nissan SA as you can see in the test stat block, but then again, no other standard GT-R I have tested over the years has either.

This might cause some outright performance purists a bit of disappointment, but the big difference now is how smooth and easy driving the new GT-R is.

The suspension and gearbox settings have been comprehensively updated to achieve this, while still offering you all the hardcore feel and force you could want when in R mode.

The transmission shift-management control of the sequential six-speed dual clutch transmission has also been updated for better refinement and performance in a variety of driving situations, and most of that mechanical clonk and clunk that was either loved or hated, is gone.

So how is the best way to sum up the new MY 2017 Nissan GT-R? Coming in at R1 950 000 for the Premium Edition and R2 050 000 for the Black Edition, featuring a host of refinements while still being very fast, I guess it might now appeal a little more to the slightly more mature comfort loving customer, while still offering something for the speed mad boy racer in you.

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All Nissan MY17 Nissan GT-Rs are sold with a three- year / 100 000km Warranty and three-year / 50 000km Service Plan. To find out more, please contact Michael Broom at Melrose Nissan on 011-555-3000 or 084-325-2744.