A Supercar's Kryptonite

The release of the Nissan GT-R brought smiles to quite a few faces across the globe. However, many of them were quickly replaced with looks of confusion and straight-up anger. The new supercar had a few "hidden" drawbacks.

Once again, we return to the Nissan GT-R, but this visit doesn't include very much good news. MINE's MotorSports was the first aftermarket tuners to take hold of the GT-R, and not too long ago, Scott Kanemura of Motor Trend got to talk to the president of MINE's MotorSports, Michizio Niikura. The conversation quickly turned to the preventative measures Nissan installed to keep modification to a minimum.

Not all that long ago, it came out that the GT-R would be limited to 111mph unless the built-in GPS system concluded you were at a race track. According to Niikura, that nifty little trick will only work on pre-approved racetracks. Alright, that's a safety measure...I guess. We also learned that although the system can detect you are at a track, it will not remove the limiter automatically. It is only after navigating through a myriad of menus and options on the touch-screen that you can remove said limiter. Now, you have to go to a Nissan approved track and play with the settings to cut your new toy loose. Still not all that bad, right? So, race day is over and it's time to pack up the Nissan and take her home for a good night's rest. Not too fast, after removing the limiter and racing, you are required to go to a Nissan High Performance Center where they will conduct a safety check to make sure your GT-R is still safe for the road. The cost for such an inspection is $1000, which is better than opting not to get the inspection and voiding the factory warranty.

Shortly after the Tokyo Auto Salon, there was a rumor floating around that the wheels on Nissan GT-R were also unable to be changed. Come on, the wheels are one of the most simple and eye-pleasing upgrades a car owner can do. Nissan wouldn't take that away would they? Sadly, that rumor was confirmed, breaking the hearts of many avid GT-R'ers. According to a few tuners at the TAS, all the GT-R's on display had to be driven in on the stock wheels, jacked up, fitted with the new shoes and then set back on the stage. If you decide to try it anyway, a sensor on the valve system will be more than happy to liven up your dash with a few "Uh-oh" lights. MINE's has also discovered that any modification, even slight, to the intake system will also throw the ECU into a tizzy.

But, I did promise a little bit of good news didn't I? The GPS based limiter will not be present on the US models. The others, however, will remain. I'm not too sure what Nissan was thinking when they decided that people shouldn't be allowed to upgrade the GT-R but I know it has risen more than a few angry fists. Hopefully they decide to remove that before the next model year.

Hat-Tip : MotorTrend

George Delozier
Automotive Innovations