This week’s arrival of the 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo not only welcomed a new halo model to the range, it also marked the long awaiting launch of the Nismo brand in Australia.
But even if you have the $299,000 plus on-roads, you won’t be able to walk into any Nissan dealer and buy one. There are only a handful dealers throughout Australia authorised to sell (and service) the GT-R including the Nismo version, according to Richard Emery, Nissan Australia CEO who spoke to CarAdvice recently.
“All told, we have 12 dealers in Australia that sell the GT-R. They were appointed in 2008 when GT-R was first launched here, and all have to meet very specific requirements given the special nature of this high-performance model.
“It requires special tooling, special training and a special method of selling the car, as well as the way you communicate with the customer, given the GT-R, be it the ‘regular’ model up to the Nismo version is not like any other car.
“Back when the GT-R first launched, Kazutoshi Mizuno, Chief Vehicle Engineer and Head of the GT-R was insistent that customers understood the unique characteristics of the car, due to the early models having a transmission that was more clunky than they are today. Of course, there was nothing wrong with the gearbox, just that he wanted customers to understand that the GT-R was very much a race-bred road car right the start”, he added.
Mizuno’s philosophy carries on even today, with GT-R dealers required to have the very latest service equipment even down to specially designed wheel alignment machines.
“They need to invest in current laser wheel alignment equipment, critical to the way the GT-R performs on track and on the road. At the same time, there’s special tooling for brake work and the engine management system, which the general Nissan dealers don’t have”, Emery said.
It’s a heavy investment by all 12 NHPC dealers (Nissan High Performance Centre), who are solely responsible for all GT-R sales, who will not only receive technical training on the latest GT-R Nismo version, but they’ll also test drive the car.
“We’re very committed to making sure GT-R owners, either Nismo or the standard car are fully supported by their dealer”.
Asked if he thought the introduction of the more powerful Nismo version might water down the exclusivity and ownership proposition of the of standard GT-R, Emery said it would only add to the nameplate.
“Not at all, I see the Nismo GT-R enhancing the entire GT-R nameplate. The reality is that it will only further spread the reputation of GT-R as a very special machine. There’s really nothing else on the market you can buy for $189,000 (being the list price of the regular GT-R) that can deliver that kind of capability and level of performance.”
Nissan says the MY17 GT-R performance claims remain unchanged, which means it’s still a devastatingly quick car capable of smashing the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.7 seconds. While there’s no official acceleration time for the Nismo version, Emery says it’s definitely quicker that the ‘regular’ GT-R.
“There’s no doubt the Nismo GT-R is quicker than the standard in 0-100km/h, but that’s not entirely what the GT-R is all about. Talking with Hiroshi Tamura, GT-R Chief Product Planner, he’s not that interested in outright acceleration times. He’s more interested in the way the car performs and how it connects with the driver.”
The GT-R Nismo went on sale in Australia last week.