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New York, New York — Nissan shows new GT-R, Audi its R8 Spyder

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 24 March 2016

TWO important new sportscars have been unveiled at the ongoing New York International Auto Show with Nissan showing its new MY17 GT-R (main pic) and Audi its latest R8 Spyder.

NISSAN

Th MY17 boasts some significant changes since its introduction in 2007 — a major restyling, driving-performance enhancements and key new features.

The new GT-R’s exterior gets a complete makeover across the front end.

The new chrome matte finish “V-motion” grille represents one of Nissan’s latest design signatures. It has been enlarged to provide better engine cooling and features an updated mesh pattern.

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A new bonnet has been strengthend contributing to stability during high-speed driving. A freshly-designed front spoiler lip and front bumpers with finishers situated immediately below the headlights give the new GT-R the look of a pure-bred racecar, while generating high levels of front downforce.

The GT-R’s familiar wind-cutting shape defines its profile, but tweaks to the side sills, a makeover of the rear and subtle changes at the front help to improve airflow, but retaining the same amount of downforce as the current GT-R to keep the car stable at high speeds.

Leather dominates the cabin and the centre dashboard layout has also been improved and simplified. Integrated navigation and audio controls reduce the number of switches from 27 in the previous model to only 11 in the MY17 model. An enlarged 8-inch touchscreen monitor features large icons on the display screen to make it easy to operate. A new display command control on the carbon-fibre centre console allows easy operation.

The paddle shifts are now mounted to the new steering wheel, allowing drivers to change gears in mid-turn without having to take their hands off the wheel. The paddles themselves, along with the ventilation controls, have improved feel and better sound when engaged or adjusted.

“As the icon of Nissan’s driving performance, the GT-R continues to evolve. With the signature V-Motion grille, the GT-R now possesses the latest Nissan design language. Its exceptional aerodynamic performance and upgraded interior have given the GT-R a more mature character, which will continue into the future,” said Nissan’s Executive Design Director, Mamoru Aoki.

The GT-R’s award-winning 3.8-litre 24-valve twin-turbocharged V6 engine – each unit handcrafted by its own TAKUMI technician – now delivers 562hp at 6,800 rpm and 637Nm of torque. The engines are the definition of TAKUMI expertise. The improved output, which is the result of individual ignition-timing control of the cylinders and extra boost from the turbochargers gives acceleration in the mid- to high-ranges (3,200 rpm and above).

It comes mated to a thoroughly refined 6-speed dual-clutch transmission that features smoother shifts and less noise. That familiar GT-R tone also has been upgraded with an engine that has never sounded better. The resonance of the new titanium exhaust and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) enhance the driving experience.

The GT-R has always been regarded as one of the world’s best handling machines, and for MY17, its cornering abilities have become even better. A more rigid body structure and new suspension result in better stability through quick lateral transitions and higher overall cornering speed. Providing the grip are sticky 20 inch tyres, wrapped around new “Y-spoke” machine-finished forged aluminum wheels.

New for the MY17 GT-R are fresh colours inside and out that complement the car’s sophisticated character. A “Katsura Orange” with multi layered painting has been added to the exterior paint palate, while the interior of the Prestige Edition, which features high quality leather, offers customers four different options: the newly added Tan, as well as Red, Ivory and all over Black. The always popular Recaro® Edition will also still be available on the MY17 GT-R.

AUDI

THRILLING open-air motoring accompanied by the guttural roar of a mighty naturally aspirated engine – this is the essence of the Audi R8 Spyder, and the formula has lost none of its intoxicating purity in an all-new successor.

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The latest R8 Spyder with naturally aspirated V10 power returns more technologically accomplished, more powerful and quicker against the clock, even more tightly pinned to corners and even more composed on the straights thanks to a 50 per cent improvement in torsional rigidity.

“With its spontaneous throttle response, quick revving-up and inimitable sound, the 5.2 FSI naturally aspirated engine in the new Audi R8 Spyder delivers undiluted emotion,” Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development said.

“Compared to the R8 Coupé, the engine sound in the open high-performance sports car now delivers an even more intense experience.”

The R8 Spyder has a lightweight cloth hood tapering into two fins. These stretch the cloth so that it, along with the large hood compartment cover, fits in with the dramatic lines of this high-performance sports car. An electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the hood in 20 seconds up to a speed of 50km/h.

The rear window, sunk into the bulkhead, can be retracted and extended. With all windows up, the air stream passes over the body with a minimum of turbulence.

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Dry, the two-seater weighs just 1,612 kilograms. Its strong backbone is the newly developed Audi Space Frame (ASF) using the multi-material construction principle, made from aluminium and carbon fibre.

The aluminum components make up 79.6 percent of its weight. In a progression from the R8 Coupé, they form a lattice that Audi’s engineers have used to incorporate specific reinforcements especially into the sills, A-pillars and windscreen frame. Innovative manufacturing methods lower the weight of individual components by up to ten percent. As a result, the highly rigid body weighs a mere 208 kilograms, and its torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent compared with the previous model.

The mighty mid-mounted engine with dual injection system sets the tone in the new Audi R8 Spyder V10. The naturally aspirated 5.2-litre engine has a dynamic throttle response and a distinctive hard-edged soundtrack which can be amplified further by an optional sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims.

It delivers 532hp and 540 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm deliver phenomenal road performance: from 0 to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 317km/h. Efficiency technologies such as the new freewheeling mode, in which the R8 coasts with the engine decoupled, also boost fuel efficiency by ten percent compared with the previous Spyder. The new R8 Spyder is capable of returning up to 24.1mpg, corresponding to 277 grams CO2 per kilometre.

Behind the V10 there is a seven-speed S tronic transmission with lightning-fast action, which the driver controls electrically – by wire. The dual-clutch transmission directs forces to a newly designed quattro drive system with an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. The all-wheel clutch, watercooled for maximum performance, distributes the drive torques fully variably according to the driving situation – in extreme cases, up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels.

The intelligent control system is incorporated into the Audi drive select system, which offers four modes ranging from overtly dynamic to comfort-oriented. In conjunction with the optional R8 performance leather steering wheel, three more driving programs are available: dry, wet and snow. They make handling even more precise and stable, to match the specific conditions of the road being travelled.

The controls place the focus squarely on the driver, who can operate all important functions with the multifunction and satellite push-buttons without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or look away from the road. The large 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit presents all information using rich 3D graphics – if desired, in a special performance view that includes driving dynamics information.

The intuitively operated MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard, as are belt microphones. These make it even easier to use natural-language voice control and the phone. MMI search, which makes search suggestions after input of just the first few letters, offers a shortcut to the required information.

With the Audi smartphone interface, a new technology makes its debut in the R8 Spyder. This makes it possible to display selected content from the smartphone directly in the Audi virtual cockpit. From the middle of this year, this option will also be available for the R8 Coupé. The Audi phone box can also be specified to connect mobile phones to the car aerial and charge them inductively. Audi connect gets the R8 Spyder on the Internet via LTE and provides a wide range of services – from online media streaming to real-time traffic information. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System is another highlight: For the first time, Audi integrates two head restraint loudspeakers into each seat, for an excellent audio experience even when driving with the hood open.

“Our new R8 line is the sporty vanguard of Audi,” Stefan Knirsch said. “Following on from the Coupé, we are now bringing out the second generation of the R8 Spyder. The open high-performance sports car delivers thrillingly captivating performance and gives the driver an even more direct experience of the V10 naturally aspirated engine’s unmistakable sound.”