Don’t get me wrong here: the Nissan GT-R is an amazing car and shows exactly what an automaker can achieve by embracing technology. Sales of the GT-R have cooled in the United States now that the initial introductory hype has died off (and since our economy still has one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel), so the time is right for a mid-cycle “refresh”. Nissan knows that major changes would be counter-productive, so the 2012 GT-R is just getting a revised front bumper, a new rear diffuser, lighter wheels and yet to be named interior, chassis and engine upgrades. Two new colors (blue and black) will be offered.
The changes aren’t merely cosmetic, since the revised front and rear panels reduce drag by about 1.5% and increase rear downforce by some 10%. The lighter wheels save about six and a half pounds of weight from each corner, which should help with handling, braking and acceleration. The projected launch date of the 2012 model is autumn of 2011, and the base price is expected to be $84,500.