Nissan unwrapped the latest generation of their GT-R sports car today at the New York City Auto show. The new GT-R returns with a comprehensive makeover that adds a touch of luxury and refinement along with a boost of raw power.

“This is the most refined, most powerful and most progressive sports car Nissan has ever built,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s global head of marketing.

The GT-R shot to fame as a favourite of the performance tuner crowd, by offering astonishing power at a relatively low price. Elevating it to compete on par with Porsche 911 and Audi R8 runs the risk of alienating that demographic if the price climbs similarly upward.

It’s not an entirely new car, but according to Nissan, the new GT-R has undergone the most extensive refresh since it was first introduced back in 2007.

Outwardly, the GT-R retains its characteristic profile, but the sheet metal’s been reworked to improve aerodynamic slipperiness. An enlarged version of Nissan’s signature V-motion grille, finished off in matte chrome, draws more cooling air into the engine bay. The grill’s v-shape flows upwards, forming crisp character lines on either side of the newly reinforced hood. The enormous front grille is flanked by air vents, and finished off below with a jutting lip spoiler that creates an expression of raw sports car attitude.

Resculpted door sills add dynamic visual tension to the car’s flanks while channelling air flow around the body, and the wider rear fascia includes functional side air vents, quad exhaust tips and a rear diffuser. Overall, the changes result in not only a more hardcore, sports-focused look, but a car with greater stability and a drag coefficient of 0.26.

Inside the cabin reflects the GT-R’s aspirations of super car luxuriousness. A new, horizontal planed dash is wrapped with a single piece of stitched Nappa leather, and the carbon fibre centre console, and gauge cluster are arranged in a driver-focused environment. Paddle shifters have been relocated to the steering wheel, putting them within easy intuitive reach for the driver at full-lock. Front seats have been redesigned with a new lighter construction offering more side support and the sort of comfort expected from a grand tourer.

An ergonomically simplified instrumentation layout features integrated audio and navigation which reduces the number of hard controls to 11 from 27 in the previous car. The colour touchscreen is now eight inches instead of seven and features a new controller on the centre console. Canadian GT-Rs will come equipped with NissanConnect with Navigation and integrated mobile Apps, allowing owners to lock, unlock, alert emergency services, activate the alarm or track the car if stolen.

“The GT-R is more aggressive, yet more refined than ever before,” said Shillaci. “It’s meant to be driven anywhere, at any time by anyone.”

But if you’re worried that Godzilla’s new level of civility comes at the expense of raw power, fear not. The GT-R’s hand-crafted, 3.8L turbocharged V6 now delivers what Nissan calls a “segment-leading” 565 hp at 6,800 rpm, and 467 lb-ft of torque thanks to some tweaking of the individual cylinder ignition timing and a jump in boost from the turbochargers.

The Beast, the Legend: Evolution of the GT-R

The dual-clutch six-speed transmission has been reworked to produce smoother shifts with less noise. While the cabin boasts new levels of quiet refinement thanks to increased sound absorption and layers of acoustic glass, the car’s structure is stiffer than ever and the revised suspension provides greater stability at high speeds.

Finally, there are a couple of new colour additions to the GT-R’s palette, including the show car’s “Blaze Metallic” orange. Premium Editions are now available with semi-aniline leather in a variety of colours including new Rakuda Tan, Ivory and Amber Red.

The new 2017 Nissan GT-R is scheduled to arrive some time this summer.

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