We already know how impressive the GT-R is on the road, with the 2013 model capable of lapping the Nürburgring circuit in 7min 18.6 seconds, but if I were a betting man I’d suspect that 542bhp wouldn’t be the ideal choice when those same roads are covered in snow.
That’s the challenge set by Kazutoshi Mizuno, creator of the GT-R, at Nissan’s testing ground in Hokkaido, Japan. Accompanying the standard 2013 GT-R is an SUV in the shape of Infiniti’s FX and a typical rear-wheel drive car represented by the Nissan 370Z.
All cars were fitted with the same Dunlop stud-less tyres with their VDC safety systems left on – representing the configuration that most owners would drive each car in.
The 2013 model GT-R is powered by the now familiar 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which now sits slightly lower in the chassis. In the video you’ll hear Mizuno-san patiently explaining how they’ve focused on the GT-R’s use of all four tyres, finding an optimal weight balance to maximise traction and make for a predictable and friendly car to drive.
Engineers updated the springs, dampers and front anti-roll bar in their mission to achieve what they call ‘optimized weight’, they also fitted new cam bolts on the front suspension to improve camber accuracy and stability when cornering. As well as better suspension control, they also made the GT-R’s body shell stiffer, which keeps it all pointing in the right direction even under severe lateral loads.
If you’ve got 20-minutes to spare, the video shows how the GT-R fares in a series of six tests; 0-100m standing start acceleration, braking performance, 100m slalom driving test, hill-start performance, skid pad performance and winding road test.
According to Nissan, GT-R is the only supercar designed to be driven in the snow, a claim which I’m sure Porsche would contest but I doubt many others would.