Nissan GT-R Track Edition Even More Track-ready Thanks to British Tuner

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Nissan’s all-wheel drive supercar gets more power and sharper handling from English tuner Litchfield. Is that enough to make it more exciting?

On paper, the Nissan GT-R has a lot going for it. It’s the latest model in a storied lineage of performance cars. It not only has 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque, but it transmits that power to the road through a quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission and tenacious ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive. It’s a different story on pavement. For all of the people who love the GT-R, there are many who find it bland and lacking driver engagement.

Carfection‘s Alex Goy falls into the latter camp. He finds the stock GT-R to be underwhelming, despite its power and acceleration. He says, “It does the fast thing…and that’s all. It’s quite boring, really.” Litchfield Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Luckily, there are plenty of people and companies out there who are willing to tweak the GT-R in pursuit of greater power, sharper handling, and increased driving enjoyment. Litchfield Motors, an English tuning shop, has been modifying GT-Rs for years and offers a variety of upgrades. Goy recently got his hands on a GT-R Track Edition they souped up with Bilstein dampers, stiffer springs, and a handling pack that slightly adjusts the wheelbase and suspension geometry to improve the GT-R’s grip and steering feel. Litchfield Nissan GT-R Track Edition

To help the GT-R breathe better, Litchfield gave it larger air intakes. They modified the fuel system to ensure the beastly V6 gets enough go juice and changed the intake manifold. They even tuned the ECU so that drivers can adjust their boost and MAF settings depending on the fuel they use. Litchfield’s adjustments increase output to 631 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, which enables the GT-R to hit 62 mph in under three seconds and 100 mph in less than six. Top speed is 205 mph, according to the company.

Out on the test track, the Litchfield GT-R makes a positive impression on Goy. He says, “The [power] delivery is…it’s addictive.” In its most aggressive setting, the gearbox shifts immediately and forcefully. The GT-R’s braking abilities evenly match its increased power, making Goy feel as if his face is going to fall off when he jams the left pedal down. Litchfield Nissan GT-R Track Edition

But all of the changes raise a big question: “Are the modifications enough to make the GT-R an interesting car again or has Litchfield simply made a slightly noring car faster?” Goy does a little more driving to find out. His verdict? Litchfield made a competent car enjoyable. As Goy says, “Consider me whelmed.”

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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