The look is altered, but don’t expect a layman to necessarily spot the difference.

There’s a new bumper, bonnet, daytime running lights and grille – hardly a bold reimagining of the mighty Godzilla.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The GT-R’s paddles have moved from the column to the steering wheel. It’s a personal thing, but I would have preferred them to stay where I couldn’t possibly lose them

Instead, Nissan insists that most changes are less about improving the car’s thickset looks than they are enhancing its aerodynamic rigour.

Thus, downforce, drag reduction and cooling airflow are variously cited as the reasons for the front spoiler extending by a few millimetres, the sills being reshaped and the rear bumper swapped for the one deployed on the previous-generation Nismo.

So the latest GT-R cuts through the air marginally more cleanly and soothes its components slightly more efficiently – but enters the eyeballs in more or less the same way.

That’s probably fine, though, because you’re likely either to buy into the Nissan’s idiosyncratic looks or dislike them to the extent that it would take more than a facelift to fix them.

Of greater importance than the way it (still) looks are the structural improvements made in the pursuit of greater rigidity.

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Reinforcements in the A-pillar and C-pillar areas are said to result in better and more uniform stiffness and are accompanied by newly valved Bilstein adaptive dampers plus tougher suspension mounts.

The steering remains by speed-sensitive, hydraulically assisted rack and pinion, but Nissan claims for it sharper responses and reduced effort at lower speeds.

Serious effort, too, has been devoted to exorcising the din that typically blights long journeys in the GT-R. The quality of the sound deadening behind the dashboard has been improved, the ‘booming’ exhaust resonance has been electronically damped and the car employs a noise cancelling system to mask unwanted sounds in the cabin.

The six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has also been revised in the interests of quietness. Changes to the control software are intended to make shifts more precise, smoothing out the previously cranky low-speed changes and decreasing the whine that tended to emanate from between the rear wheels.

The ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system fed by that gearbox remains the same, sending drive to the rear wheels only until circumstances dictate otherwise, but the power source itself – the hand-assembled 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 – gets higher boost pressure and a new ignition system that more accurately controls timing at each cylinder for a more efficient fuel burn.

Together with a new titanium exhaust, the engine now delivers 562bhp – a 20bhp hike – as well as marginally increased peak torque over a broader rev range.

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