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Wednesday 15th August 2012

Nissan GT-R looks to the future

Update: Mizuno hasn't retired after all and will see the GT-R into the next generation!



The intention was to run this story as a Time For Tea? but you'd need a pot of the stuff, given this particular video is 20 minutes long. And the subject it explores rather more weighty than a couple of minutes of YouTube jollity to lighten up your afternoon. You might also want to dig your sense of humour out of the cupboard - or at least prepare to start gritting those teeth - as some of the language here is a little strong. And we don't mean in a sweary way.

Track Pack car raced near-standard at N24
Track Pack car raced near-standard at N24
To save you the trouble of spitting Earl Grey all over your keyboard, let's just get the first example out there immediately. According to the video the GT-R is "fuelled by the power of mankind".

But wait a minute - is this hyperbolic propaganda gone mad, or something that's lost its subtlety in translation?

Kazutoshi Mizuno (Mr GT-R™) and the rest of his Development Team crew can't tell us often enough that the whole point of the exercise was to improve the road car. And since the Development Team running the race car was essentially the development team that look after GT-R in the real world, the process was also intended to improve their skills as well.

Applying a bit of logical reasoning, could it be the video actually means the GT-R is the product of the people who build it? Take that to extremes and it is powered by mankind, in a manner of speaking.

Mere marketing tool or evolutionary step?
Mere marketing tool or evolutionary step?
No? Oh well. Anyhoo, using the N24 as a development tool does ring true. That echoes everything we were told during our time with the team, and seems to gel with what we know about Mizuno-san - which is to say he generally takes an alternative approach.

Let's not get into the more weight = better performance debate again, but instead consider a 24-hour race environment as a severe stress testing process that it is impossible to replicate without the element of competition. About 10 minutes in, for example, the video mentions you don't generally get crashes during regular endurance analysis.

Supporting this theory, it's interesting to note the engineers' confidence ahead of the race, compared with the aftermath.

Just how much more is there to come?
Just how much more is there to come?
The appearance of this video has also sparked concern about the GT-R's future, with some wailing that the "recent retirement" of Mizuno-san spells the end for his baby around 2014. Let's not be so hasty. First of all, he's just reached Nissan's mandatory retirement age of 60 - so there's unlikely to be anything sinister there. Doubtless he remains an influential figure. (See update below - Ed.)

More tellingly, ahead of the N24 he explicitly outlined five further years of development for the current car. So unless the race threw up something really catastrophic about the vehicle's design - the video is admittedly rather vague - we can look forward to the R35 embarrassing Porsche until about 2017.


UPDATE: Contrary to our initial reporting it seems rumours of Mizuno's retirement have been greatly exaggerated and he's still very much in charge - and just as obsessive - as ever. Not only that plans for an R36 are, according to a Nissan spokesman, very much still a going concern. He has just turned 60 though!


Lead photo: Frozenspeed

 

 

cjhubbard
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DanDC5

Original Poster:

9,060 posts

54 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
5 more years at least is a good thing. Long live the GTR.

Boonster

37 posts

89 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
As an early contributor to this thread, I must say how much I looking forward to plenty of sensible un-biased opinions being shared in a friendly and completely balanced way to make this the must read thread of the day. Being a former GTR owner I have decided to rely on the good judgement of others to provide comments as I am sure I will be fully behind such well informed comments. Have to go now as just spotted a pink pig out the window... smile

The Obeast

94 posts

31 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
i seriously doubt this dude would retire without havin somebody groomed ( can that word still apply outside of dirty old men??)as his replacement? people may not like the GT-R but I think its fair to say its moved the goal[posts quite considerably on what a GT car can do.

raptor600

1,356 posts

33 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
The Obeast said:
i seriously doubt this dude would retire without havin somebody groomed ( can that word still apply outside of dirty old men??)as his replacement? people may not like the GT-R but I think its fair to say its moved the goal[posts quite considerably on what a GT car can do.
Everyone I have met loves the GTR - bar some Porsche owners up set that they wasted their money wink

Prof Prolapse

9,974 posts

77 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
"Nissan's mandatory retirement age of 60"

Isn't that when they take you out next to the chemical sheds and shoot you?

Or is that just if you worked on the Micra?
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Jakdaw

153 posts

97 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
During the first pit stop - what is it they connect to the very front of the car?

robmlufc

4,067 posts

73 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Jakdaw said:
During the first pit stop - what is it they connect to the very front of the car?
Airline for the jacks.

Jakdaw

153 posts

97 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
robmlufc said:
Airline for the jacks.
Ah cool, so the jacks are built into the car itself, nice idea.

robmlufc

4,067 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Jakdaw said:
Ah cool, so the jacks are built into the car itself, nice idea.
Yeah its pretty much standard in sports car racing these days, most have the connection at the back or pitlane side. Nice quick release connection so the car is on the deck as soon at the tyres are on.

R18 pit stop, airline goes in at 24 seconds from the back

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lcAFMe16g0

Cyder

5,478 posts

107 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Mandatory retirement age of 60? scratchchin

Not sure on that one.

Krikkit

5,191 posts

68 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Can't say I have much love for the GT-R... I have huge respect for it, and Mizuno is a really interesting bloke, but it just doesn't get under my skin.

robmlufc said:
Jakdaw said:
Ah cool, so the jacks are built into the car itself, nice idea.
Yeah its pretty much standard in sports car racing these days, most have the connection at the back or pitlane side. Nice quick release connection so the car is on the deck as soon at the tyres are on.

R18 pit stop, airline goes in at 24 seconds from the back

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lcAFMe16g0
It's also why most pitlanes are made of concrete on the area next to the garage (the name escapes me) - because the air jacks are quite vicious when they deploy they do quite a bit of damage to the asphalt.


Wardy5

29 posts

93 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
What I'd like to see is the development experience and lessons learnt to spread to other vehicles in the Nissan line-up.

The advent of other Nissan models that carry on this same approach would be very welcome. More GT-R DNA being put into a 370Z successor, for example?

chimpanzee

28 posts

54 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Manufacturers like to offer, and the media and readers quite happily accept, the romantic idea that cars are developed by a single, special, talented individual. This is honestly never the case but the reality of a large group of engineers struggling through the complicated process of delivering a new car just doesn't make a good story.

The only person who cant lose is Mizuno. GT-R might carry on just the same thanks to his legacy. But if it changes into something lesser it will be because he retired. Both of these things could happen with or without him.

Dan Trent

1,022 posts

55 months

PH Editor Bloke

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Well, Nissan just called with 'some concerns' about the story, namely the reports of Mizuno's retirement. As per the updated version of the story but reiterated here he's still in charge, still totally obsessed with incredible fine details and will see the GT-R through to the next generation.

So there it is!

Dan

theboyfold

8,958 posts

113 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
I don't think the language is that 'strong'. In my short time in Japan you'll learn about passion and pride that they pour into things, and the GT-R is no exception IMHO. Also, I'm sure some of what they say will get a little blown out of proportion in translation.

Great video though and amazing that they managed to run a pretty much stock car for 24 hours.

RX7

258 posts

131 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Bizarrely enough i am still struggling to come to terms with the GTR, a car that weighs (in relative terms) a lot, very fast and capable and is cheap (comparatively). I think Nissan have almost done the impossible and in what direction is it going go in its future, it surely cant get "much" quicker or cheaper so its only going to be refined surely? I know there is always room for improvement, but development is hardly the word!

rtz62

626 posts

42 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
I can't afford a second hand one (yet) let alone a new one, but boy, I can't wait until I can!

LaurasOtherHalf

8,528 posts

83 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
rtz62 said:
I can't afford a second hand one (yet) let alone a new one, but boy, I can't wait until I can!
The last thing I'd want is a cheap second hand one, my mates that I drive at the ring had a new gearbox last year (under warranty). Cost? Only 12 grand plus labour eek

Big Six

37 posts

34 months

[news] 
Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Still wished they kept the Skyline name to be honest......Anyway...I want one. You only have to watch Drag times or watch the YouTube videos on the Alpha 9's-12 to no where I am coming from.

A landmark car from a landmark man. Collectors item in years to come.

Verde

442 posts

75 months

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Wednesday 15th August 2012 quote quote all
Same same. I am amazed by the GT-R. It's like a Chevy Camaro designed to ignore the laws of physics. Amazing as it is, it is a very big car. And that's why my heart doesn't take me to a Nissan dealer. I am a Porsche owner, and acknowledge that it out runs a car costing almost twice as much. But moving that much mass, with a drive-by-wire sense of feel, just leaves me cold. It's the same reason I like the F4 Phantom more than an F-22.
Anyhoo (ahem), I'm very happy that the car exists and will continue to evolve and improve under control of it's master.
V

Wardy5 said:
What I'd like to see is the development experience and lessons learnt to spread to other vehicles in the Nissan line-up.

The advent of other Nissan models that carry on this same approach would be very welcome. More GT-R DNA being put into a 370Z successor, for example?
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