Few people outside Nissan know more about the GT-R than Litchfield Motors, from near Tewkesbury. Originally an importer of grey Japanese goodness, Iain Litchfield's business has evolved into being one of the most respected tuners of R35 GT-Rs in the business. It has sold more than 500 of its handling kits for the R35 GT-R, and reckons - as PH does, incidentally - that the Track Edition might just be the sweet spot in the current GT-R range.
At £94,995, the Track Edition sits between the £81,995 regular GT-R and the full-on £151,995 Nismo edition. The Track Edition gets the fully seam welded shell of the Nismo, which necessitates it being taken off the line and to a different facility for prep, as well as a wider front track and wings, larger hubs, different front suspension arms, hollow anti-roll bars, different wheels/tyres and a carbon fibre rear spoiler.
UK buyers don't necessarily always agree. Nissan only sold four Track Editions last year. Which is a shame: the success of the Track Edition helps justify the existence Nismo, or vice versa, because of the additional shell work that happens to both. Anyway it's why Litchfield has launched a new variant - the Litchfield Track Edition - based on it.
At £98,895 on the road, the Litchfield variant takes the regular Track Edition and adds larger air intakes, larger injectors, a fuel pressure sensor, an intake manifold air temperature sensor, a new exhaust Y-section and recalibration of the ECUs for both engine and gearbox. Thus reworked, the Litchfield car makes 640hp, up from 570hp (the Nismo is only 600hp), and 600lb ft.
Litchfield fits its suspension kit, too, which it developed for the limited edition LM20 it launched last year. There are Bilstein dampers, and Eibach springs which are 44% stiffer at the front and 13% stiffer at the rear. The roll bars are stiffer, and changes to the front suspension slightly change the wheelbase and caster angle, aimed at giving more front end grip and steering feel. To match the drivetrain and suspension changes, Litchfield calibrates its own stability control. Then there's a new front splitter and rear lip spoiler.
And it all gets a three-year warranty. Which is quite a lot of work for a mere four grand premium, no? I think there are a few reasons for that. A sub-£100k price tag is attractive, I suspect a few buyers will still ask Litchfield to do a little extra work again - turning the power up to the high sevens is pretty popular, I believe - and then there's the fact that Litchfield has a much better relationship with Nissan than it once did, so I suspect gets quite a good deal on the car. A bit like Japanese manufacturers used to frown on grey imports, before coming around to the idea, I think Nissan has realised that Litchfield is good, rather than bad, for GT-R business.
We managed to have a quick go, while on an airfield for some videos we're preparing. Not on the road and not in close proximity to a regular Track Edition GT-R, so we'll report back another time with a proper drive. But it's good: loads of power, evenly delivered, with surefooted handling, and, yeah, more steering feel than I remember - although it has been a while.
More details, then, when we pop back over to Gloucestershire for a proper drive. Alternatively, if you just can't wait, there's plenty of Litchfield's handiwork to be found in the classifieds, including everything from a Stage 1 to Stage 5 upgrade, and even a breathed-on Prestige model from horse's mouth. Alternatively, there's an unregistered 2018 Nismo waiting for a home, too. Choices, choices.