Greater Godzilla

Five years after the fearsome GT-R was last updated, Nissan has finally gotten around to enhancing their halo model

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Five years after the fearsome GT-R was last updated, Nissan has finally gotten around to enhancing their halo model

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Nicknamed after the fictional Japanese monster, Godzilla, the GT-R is famed for its intimidating power and performance, which worries even established rivals such as the Porsche 911 Turbo.

Although the latest GT-R looks similar to the pre-facelift model, the enhancements are actually quite substantial.

Body-wise, the GT-R has a larger front grille for improved cooling, and a stiff er bonnet for enhanced stability at high speeds.

Inside, the cockpit features a new Display Command system that’s supposedly more user-friendly than before, while the paddle-shifters are now on the steering wheel instead of the steering column. They conveniently let drivers swop cogs while turning, but enthusiasts will still refrain from doing this.

Ensuring that the GT-R continues to terrify rivals is its hand-built, twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V6, which now pumps out 565bhp and 633Nm. These figures are an increase of 23bhp and 5Nm over the previous model.

Engineers also tweaked the car’s suspension to boost cornering speeds. Despite this, Nissan says that the ride quality is actually more pliant than before.

Godzilla buyers who want even more monstrous performance can opt for the 600bhp Nismo GT-R, which has unique suspension components and carbon fibre exterior bits.

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Peugeot has unveiled its all-new 3008, a sports utility vehicle aimed at chic suburbanites who want an alternative to the popular Volkswagen Tiguan (latest model reviewed on pg 70).

Compared to its predecessor, the latest 3008 has a more resolved and attractive design. It’s also around 100kg lighter than the previous model.

This crossover is roomier and more practical than before. Rear occupants have an additional 36mm of headroom and 24mm of legroom. Meanwhile, the vehicle’s luggage capacity of 520 litres (with the rear seats upright) is 100 litres greater than before.

The 3008 can be specified with new safety features, such as Active Safety Brake and Distance Alert, which automatically apply the brakes when the systems detect an imminent collision.

We expect the new 3008 to reach Singapore in the first half of 2017.

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Opel has facelifted the Zafira Tourer, the brand’s seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

The restyled body makes the Zafira look sharper and more dynamic than before. It also brings the MPV’s styling in line with Opel’s current design language, first seen on the latest Astra.

Sure to please drivers is the redesigned cockpit, which is prettier and more intuitive than the one in the older model.

The Zafira’s overall cabin space remains unchanged, but buyers can now specify Adaptive Cruise Control and FlexRide (adaptive dampers) to further enhance this MPV’s touring abilities.

Official Opel agent Auto Germany cannot confirm when the car will arrive, but when it does, it’ll have some catching up to do. The Zafira Tourer’s German rival, the new Volkswagen Touran, just hit showrooms last month.

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Ford displayed a GT40 and GT racecar made entirely from Lego at last month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The former pays homage to the GT40s that dominated Le Mans in 1966 by taking the top three spots. The latter is a replica of the car that competed in this year’s race.

There’s no mention of how long it took to build the GT40, but the GT racecar, which was constructed using 40,000 Lego bricks, took a builder three weeks to assemble.

These replicas are cool, but ironically, they also serve as reminders of how long it’s been since the carmaker won Le Mans. Ford’s last victory there was delivered in 1969 by Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver, in a GT40.

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Volvo stunned the motoring world 25 years ago in 1991 when it launched the 850 model. The boxy saloon not only etched its design in everyone’s minds, but also introduced several firsts for the Swedish brand.

The 850 was the first Volvo powered by a transversely mounted 5-cylinder engine. It also debuted the brand’s Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) and self-adjusting front seatbelts.

In 1993, the 850 station wagon became available. The following year, petrolheads suddenly found Volvo exciting because of the 850 T-5R, which boasted 240bhp.

Even more shocking was the fact that Volvo raced a pair of 850 estates in the 1994 British Touring Car Championship!

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In its continuing effort to get children interested in automobiles, Toyota displayed the Camatte Capsule at the International Tokyo Toy Show held last month.
The Capsule is a trailer with a customisable interior space. Using the tablet installed inside, kids are asked to choose one of six colour patterns and eight out of 24 items that they would want in a car trailer.
The goal was to get children and their parents to spend time together talking about cars.
This is the first time that a Camatte exhibit has focused on a car’s interior. The previous exhibits were all geared towards getting kids to try designing and customising car exteriors.
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