When Nissan unleashed the new iteration of the GT-R four years ago, it seemed engineered to the gills, with no possible room for improvement. But Nissan proves that assumption very wrong with the 2012 model, which features much more power and some refined styling.

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The most obvious change is the bigger fascia with these louvered corners. Nissan says it has improved air flow to the engine and brakes, while increasing downforce by 10 percent. The coefficient of drag also goes from 0.27 to 0.26. Nissan inset new LED running lights into the fascia.

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Although it uses the same twin turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6, Nissan pushed up the turbo boost and made other modifications to increase horsepower from 485 to 530. Likewise, torque was increased from 434 pound-feet to 488 pound-feet.

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Still present is the all-wheel-drive system and the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, located in front of the rear axle for better weight distribution.

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These 20-inch Rays wheels have added knurling for the 2012 model year to prevent the tires from slipping off during hard cornering.

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Enlarging the exhaust pipes also helped increase power.

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The interior of the GT-R gets a carbon fiber trim treatment for 2012.

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Those rear seats are still as unusable as ever.

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As in the previous model year, paddle shifters on the steering wheel column let you shift the dual-clutch transmission.

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We noticed one difference in the all-wheel-drive mode switch not mentioned in Nissan's press materials. Formerly, the switch on the left had a Snow mode, but now it reads Save. This change leads us to believe that you can set up a custom all-wheel-drive program and save it.

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