2015 Nissan Nismo GT-R (© Nissan Motor Co.)Click to enlarge picture

2015 Nissan Nismo GT-R

A day before the formal opening of the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan is making headlines with the first official images and details of the next-generation GT-R sports car. For 2015, that will include a new "race inspired" Nismo version that will make a full 600 horsepower.

But even the base version of the 2-seater won't be far behind as it adds another 50 horsepower over the outgoing Nissan GT-R. The Japanese maker promises the new version will enhance its "multi-dimensional performance," which emphasizes handling as much as the GT-R's raw power.

More curvaceous than the outgoing version of the sports car, the automaker bills the 2015 Nissan GT-R as more of an evolutionary, not revolutionary, transformation. That covers not only the changes made to the V6 powertrain but updates to the suspension, body and interior, where Nissan has focused on improving quality and comfort.

But as with any supercar, the numbers will be a major part of the story.

The 2015 Nissan GT-R will churn out a whopping 595 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. That's up from 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft on the old model — and was made possible through such steps as a switch to larger turbochargers and the revision of key intake and exhaust components.

The new Nismo GT-R edition takes things to the limit, Nissan adds. Before it wouldn't have been able to get the gearbox to handle any additional power. The new, ultimate edition makes 600 horsepower using what Nissan says is "know-how . . . gained from participating in such events as the world-renowned Nürburgring 24 hour race." That includes high-flow, GT3-class racing turbochargers, along with individual ignition timing control for each of the 3.8-liter V6 engine's cylinders.

Notably, the Nissan Nismo GT-R turned a neck-snapping lap time of just 7:08.69 during testing at the legendary Nurburgring racetrack in September.

The maker is not quoting specific zero to 60 times, top speed — or price — yet, although the Nismo GT-R is expected to nudge up to somewhere below $200,000 when it goes on sale in the months to come. The 2015 version of the sports car will reach Japanese showrooms on December 2nd before beginning its worldwide rollout.

The GT-R is expected to serve as a halo car for the overall Nissan brand, with the Nismo edition set to help kick-start an expanding line-up of limited-production, high-performance versions of more mainstream Nissan models.

The Nismo GT-R will ride on 20-inch alloy wheels shod with specially designed Dunlop run-flat tires that promise more grip than before. Buyers will be able to order a new carbon fiber body kit with such aero-enhancing parts as a front splitter and rear spoiler. Nissan says it has taken steps to reduce weight in all versions of the new GT-R, but the Nismo track package will shave off another 143 pounds. And beyond the cuts in mass and aero improvements, the package also will include new adjustable track-rated Ohlins shocks.

Even the base car has undergone changes to its suspension, according to Nissan, meant to give it a "more sophisticated ride and better handling." That should be welcomed by fans of the old GT-R who knew they'd traded off a lot of comfort for on-rail cornering.

The 2015 Nissan GT-R will bring a number of exterior updates, including revised front and rear-end details and the use of LED lighting. The multi-LED headlights now use an adaptive system to track the vehicle's path. The taillights have been reshaped into a more cohesive and visually distinctive pattern, according to the maker.

As for the interior, Nissan says, "The steering wheel is trimmed in leather, for premium tactility, while the part-aniline leather seats are further embellished with stitched accents, giving the ambience of a genuine GT designed for cross-continental, first-class travel."

The maker is expected to add a few more details about the 2015 Nissan GT-R during its formal rollout at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday November 20.