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With 600 hp, Nissan’s track-ready 2015 GT-R NISMO is the most hardcore yet

How do you improve on perfection?

Since it launched in 2008, the Nissan GT-R has offered an impressive blend of supercar performance and everyday civility. Yet Nissan has steadily improved the car throughout its life. That trend continues with the 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO, which was unveiled today at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The NISMO is GT-R that moves a the needle further into hardcore territory, sacrificing some comfort for track-bred performance.

That’s immediately apparent from the first glimpse. As revealed in leaked photos, the GT-R NISMO features more aggressive aerodynamic aids, including revised front and rear bumpers, engine undercover strake, and a massive carbon fiber rear spoiler. Together, Nissan says the additions add about 220 pounds of downforce at 186 mph, sticking the GT-R to the road.

Nissan also tweaked the GT-R’s 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6. It now produces 600 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque, thanks to larger-diameter turbochargers from Nissan’s GT3 racing GT-R.

The chassis features custom Bilstein DampTronic dampers with three settings: Comfort, Normal, and R. The latter is reserved strictly for racetracks, or commuters who enjoy torturing themselves.

Even with the suspension set in “Comfort,” drivers will probably be more focused than relaxed. European and Japanese drivers will get carbon fiber-backed Recaro sport seats (as with the original GT-R, Americans will get different seating).

There’s also a steering wheel trimmed in Alcantara, and plenty of red stitching to remind passengers that they’re in a performance car. As if the crushing G-load wasn’t enough.

The GT-R NISMO rides on a specially-developed set of Dunlop tires, and black six-spoke wheels inspired by the ones on Nissan’s GT500 racer.

The result is what Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn calls “the fastest Nissan GT-R ever.”

Nissan hasn’t released acceleration times, or the top speed, but it did let slip that the GT-R NISMO lapped the Nurburgring in 7:08.679. The company calls that a record for a mass-produced car, but the overall record still belongs to the Porsche 918 Spyder, which did the deed in 6:57.

The 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO will go on sale in the U.S. in late February 2014. It will be joined in showrooms by a refreshed 2015 GT-R, which features re-calibrated suspension and steering, new multi-LED headlights, and slightly more upscale interior trim.

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