NISSAN might generally still be known for a competent band of family cars like the Qashqai and little Micra but to any true petrol head the flagship GT-R super sports car has always been something different taking on the might of rivals like Porsche and winning over customers to the marque.
It all came from the humble beginnings of the Skyline GT-R back in the Seventies and with progressive development over the years the current GT-R has now become something of an icon despite its hefty price tag.
Next year's model is just being released and it's without doubt the best ever and the ultimate sports car for drivers who want racing circuit-like performance but with a few home comforts on board to make it an easy day-to-day normal road performer.
Buyers of the GT-R though do so for its mechanical hardware and outright performance and not its name badge or anything else and with this latest incarnation it will leave them suitably impressed with the subtle changes and improvements the Nissan backroom have carried out.
For starters there's now 20bhp more from the 3.8-litre V6 twin turbocharged engine with 562bhp on tap capable of accelerating this car from 0 to 62mph in a claimed 2.7 seconds and having a circuit-only usable top speed of 196mph - all for a fiver under Â£80,000.
Nissan's GT-R brand manager Anthony Jones said that apart from the extra horsepower they've made the rev range wider, provided more torque, created an extra 20 per cent more airflow through the engine, slimmed down the rear pillars as part of better driver vision, revised the interior with better quality finish (Nappa leather) and simplified rotary dials on a better designed dashboard (the button count is down from 27 to 11).
In addition he adds there's a neater, slightly larger at eight inches touch screen with improved acoustics too so that the driver can enjoy a better sound of the engine when in full flow and the driver's shift paddles are now closer to the steering wheel for easier use.
Driving this latest version and two improved aspects over the previous model stand out - that harsh ride has done and out at motorway speeds the intrusive noise in the cabin has also disappeared.
As a driver what is vastly better this time around is the gearshift of the dual-clutch automatic transmission's six-speed gear ratios and along with a much lighter but still positive feel to the car's steering it's a far more civilised car for daily use.
Out on the motorway it's generally much quieter, even with more boost pressure, and push it hard say between 3,000rpm and the 7,000 rpm limiter and along with no defined turbo lack it's acceleration is quite electrifying.
There's again a choice of three dampers which are equally impressive depending on how the driver wants to drive and what road conditions underneath are like - even in comfort mode on ordinary A and B class roads it offers a nice supple and now softer ride.
Driven a bit more sportily, as most buyers will undoubtedly do so, then the car will respond accordingly with good acceleration when needed and it offers good, sharp turn-in and flat, fast cornering when available.
Needless to say the brakes are excellent and as one would expect easily do their job when needed without any dramas and it thankfully remains a sports car to be enjoyed, on or off the race circuit - a brief few laps of the Thruxton race circuit proved the former right too.
As for prices then as expected this latest GT-R is a bit more expensive - around a couple of grand on average - but apart from the enhanced performance and improved interior finishes the levels of standard equipment on board have also been increased.
The starting model called Pure comes in at £79,995 followed by the Recaro at £87,995 and the Prestige at £91,995 and for those truly petrol anoraks as we say who want to drive it on a race circuit there is a Track edition at £91,995 with an even more spectacular performing GT-R Nismo version coming soon.
Overall it's certainly a subtly improved GT-R which won't disappoint the real sports enthusiast whilst for other less so it's now an even more quieter, civilised but excitingly fun-to-drive super sports car.