Don’t get confused about what the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is; this bad boy is a supercar through and through

I have some bad news for those of you who think that the 2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO’s $175,000 starting price is already steep. Pricing for the new 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO has been announced, and, as expected, it’s more expensive than its predecessor. Actually, it’s not just more expensive by a fraction; it’s more expensive by a lot. And by “a lot,” I mean $210,740. That’s $35,000 more expensive than the 2019 GT-R NISMO It’s ridiculous on every level. Or is it?

Take a deep dive on what the 2020 GT-R NISMO has to offer, and by the time you’re ready to go back up the surface, you’ll realize that Nissan’s asking price for the new and improved Japanese supercar is worth every penny. Say what you will about the GT-R’s classification as a performance model. One thing rings true above all of it. It’s a supercar now, and it’s certainly priced like one.

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Pricing

Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
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Before you come to grips with the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO’s pricing, you need to come to grips with a few aspects about Godzilla that you might not have had a chance to before. See, there’s more to the 2020 GT-R NISMO than a supposedly steep price spike. It’s the third iteration of the current GT-R that wears a NISMO badge. More importantly than that, the 2020 GT-R NISMO is the latest example of Nissan’s continued pursuit to one-up its game every opportunity it gets. The 2020 GT-R NISMO bears the fruit of Nissan’s labor, and it does so in more ways than one.

Let’s start with the 2020 GT-R NISMO’s body.

Not much has changed with the model’s design — it still retains the usual styling of the R35-generation GT-R — but the overall body structure is now 23 pounds lighter than its predecessor.

Most of the weight savings are found in the carbon fiber bumpers and front fenders where Nissan managed to shave off 10 pounds through the use of carbon fiber. The hood, with its integrated NACA ducts, is now made from carbon fiber as well. That’s an extra 4.4 pounds in weight savings. Up top, the roof panel is also made from, you guessed it, carbon fiber. That’s another 8.8 pounds out of the way. Even the louvered front fenders are now able to increase downforce in the front section by over 15 seconds, doing so without creating extra drag in the process.

Overall, the 2020 GT-R NISMO is lighter by 66 pounds compared to its predecessor. Don’t sleep on that figure, folks. That’s a big deal for a car that relies on its performance capabilities, among other things, to stand out from its competition. The new carbon fiber body panels contribute significantly in the car’s lighter weight, but the biggest contributor is the new brake package that Nissan installed. The package is made up of carbon-ceramic rotors, which now come standard on the 2020 GT-R NISMO. The rotor is clamped by six- and four-piston calipers from Brembo, respectively, and not only do they provide improved braking characteristics, but, just as important, they save 36 pounds in total unsprung weight compared to the previous model.

Advantages in the lighter weight come in many forms, including increased durability for the car and improved performance out of the model’s other parts and pieces.

The Bilstein DampTronic shocks, for example, have compression that’s five percent softer and a rebound rate that’s 20 percent softer. You don’t often see these details in brochures and catalogs, but it’s improvements like this that often result in higher price tags for models as technologically sophisticated as the GT-R NISMO.

Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
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Nissan took the weight-savings a step further by installing a new set of 20-inch, nine-spoke Rays forged alloy wheels that are each 0.2 pounds lighter than Godzilla’s old wheels. They’re wrapped in new Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600 tires that have been specially designed to provide more stability and cornering grip than the old tires, proving that the improvements in and around the 2020 GT-R NISMO come in many forms.

Arguably the most important improvement, though, can be found under the hood of the 2020 GT-R NISMO.

Pop it open, and you’ll see the same VR38DETT V-6 engine that has supplied power for a number of GT-R models in the past. Visually, everything looks to be in place, but only upon closer inspection do you notice the significant changes Nissan made for this specific engine. The pair of turbochargers, for example, are completely new. Ok, so they’re not “brand-new,” but they are new in the sense that they were lifted straight from the GT3 GT-R race car. Instead of the 11-vane turbines that were present in the previous turbochargers, the new ones feature 10-vane turbines with each vane measuring 0.3 mm (0.13 inches) thinner than the old setup. Not only does this result in a drop in physical mass of each turbine by 14.5 percent, but, equally important, it also reduces inertia by 24 percent, which, in turn, wrestles in a 20-percent improvement in engine response from zero to wide-open throttle.

Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
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The power output from the V-8 engine remains the same at 600 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 486 pound-feet of torque from 3,600 to 5,600 rpm.

So if the numbers are the same, where do you find all the changes? That comes in the form of the engine’s outright performance. It’s hard to explain it through words, but it just feels a lot livelier and far more responsive than the “old” version of the VR38DETT V-6 unit. Nissan even took it a step further by rewriting the shift control algorithm of the six-speed dual-clutch transmission in order to capitalize and leverage the improvements made to the engine’s throttle response. As a result, you’ll notice how faster and smoother the downshifts are in the 2020 GT-R NISMO. Faster and smoother downshifts, of course, result in improved handling, particularly in corners.

2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO specifications
Engine  
Designation VR38DETT
Cam configuration DOHC
Orientation Longitudinal
Cylinders / configuration V6
Block / head composition Aluminum/Aluminum
Displacement (liters) 3.8
Horsepower 600 HP @ 6,800 RPM1
Torque lb-ft 481 lb-ft @ 3,600 – 5,600 RPM1
Bore & stroke (mm) 95.5 x 88.4 (Plasma sprayed bore)
Compression ratio (:1) 9.0
Maximum engine speed 7,100 RPM
Fuel delivery system Sequential multi-point electronic fuel injection
Valvetrain 4 valves per cylinder, CVTCS
Turbocharger High-efficiency, High-capacity NISMO GT3 Twin-Turbo system
Engine mounts 2 liquid-filled, front; 1 solid, rear
Recommended fuel Premium unleaded, 93 AKI number
Emissions system 3-way catalyst and secondary air injection system
Emission certification level LEV3/ULEV125 (50 state)
Exhaust Dual system, 4 outlets (2 each side) Titanium exhaust with burnished tips and Exhaust Sound Control

Changes like these — the indistinguishable but important ones — validate the spike in price of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Some of you might think it’s a bit excessive while some of you might even think it’s unnecessary.

Those are all fair points if you’re the type who just wants to show off the 2020 GT-R NISMO to your friends without actually caring about how it performs on the road or on a track.

Believe me; there are a lot more of you in this world than you think. You’re justified in your gripe if that’s your entire M.O. when it comes to the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO because you don’t need the upgrades. You just need to car to look right and carry the proper badges, NISMO included.

Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
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But if you’re a GT-R OG and you care about how it performs, not just on its own, but also against the competition, then these changes are significant, maybe even warranting a surge in pricing. This is all part of Hiroshi Tamura-san’s goal of continuing to improve his child at every turn and opportunity. For those who don’t know, Tamura-san is often called “Mr. GT-R,” a nickname he earned in large part because he’s been in charge of the R35 GT-R since it was nothing more than the GT-R Proto Concept that Nissan unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show 14 years ago.

If there’s anyone who knows anything and everything about the R35 GT-R, it’s Tamura-San. He is Dr. Frankenstein, and the GT-R is his monster. It’s taken on an entirely different nickname of the monster variety, but to Tamura-San, the R35 GT-R was, is, and will always be his baby. Naturally, there’s no one person in this world who’s as invested in seeing the GT-R’s continued evolution as a certified supercar that Tamura-San. He was there when his pride and joy was born. He was there when it captured the world’s attention. He was there when it evolved into a full-blown performance car that could compete against the European elite. And he’s still here and will remain here for as long as the current-generation of the GT-R is still around.

Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
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Top Gear recently had a chance to speak to Tamura-san about the 2020 GT-R NISMO and you can tell just how proud he is of the latest iteration of the NISMO-enhanced supercar and how much he is looking forward to seeing Godzilla’s next evolution. “In my heart, we’re already kicking off options for the next step,” he said when asked about future plans for the current GT-R. “We already have the feedback.”

As exciting as that future looks like, it’s also important to remain in the here and now. And right now, the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is here. It’s probably more expensive than what most people expected, but there are reasons for that price hike that true fans and purists of the GT-R will understand. And for those who can’t justify the $210,000 price tag of the GT-R NISMO?

Well, there are cheaper alternatives available, including the “base” GT-R Premium that starts at just $113,540 and the GT-R Track Edition that’s going to set you back $145,540.

You don’t have to buy the 2020 GT-R NISMO if you think it’s too expensive.

2020 Nissan GT-R prices
GT-R Premium $113,540 USD
GT-R Premium with 50th Anniversary Edition $122,040 USD
GT-R Track Edition $145,540 USD
GT-R NISMO $210,740 USD
Nissan Jacks Up the Price of the GT-R NISMO to $210,000, But Is it Worth It?
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But don’t say that the increased price tag isn’t justified. You might not see it, but there’s more to the 2020 GT-R NISMO than meets the eye. A lot more.

Further reading

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo.

2019 Nissan GT-R Exclusive Renderings
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Read our full speculative review on the next-generation Nissan GT-R.

Video: Watch the ItalDesign GT-R50 in action at Goodwood Exterior
- image 786455

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign.

2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 670401

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan GT-R.

WHAT’S NEW:

GT-R NISMO takes performance to the next level with GT3 race car turbochargers, carbon fiber roof and hood, revised suspension and carbon ceramic brakes
GT-R Track Edition features new 600-horsepower GT-R NISMO engine and available carbon ceramic brakes
GT-R Premium includes revised twin turbochargers, new exterior accent color, new RAYS 20-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheel design
GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition commemorates five decades of GT-R performance leadership – available in three heritage-era two-tone exterior color combinations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today announced U.S. pricing for the 2020 Nissan GT-R line-up, which includes three grade levels and a limited production 50th Anniversary Edition. The GT-R NISMO, Nissan’s ultimate performance super sports car, goes on sale July 12 at select U.S. Nissan dealers with a starting MSRP1of $210,740.

The limited-availability 2020 Nissan GT-R Track Edition, designed for owners inclined to take their GT-R to a race circuit2, is scheduled to become available August 25 with a starting MSRP1of $145,540.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Premium goes on sale July 25 with a starting MSRP1of $113,450 – with the special GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition package adding $8,500 to the GT-R Premium price.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices1 (MSRP) for the 2020 Nissan GT-R:

GT-R Premium
$113,540 USD

GT-R Premium with 50th Anniversary Edition

$122,040 USD

GT-R Track Edition

$145,540 USD

GT-R NISMO

$210,740 USD

Destination and Handling $1,695.

About the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO
The 2020 GT-R NISMO is more GT-R than ever before – it’s the ultimate performance super sports car that provides an exhilarating experience for virtually everyone. New race-proven turbochargers, improved gearbox shift control, lighter components, reduced overall mass and upgrades to the brakes, wheels and tires contribute to a 2.5-second reduction in lap time around Nissan’s development track. There’s also an improvement of the GT-R’s inherent high-speed stability, even at speeds of up to 186 mph.

The 2020 GT-R NISMO’s VR38DETT 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 remains the heart of the GT-R’s drivetrain and is rated at 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque3. Each is handcrafted by its own takumi technician. For 2020, the GT-R NISMO features an exclusive turbocharger design – direct from the GT-R GT3 race car – with a modified turbine shape and fewer blades. This optimizes the flow rate and enhances the acceleration response by 20%, without a loss of horsepower.

About the 2020 GT-R Track Edition
While in previous years the GT-R Track Edition featured the 565-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine from the GT-R Premium grade, for 2020 the engine is borrowed from the famed GT-R NISMO and offers a full 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque3.

In addition to the engine, key GT-R Track Edition performance enhancements (versus the GT-R Premium) include additional adhesive bonding of the body structure, a NISMO-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension, reduced weight and additional roll stiffness, wide 20-inch NISMO forged aluminum-alloy wheels with NISMO-spec tires and dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler4. Inside, the Track Edition interior includes a unique red and black color treatment with high-grip, motorsports-inspired Recaro® seats.

About the 2020 GT-R Premium and
All 2020 GT-R Premium grade models include a revised turbocharger tuning, burnished exhaust tips, new RAYS 20-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheel design, new headlight inner color and available "Hai Gray" premium interior with hand-stitched semi-aniline appointments. The 2020 GT-R Premium models’ performance is rooted in a hand-assembled twin-turbo VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 engine rated at 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque. A Titanium exhaust system is standard, along with Active Noise Cancellation and Active Sound Enhancement technologies.

About the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
The special GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition is available in three heritage-era, two-tone exterior color combinations meant to represent the GT-R’s liveries from the Japan GP series. Bayside (Wangan), a four-coat, double-heat treatment process ensures a vivid blue with striking highlights and deep shadows, is contrasted with white racing stripes. Blue accents on the wheel spokes are among several fine touches made to celebrate the GT-R’s milestone. Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes round out the 50th Anniversary liveries.

Inside the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition is a special gray interior color scheme, which gives the cabin a sense of luxury, reminiscent of the atmosphere of the night sky after the twilight hour (the color is also available on select other 2020 GT-R models). Additional 50th anniversary features include unique steering wheel and shift knob trim, special embossed seats, an Alcantara® headliner with unique stitching, Alcantara®-wrapped sunvisors, and more.

For full information on the complete lineup of 2020 Nissan GT-R models, please see NissanNews.com.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com and www.infinitiusa.com, or visit the U.S. media sites nissannews.com and infinitinews.com.

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