2016 Nissan GT-R by Alpha-N Performance
German tuner presents a different take on Godzillaby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 09:56
The Nissan GT-R is one of the cars in this world that can hold its own against any other performance vehicle. It may not have the power figures of other exotic vehicles, but it’s a load in itself to deal with on any road surface. Now imagine what the GT-R is capable of if you put it in the hands of an aftermarket tuner. Okay, that’s a rhetorical question because we all know what a tuned GT-R can do. What we’re here for is Alpha-N Performance, the German tuner that has been up to his head developing tuning programs this year, including its latest pride and joy for, you guessed it, the Nissan GT-R.
The program itself is relatively straight-forward, at least when you compare it to some of the previous works of Alpha-N Performance, including the BMW M2 and Mercedes-AMG GT R. In fact, if you line up those two kits with the one the German tuner prepared for the GT-R, the latter is tame by comparison.
Not that it’s going to matter because the GT-R is already a powerhouse in its own right. All Alpha-N Performance is doing here is massaging Godzilla’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine and giving it an extra bump in power and performance. Even better, the cost of availing this upgrade is cheap – it doesn’t even reach four figures – and owners of the GT-R R35 should have no problem giving their supercars an extra shot in power.
Given how some tuners have taken over-the-top approaches in building tuning kits for the GT-R, it’s a good sign that there’s another aftermarket company out there willing to take a different approach on Godzilla.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan GT-R by Alpha-N Performance.
2016 Nissan GT-R by Alpha-N Performance
Off the bat, I can tell you that this won’t be your traditional tuning program because Alpha-N Performance’s sole focus was to give the Nissan GT-R a small bump in power. So if you’re looking to see if the German tuner has anything up its sleeve regarding aero kits for the Japanese supercar, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Fortunately, I can point you in those directions because there are tuners out there that have these types of upgrades for the GT-R, minimal as they may be. Take Vivid Racing for example. The tuner presented its program four years ago and offered a unique Super Silver paint finish, an aerodynamic package that includes, among other things, modified bumpers, and a new set of 21-inch tinted brushed MHT Niche SPA 3-piece super concave wheels.
The aerodynamic package includes a modified bumpers, and a new set of 21-inch tinted brushed MHT Niche SPA 3-piece super concave wheels.
Another route you can take is go straight through Nissan and get the GT-R Nismo. You’re going to have to pay close to $70,000 more than the GT-R Premium trim, but at least you get the extra benefit of having a reinforced hood, a more aggressive front bumper with layers of carbon fiber sheets and redesigned canards installed specifically for the purpose of improving airflow and creating increased downforce for the car.
Sadly, none of these upgrades are available from Alpha-N Performance, or at least not in the time being. After all, the German tuner is known for not introducing details of a specific upgrade one section at a time. Give the tuner a few months and it might just have an aero kit available for the GT-R. Cross your fingers that it happens.
For better or worse, the story is the same with the GT-R’s interior. There are no traces of anything aftermarket as far as Alpha-N Performance is concerned. You can wait for anything to develop in this section with regards to the German tuner or you can go to Nissan directly to get these upgrades.
The good news here is that Nissan already has interior packages for all variants of the GT-R. It’ll only cost you an extra $4,000 and with that amount, you can get the automaker’s Premium Interior Package. Don’t expect a full blown cabin makeover though because the only upgrades offered by the package are the hand-stitched, semi-aniline, leather-appointed front seats and interior treatments. A two-piece set of GT-R-branded carpeted floor mats are also available, although that’s going to cost an extra $295 on top of the amount you’re going to have to pay for the GT-R.
Going to directly to Nissan is a good option to have, but if you want to turn your GT-R into a full-blown hell raiser on four wheels with those tuning upgrades that net over 1,000 horsepower, you can take comfort knowing that these companies also have important safety modifications to the cabin.
Finally, we arrive at the section where Alpha-N Performance’s program for the Nissan GT-R takes center stage. Remember to temper your expectations though because this isn’t the kind of program that’s going to breathe fire into the GT-R’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. What you stand to get instead is a subtle engine upgrade that is achieved by the tuner’s EVOX Chiptuning box. These upgrades are mostly of the software variety and the result is evident as Alpha-N Performance only gets to squeeze out an extra 60 horsepower out of the V-6 engine. The result is a total output of 630 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque. The tuner didn’t say how this software upgrade affects the Godzilla’s performance times, but comparing it to what it can achieve in standard form, a 0-to-60-mph time of under three seconds is within reach, as is a top speed approaching 200 mph.
The result is a total output of 630 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque
The tuned numbers are admittedly conservative, especially for a car like the GT-R, which has been subjected to some of the most insane tuning programs in the business in recent years. In fact, if you go back the past few years, you’ll see kits like the ones produced by Switzer, Garage D, and most recently, AMS Performance. The common denominator among these tuners? They prepared programs for the Nissan GT-R that resulted in outputs exceeding 1,000 horsepower. In fact, Switzer’s Goliath program for the GT-R can reach a peak output of 1,500 horsepower, a staggering number that puts Alpha-N Performance’s 630-horsepower upgrade for the same car in its proper place.
If anything, this massive gulf in output should help GT-R owners make a clearer decision on how they want to approach the process of choosing which program suits them best. They can opt to for a more conservative upgrade and get Alpha-N Performance’s tuning module or they can go to the extreme and turn their GT-Rs into veritable rockets on wheels. In a lot of ways, the freedom to choose is what makes the aftermarket tuning scene such an important component of the auto industry.
In the event that you opt for Alpha-N Performance’s tuning program for the Nissan GT-R, you can take comfort knowing that you’re getting program that’s not going to burn any holes in your wallet. The tuner’s EVOX Chiptuning box only costs €699, which converts to $740 based on current exchange rates.
Should you opt for any of the huge upgrades that’ll net you an output in excess of 1,000 horsepower, you better prepare to open up the check books because these programs don’t come cheap. For instance, AMS Performance’s Alpha 10 tuning kit for the GT-R “starts” at $61,500, and that doesn’t even include labor costs.
The difference of over $60,000 should tell you how completely different these two programs are.
AMS Performance is one of those tuners that actually has a menu of performance upgrades for the Nissan GT-R. The aftermarket company isn’t just about building 1,000-horsepower kits for Godzilla; it also has different tuning options for the supercar, including the Alpha 6 kit that matches well with the program presented by Alpha-N Performance. This kit is strictly software-based (no surprises there) but it’s still good enough to squeeze out a total of 626 horsepower and 656 pound-feet of torque out of the GT-R’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. No performance numbers were mentioned, but here’s one important figure that GT-R owners will find very compelling. The cost of AMS Performance’s Alpha 6 tuning kit? $8,000.
Read the full review here.
Alpha-N Performance’s selling point for its Nissan GT-R tuning kit is pretty simple. The tuner has a program that’s available for less than $1,000. It’s not going to change the life of your Nissan GT-R by any means, but it does provide the kind of power increase that can give your Godzilla a jolt in performance capabilities. And let’s face it, as exciting as the thought of a 1,200-horsepower GT-R is, all that power is going to very difficult to control, especially if you’re not the type of owner who enjoys stretching the supercar’s performance capabilities to its absolute limit.
So give this program a look if you’re in the market for a tuning kit for your GT-R. At the very least, you’re going to know what you’re getting from Alpha-N Performance.