Godzilla gets a new look inside and out, and a surprising bump in power output

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Now that the New York Auto Show has kicked off, we’re excited to announce that we’ve laid eyes on the refreshed 2017 Nissan GT-R. Thanks to a thorough makeover, the GT-R sports a fresh front end, a more refined rear end, and a new look inside as well. While all this is fun to talk about, most of the changes to the exterior are for optimized aerodynamics.

Hiroshi Tamura, Nissan’s Chief Product Specialist for the GT-R, Z-Car, and NISMO, said, “The new GT-R delivers a heart-pounding driving experience at all times, on any road, for whoever sits in the driver’s seat. We have continued to push its performance boundaries to the limit – it’s even more potent than before. At the same time, refinement has been added to take the driving experience to an entirely new level. We’re proud to bring you what we feel is the ultimate GT-R that possesses amazing performance, newfound civility, and a rich racing history.”

That’s right, unlike most refreshed vehicles, Nissan actually managed to squeeze a little more juice out of the GT-R’s 3.8-liter V-6, and that in itself is worth talking about. So, with that said, let’s dive on into the 2017 GT-R and go over all these new developments that promise to make Nissan’s resident and most desired sports car that much more awesome than before.

Updated 06/01/2016: Nissan announced U.S. prices for the 2017 GT-R. Check the "Prices" section to see how much it costs and what does it bring new when compared to the 2016 model year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan GT-R.

  • 2017 Nissan GT-R
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2.9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    196 mph
  • Price:
    111585 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Right away we see a pretty big departure from last year’s model. The V-motion grille has been enlarged a bit to provide better airflow and engine cooling. Along with the larger size, you’ll notice that the large horizontal splitter in the middle is now finished in matte chrome. On the previous model, the vertical louvers below the splitter were angled, but on the 2017 model, those vertical louvers now sit straight up and down. The black mesh that backs the grille also has an updated pattern. In addition to the updated grille, the LED fog lights have been moved farther to the corners of the fascia and integrated into corner vents. A new front spoiler has been added to increase downforce, while at the same time adding a sportier look to the front end. The vents on the hood appear to be the same, but the bumps in the hood that accent them are more prevalent for this year.

The V-motion grille has been enlarged a bit to provide better airflow and engine cooling.

Moving to the sides, there isn’t a whole lot that changed. The profile of the body is pretty much the same, but the side skirts have been extended to help direct airflow around the vehicle. Despite that effect, it gives the car a little more flare on the sides compared to last year’s rather flat side skirt design. A new, vertically oriented vent has also been applied to each rear quarter, in line with the crease that separates the rear quarter from the rear fascia.

Around back, the same decklid and spoiler remain, but the fascia itself has been redesigned. Instead of having square-like impressions above the exhaust outlets, there are now horizontally slanted body lines that point towards the rear diffuser. That rear diffuser is the same as last year’s model. The exhaust tips look to be slanted outward a bit in comparison, and there are new, fully functional vents on the outside edges of the fascia. All told, the 2017 Nissan GT-R has a stance and design that makes it appear wider and is certainly more aggressive than last year’s model.

Side-by-side comparison

2017 Nissan GT-R
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2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Interior
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2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Interior
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2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Interior
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Looking inside the GT-R, we see a newly designed dashboard. Fine, hand-selected Nappa leather is wrapped around the dash and instrument cluster and was stitched with Takumu-style precision. Under the leather of the dashboard is a thinner material that helps reduce the vehicle’s weight. Additional weight savings can be attributed to the lighter seats. As far as the center console goes, a new 8-inch capacitive touch-panel monitor replaces the old 7-inch unit. As you can see, the new 8-inch display really refines the interior, as there are only 11 buttons on that center console – down from 27 in last year’s model. There is a Display Command control on the center console that allows for easy operation of the display screen.

Additional weight savings can be attributed to the lighter seats.

In addition to the new infotainment screen and dashboard, new shift paddles have also been installed to the back of the three-spoke steering wheel. According to Nissan, these new paddles offer an “improved feel and sound when engaged or adjusted.” Nissan hasn’t disclosed specifics, but in some markets, the GT-R will come with NissanConnect SM with Navigation, Mobile Apps, and Services. This will allow smartphone connectivity with the ability to lock and unlock the car, activate or deactivate the alarm, call emergency services, or track the car in the event that someone manages to jack move it from your driveway. The interior of the Premium trim level can be optioned in three different colors. There is Amber Red, Ivory, and a newly added Rakuda Tan that you see contrasted by black in the images here.

As you can see, the vents on the dash are still round, but they take on a five-spoke appearance, and without a large control panel of buttons in the center stack, room has been made for two rectangular vents. The instrument cluster features a more aggressive design, and the door trim panels have been smoothed. As far as the interior goes, the new changes should be a welcomed advancement in the car’s evolution, and it certainly looks more upscale compared to previous years.


2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
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As with previous models, the 3.8-liter, 24-valve, twin-turbo V-6 is the heart of the car. It’s still handcrafted by a specific technician, but output has been increased by 20 horsepower and four pound-feet to a total output of 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque. To obtain the increase in power, boost from the turbochargers has been increased, and the ignition timing for each cylinder is now individually controlled, creating more precise overall ignition timing. Power is routed to the wheels through a refined six-speed, dual-clutch transmission that is said to shift smoother and create less noise than last year’s model.

Output has been increased by 20 horsepower and four pound-feet to a total output of 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque

In addition to the engine and transmission updates, the exhaust system has been replaced by a new, lightweight titanium system that features Active Sound Enhancement. This means the sound produced by the exhaust is even better than before, and as you can imagine, it sounds best during hard acceleration. The increase in boost pressure combined with the new exhaust system and the cylinder-specific ignition timing helps the GT-R accelerate even harder than before from 3,200 rpm and above.

With the more rigid body structure, the GT-R also boasts a new suspension system, as well as new 20-inch, 15-spoke forged aluminum wheels. The new wheels, suspension, and rigid body structure means the GT-R can now hold the road surface a little better than before, and it has better stability when performing extreme maneuvers or negotiating your favorite corners at high speed. Nissan didn’t elaborate on performance numbers, but with the 2016 model hitting the 0-to-60 mph sprint in 3 seconds, expect the 2017 GT-R to hit the benchmark in 2.9 seconds. Top speed will likely remain the same at 196 mph.


Pricing for the 2017 GT-R starts from $111,585, including the $1,595 destination. That’s a hefty $8,220 premium over the outgoing model, which retailed from $103,365. But while the updated model is significantly more expensive, it’s worth noting that the titanium exhaust system, previously a $12,900 options on the Nismo version, is offered as standard equipment.

2018 Nissan GT-R Pure $99,990 USD
2018 Nissan GT-R Premium $110,490 USD
2018 Nissan GT-R Track Edition $128,490 USD
2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO $175,490 USD


Porsche 911 Turbo

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo High Resolution Exterior
- image 658178
Porsche 911 Turbo S - 2.9 Seconds

Naturally, the Nissan GT-R competes against the iconic Porsche 911 Turbo. The 911 Turbo is also powered by a 3.8-liter but in a flat-six formation. With a rear engine layout, the Turbo pumps out 540 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque – that’s 25 horsepower less and 56 pound-feet more than the 2017 Nissan GT-R. That power is sent to all four wheels via a PDK transmission, and is enough to push the 911 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono package. As a reminder, that’s same time we estimate for the Nissan GT-R, so it should be fun to see these two line up against each other. At the time of this writing, the 911 Turbo goes for $159,200 – significantly more than the GT-R.

Read our full review on the Porsche 911 Turbo here.

Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Exterior
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The Audi R8 was also redesigned for the 2017 model year, with some minor changes to the exterior, some changes inside, and changes under the hood as well. Unlike the 2017 Nissan GT-R, the 2017 Audi R8 is already on sale. It’s offered in two trim levels – V10 and V10 Plus – but, competition-wise, the base V10 is the competitor for the GT-R, as the V10 Plus offers significantly more power and a much higher price tag. The R8 V10, however, produces 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, which is 25 horsepower and 69 pound-feet shy of the GT-R. The R8 can hit the 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, about a half-second slower than the 2017 GT-R, and it has a top speed of 199 mph. As of the time of this writing, the Audi R8 V10 starts out at $162,900, which, like the 911 Turbo, is a significantly higher price than the GT-R.

Read our full review on the Audi R8 here.


2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 670411

When it comes to Godzilla, it’s pretty much Nissan’s baby, which is why we see such frequent updates. As far as the updates for 2017 are concerned, I have to say I’m rather impressed. I love the new front end and the way the body kit pulls the whole body together. Furthermore, the interior just keeps getting better year after year, and the 2017 models looks to be the best so far. It really makes me wonder just how Nissan is going to best itself when the next-generation GT-R debuts in the next couple years. While I think the $100,000 price tag is a little heavy in general, I think it is a fair price for a car like the GT-R. Plus, when you compare the GT-R to competitors like the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Audi R8, it’s pretty clear that the GT-R is the best choice. Performance-wise it is right on par, and price-wise it is significantly cheaper. Furthermore, you just can’t beat the look and the heritage behind the GT-R. It would take a lot to convince me to take anything else over the other cars, even if they did carry a similar price.

  • Leave it
    • No manual transmission
    • I can’t have one for free

Updated History

Updated 05/26/2016: Nissan announced British prices for the 2017 GT-R. For the U.K. market customers will have to choose between three grades – Pure, Recaro and Prestige, plus an additional Track Edition designed by Nismo.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
About the author

Press Release

Nissan unveiled the new 2017 GT-R at the New York International Auto Show today, highlighted by a fresh look inside and out, as well as major driving performance enhancements and key new features. All told, this is the most significant change to Nissan’s flagship super sports car since it was introduced in 2007.

2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
- image 670390

The 2017 GT-R’s exterior receives a thorough makeover. The new "V-motion" grille, one of Nissan’s latest design signatures, has been slightly enlarged to provide better engine cooling and now features a matte chrome finish and an updated mesh pattern. A new hood, featuring pronounced character lines flowing flawlessly from the grille, has been reinforced to enhance stability during high-speed driving. A freshly designed front spoiler lip and front bumpers with finishers situated immediately below the headlamps give the new GT-R the look of a pure-bred racecar, while generating high levels of front downforce.

The GT-R’s familiar wind-cutting shape defines its profile, but the side sills have been pushed out to direct air flow around the vehicle. Styling and air flow enhancements continue in the rear, where GT-R’s hallmark four-ring taillights are paired with new rear bodywork, along with functional side air vents next to the quad exhaust tips. The beltline between the lower black section and the body panel has been heightened to make the car look wider and more aggressive from the rear.

These exterior changes result in a sportier and sharper looking car – as well as an aerodynamically efficient one with more stability at high speeds, while keeping a 0.26 drag coefficient.

In the cabin is a redesigned, premium interior befitting a high-performance super sports car. The entire dashboard is new, including an instrument panel wrapped in a single, seamless piece of hand-selected Nappa leather artfully stitched with Takumi-style precision. The shape of the dashboard adopts a "horizontal flow" to deliver a sense of high stability for front seat occupants, while the line from the instrument cluster to the center console provides a distinct driver-oriented environment for the driver. The cushion layer of the instrument panel leather has been updated with a new, thinner material to reduce weight, and the front seats themselves are also lighter, thanks to a new side-support construction method that provides greater comfort and support on long drives.

2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
- image 670391

The center dashboard layout is improved and simplified. Integrated navigation and audio controls reduce the number of switches from 27 in the previous car to just 11 in the 2017 model. An 8-inch capacitive touch-panel monitor replaces the 7-inch one and now features large icons on the display screen, while a new Display Command control on the carbon-fiber center console also allows easy operation.

The shift paddles are now mounted to the new steering wheel, allowing drivers to change gears in mid-turn without having to take their hands off the wheel. The paddles, paired with reengineered ventilator controls, feature improved feel and sound when engaged or adjusted.

"As the icon of Nissan’s driving performance, the GT-R continues to evolve. With the signature V-motion grille, the GT-R now possesses the latest Nissan design language. Its exceptional aerodynamic performance and upgraded interior have given the GT-R a more mature character, which will continue into the future," said Mamoru Aoki, executive design director, Global Design Center, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

The GT-R’s award-winning 3.8-liter V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine – each unit handcrafted by its own Takumi technician – now delivers 565 horsepower at 6800 rpm and 467 lb-ft of torque, representing an increase of 20 HP and 4 lb-ft, respectively, from last year’s model.

The increases, which are the result of individual ignition-timing control of the cylinders and extra boost from the turbochargers, allow the new GT-R to possess superior acceleration in the mid- to high-ranges (3200 rpm and above). It comes mated to a thoroughly refined 6-speed dual-clutch transmission that features smoother shifts and less noise. The aggressive GT-R engine sound has never sounded better. The resonance of the new lightweight titanium exhaust system and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) enhance the driving experience, especially during acceleration.

The GT-R has always been regarded as one of the world’s best handling machines and for 2017 its cornering abilities have become even better. A more rigid body structure and new suspension allow the GT-R’s tires, wrapped around new 20-inch 15-spoke forged aluminum wheels, to hold the road surface better, giving it better stability through quick lateral transitions and higher overall cornering speed.

Along with all the performance enhancements, the 2017 GT-R is the most comfortable example to date, with a new sense of elegance and civility rare in such a high-performance supercar. The new GT-R exhibits a smoother ride quality than the outgoing model, and its cabin remains much quieter at all speeds thanks to Active Noise Cancellation technology and new sound absorption materials, including an acoustic glass windshield.

2017 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
- image 670392

"The new GT-R delivers a heart-pounding driving experience at all times, on any road, for whoever sits in the driver’s seat. We have continued to push its performance boundaries to the limit – it’s even more potent than before. At the same time, refinement has been added to take the driving experience to an entirely new level. We’re proud to bring you what we feel is the ultimate GT-R that possesses amazing performance, newfound civility and a rich racing history," said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist, GT-R, Z and NISMO, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

New for the 2017 GT-R are fresh colors inside and out that complement the car’s sophisticated character. A "Blaze Metallic" orange color, applied with a special four stage process, has been added to the exterior paint palette. The interior of the Premium Edition, featuring semi-aniline leather, offers three different options: the newly added Rakuda Tan, as well as Amber Red and Ivory.

In select markets, the new GT-R comes with NissanConnectSM with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services that allows users to use a smartphone to remotely lock or unlock the car doors, activate the alarm, summon emergency services or track the car if it is stolen.

The 2017 Nissan GT-R will be available this summer.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

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