The range-topping GT-R gets more aggressive styling and a sportier chassis

Introduced in 2007 for the fifth-generation, R34 Skyline, the GT-R redefined the way we think about sports cars in general and Nissan in particular. Built on a dedicated platform and design to reflect Japanese culture, the GT-R is a unique sports car that offers supercar-like performance for a more affordable sticker. In 2015, Nissan launched a Nismo-tuned model with increased output and a revised aerodynamic package. The GT-R Nismo quickly made a name for itself on the sports car market thanks to its impressive performance figures, including a 2.9-second 0-to-60 mph sprint, and a Nurburgring Nordschleife lap of only 7:08 minutes, the fifth fastest for road-going production cars.

With a rumored, second-generation GT-R underway, the fate of the mighty Nismo is still a mystery at this point. Most likely the nameplate will disappear for a few years until the new GT-R sets in, but it seems that Nissan isn’t yet willing to discontinue the current version. With the standard GT-R having received a new update for the 2017 model year, the Nismo was expected to get its fair share of upgrades too. This just happened as the Japanese firm unveiled the new GT-R Nismo at the Nurburgring track. The update is actually a mild facelift that doesn’t add more power to the V-6 engine, but it includes a revised aerodynamic kit and a tweaked chassis that makes it even quicker at the track.

Nissan didn’t say whether it plans to attempt a new Nurburgring record, but that’s very likely in the coming months. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the 2017 GT-R Nismo in the review below.

Updated 09/26/2016: Nissan announced U.S. prices for the 2017 GT-R Nismo - a version that is about $65k more expensive than the GT-R Premium version.

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

  • 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600
  • Torque @ RPM:
    481
  • Displacement:
    3.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    191 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    174990
  • car segment:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.7/10

Exterior

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Much like the 2017-model-year GT-R unveiled earlier in 2016, the Nismo model features a more aggressive fascia with a larger "V-motion" grille in dark chrome. But, while the grille, headlamps, and engine hood seem to be identical to the standard model, there are certain differences here and there. First, the grille features the "Nismo" logo with chrome and red letters. Second, the hood has been reinforced to avoid deformation at high speeds.

Nissan says that the revised exterior enables the GT-R Nismo to generate more downforce than any other Nissan, which translates into better high-speed stability.

Below, the aggressively shaped bumper features layers of carbon-fiber sheets for improved stiffness. Also, the redesigned canards deliver improved airflow and higher downforce. Nissan says that the revised exterior enables the GT-R Nismo to generate more downforce than any other Nissan, which translates into better high-speed stability.

Styling-wise, the Nismo remains familiar. The side sills, the rear diffuser, and the big rear wing are crafted from carbon-fiber, while the daytime running lights in the front bumper, which are unique to this model, are mounted in carbon-fiber outlets. The traditional red accents enhance the front bumper and lower grille, side sills, side mirrors and rear diffuser. The lightweight wheels feature a six-spoke design and carry "Nismo" lettering for a bespoke look.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length 184.6 Inches
Overall width 74.6 Inches
Overall height 53.9 Inches
Wheelbase 109.4 Inches

Side-by-side comparison

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Interior

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Interior
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Inside, revisions mirror the ones introduced on the standard GT-R. There’s a redesigned dashboard and three-spoke steering wheel, an improved and simplified center stack layout that features only 11 integrated controls instead of 27, a bigger eight-inch touchscreen with larger icons, and a new Display Command control on the center console. Naturally, the Nismo also comes with numerous exclusive features that can’t be had on the regular sports car. The dashboard and the steering wheel are covered in high-quality Alcantara, the center console is made entirely from carbon-fiber, while the Recaro sports seats are wrapped in leather with red synthetic suede center inserts. The lower dash, the door panels, the seat bolsters, and the gear lever all feature matching contrast stitching.

Side-by-side comparison

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Interior
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Drivetrain

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Under the hood, the 2017 GT-R Nismo carries over with last year’s engine. This is a bit surprising given that Nissan updated the standard GT-R powerplant this year, but the Nismo is powerful enough at 600 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of twist. For reference, that’s an extra 35 horses and 14 pound-feet over the 2017 GT-R. The powerplant continues to mate to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox that features a pair of high-flow, large diameter turbochargers used in GT3 competition.

We expect the GT-R Nismo to hit 60 mph from a standing start in around 2.9 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 11 ticks at 128 mph.

But, while the engine and transmission are identical to the previous model, Nismo did meddle with the chassis. The supercar received refined shock absorbers, springs, and stabilizers for better handling, while the bespoke Bilstein DampTronic driver-adjustable system features a special Nismo-tuned shock absorber that transfers the power to the wheels more effectively.

Nissan had nothing to say about the car’s performance, but it’s safe to assume that specs are pretty much unchanged for 2017. We expect the GT-R Nismo to hit 60 mph from a standing start in around 2.9 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 11 ticks at 128 mph. Top speed should be rated at 191 mph.

Drivetrain Specifications

Designation VR38DETT
Cam Configuration DOHC
Cylinders/Configuration V-6
Displacement (liters) 3.8
Horsepower 600 HP @ 6,800 RPM
Torque 481 LB-FT @ 3,600 - 5,600 RPM

Prices

Pricing for the GT-R Nismo starts from $174,990, a whopping $65,000 premium over the base GT-R. What’s more, the GT-R Nismo is no longer significantly more affordable than the Porsche 911 Turbo S, which fetches $188,100 before options. Granted, there’s still some $13,000 you can save with the GT-R, but there was a time when you could also order a well-equipped 370Z alongside the Nismo for the price of a Turbo S. The fact that the current Nismo is $25,000 more expensive than the previous model also speaks volumes of how the GT-R is no longer the incredibly affordable sports car it used to be. Making things that much more upsetting is the fact that the Nismo costs more than the Audi R8 and is only $10K more affordable than the McLaren 570S.

Competition

Porsche 911 Turbo S

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Updated for the 2017 model year, the 911 Turbo S received mild revisions inside and out and a beefed-up, turbocharged, 3.8-liter, flat-six mill that cranks out 580 horsepower. But, while its engine is less powerful than the Nismo’s, the quick-shifting PDK transmission and the optional Sport Chrono pack makes the 911 quicker than its Japanese rival. Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes only 2.8 seconds, making the Turbo S the only sports car that can beat the Nismo in a straight line. The Porsche’s top speed is also superior at 205 mph, while its fuel consumption is a respectable 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The 911 Turbo S comes with a $188,100 sticker.

Find out more about the Porsche 911 Turbo here.

McLaren 570S Coupe

2016 McLaren 570S Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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The 2016 McLaren 570S Coupe is McLaren’s first venture into this niche and a potent competitor for both the GT-R Nismo and 911 Turbo S. Unlike the Porsche and the Nissan, the 570S uses a mid-mounted V-8 engine in the form of a turbocharged, 3.8-liter unit. The mill generates 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, which makes it the least powerful for the bunch. As a result, the 570S is a bit slower in a straight line, needing 3.2 seconds to hit 60 mph before topping out at 204 mph. But what makes the 570S truly special is its curb weight. Tipping the scales at only 2,895 pounds, the British sports car is 642 pounds lighter than the 911 Turbo S. Pricing starts from $184,900.

Read more about the McLaren 570S Coupe here.

Conclusion

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Introduced in 2007, the Nissan GT-R may be a little long in the tooth, but the Nismo version is still hot enough to keep up with the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo S. The fact that the current Nismo is only a tenth-second slower than the recently unveiled, 991.2 Turbo S model speaks volumes of the GT-R performance and Nissan’s efforts to deliver one of the best sports cars around. While the next-generation GT-R Nismo is still a well-guarded secret, the 2017-model-year update should keep the current model fresh for another couple of years. On the other hand, it’s pricing has increased so much that the Nismo is no longer a ridiculously affordable supercar. Only $13K and $10K cheaper than the Porsche 911 Turbo S and the McLaren 570S, respectively, the GT-R Nismo has lost one of its main features in the market. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend another $10,000 and get the more exclusive 570S rather than pump $174K Nissan that’s a bit long in the tooth and not exactly fun to drive in city traffic conditions.

  • Leave it
    • * No engine upgrade
    • * A bit long in the tooth
    • * Nearly as expensive as the Porsche and McLaren

Press Release

The new 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO today made its world debut at the famous Nürburgring race course, known as one of the longest and most challenging race tracks in the world. This is also the place where the Nissan GT-R’s potent performance was honed, tuned and developed.

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior
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Like the GT-R Premium, the GT-R NISMO’s front end features a freshened face highlighted by an aggressive new fascia. To help cool the car’s high-output engine, the dark chrome "V-motion" grille has been enlarged to collect more air, without diminishing the car’s aerodynamic performance. A new significantly reinforced hood avoids deformation at extremely high speeds, allowing it to keep its aerodynamic shape. Unlike the standard model, the front bumper of the GT-R NISMO – crafted with Takumi-like precision – feature layers of carbon-fiber sheets carefully overlapped to achieve the ideal amount of stiffness. The canards have been designed to improve airflow around the vehicle and generate a high level of downforce, while at the same time, direct air around the wheelhouse to enhance aerodynamics. Overall, the car’s new shape generates more downforce than any other Nissan production car to date, resulting in exceptional high-speed stability.

The new GT-R NISMO also benefits from the 2017 GT-R’s refreshed interior, whose cabin possesses a more upscale feel than ever before. The redesigned dashboard and steering wheel are covered with high-quality Alcantara® suede. The center stack layout has been improved and simplified, with the number of integrated navigation and audio controls reduced from 27 switches in the previous model to only 11 in the 2017 version. An enlarged 8-inch touch-panel monitor featuring large icons on the display screen make it simple to use, while a new Display Command control on the carbon fiber center console allows easy operation without having to touch the monitor. Unique to GT-R NISMO are the leather-appointed Recaro® seats with red synthetic suede inserts.

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The performance of the all-wheel-drive GT-R NISMO has also been upgraded, thanks in part to the standard model’s significantly reinforced body. The stiffened body structure allowed the engineers to further refine the GT-R NISMO’s shock absorbers, springs and stabilizers, all of which, when combined with the car’s added downforce, result in a better handling car than the previous model. This is evidenced by the car’s improved slalom times and superior cornering performance (both up by nearly two percent from the previous model). The GT-R’s special Bilstein® DampTronic driver-adjustable system – which utilizes multiple vehicle inputs to provide appropriate damping forces and high level of control for a variety of driving situations – features a special NISMO-tuned shock absorber that more effectively transfers the power of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6, which still produces 600 horsepower, to the road surface.

Dubbed the "VR38DETT," the GT-R NISMO’s engine is the result of the expertise that NISMO has gained from competing in motorsports events around the globe. Mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it features a pair of high-flow, large diameter turbochargers used in GT3 competition. As with the standard model, each GT-R NISMO engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by meticulously trained technicians, with an aluminum plate added to the front of each engine showing the name of the Takumi engine craftsman.

Despite its more potent nature, the new GT-R NISMO boasts better overall balance than before, evolving into a car that can be enjoyed on a winding mountain road, as well as on the local race circuit.

"The GT-R NISMO emphasizes the ’R’ in its nomenclature. Its direct ties with racing make it at home on any racetrack, providing the highest levels of excitement and exhilaration for the driver. With the 2017 GT-R as a starting point, the new NISMO version has become a more well-balanced machine, with not just increased performance, but a heightened premium feel overall. It is the result of our ongoing pursuit of ultimate driving pleasure," said Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Product Specialist, GT-R.

Brake Failures Force Ford to Recall 271,000 Previous-Generation F-150
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The 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO will be available in four exterior colors. It is assembled in Tochigi, Japan, with the engines hand-assembled in Yokohama, Japan.

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