2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
"Godzilla" returns with new upgrades!by Ciprian Florea, on
As the current Nissan GT-R is preparing for retirement with a new, hybrid-powered model underway, the race-spec Nismo GT3 was upgraded for the 2019 racing season.
Last revised in 2015, the GT-R Nismo GT3 has now received a new aerodynamic package on the outside and borrowed the recent changes that Nissan rolled out for the road-legal sports car. The race car also boasts an upgraded chassis that includes new suspension components, more durable brakes, and a more reliable transmission. That vehicle that has won many races in series like the Blancpain GT Series and the Super GT, just to name a few, will hit the track with these new upgrades for the 2019 season.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Exterior
- Aggressive aero pack
- Carbon-fiber body kit
- Wider fenders
- Big rear wing
- Large diffuser
- Side-exiting exhaust
The front fascia still shares styling cues with the road car, including the headlamps and the shape of the grille
Although it’s 11 years old as of 2018, the Nissan GT-R looks surprisingly fresh and aggressive among much newer supercars. This race-spec conversion turns everything to 11 with an aggressive aero kit, wider fenders, and a menacing front bumper.
The front fascia still shares styling cues with the road car, including the headlamps and the shape of the grille and the splitter. However, the standard grille was replaced with a fine mesh, while the lower insert is no longer closed off, but also wrapped in a fine grille. The splitter below has a similar wavy shape, but it’s sharper around the corners and wider onto the sides. It’s also made from carbon-fiber and sports the Nismo-specific red accents.
Onto the sides, the front fenders are wider than usual and feature even more vents toward the side skirts
Nissan also removed the foglamps and their carbon-fiber surrounds, using the area to mount big canards that extend all the way to the wheels. The new engine hood features massive vents at the center and quick-release pins, while the front fenders have louvers atop the wheels.
Onto the sides, the front fenders are wider than usual and feature even more vents toward the side skirts and behind the wheels. The side skirts themselves include small cooling vents in front of the side-exiting exhaust and extend closer to the ground. Additional outlets in the rear fenders feed air to the rear brakes. More red accents can be seen on the side skirts and the thin, aero-optimized side mirrors. As usual for a GT3-spec car, the GT-R rides on race-spec, center-lock wheels wrapped in competition tires. Large brake discs and Nismo-branded calipers can be seen behind the multi-spoke rims.
The massive wing is the first feature that catches the eye
The rear section is also significantly more aggressive than the standard, road-going model. The massive wing is the first feature that catches the eye. While the standard GT-R Nismo is also fitted with a wing, this motorsport-spec element is significantly larger and extends further back. The fascia carries over almost unchanged, but the diffuser is entirely new and much more complex. We can see several aero fins on each side of the center section, while the standard quad-exhaust pipes are no longer there. A lightweight rear glass and quick-release pins for the trunk lid complete the look.
Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Interior
- Stripped-out cabin
- Lightweight, carbon parts
- Race-spec steering wheel
- Race-spec seat
The standard cockpit has been stripped off of every convenience feature
Nissan didn’t have much to say about the cabin, but this is hardly surprising. Automakers rarely talk about the interiors of their race cars and often they don’t even release photos. Fortunately, Nissan did post a picture, which confirms that the GT3 cockpit has very little in common with the production car.
The standard cockpit has been stripped off of every convenience feature. The dashboard and door panels were also removed, as were the center stack and the floor. Of course, these modifications have to do with saving as much weight as possible, but some were removed in order to make room for racing gear.
The aggressively bolstered seat features carbon-fiber backs and the FIA-approved, six-point harness
A carbon-fiber center stack was added, but it’s now placed further back on the center console to better match the rearward position of the driver’s seat and the steering wheel. While standard center stacks are usually designed to have an appealing look, this race-spec unit is more of a box with colored controls like switches, buttons, and knobs. The steering wheel is also a collection of buttons for each hand, while the grips are wrapped in Alcantara for better control.
The aggressively bolstered seat features carbon-fiber backs and the FIA-approved, six-point harness. Safety is, of course, a major concern when going racing, so the cockpit has an integrated roll cage and a fire extinguishing system.
Nissan says that it design a brand-new air conditioning system for this car that further reduce driver stress and ensures comfort during endurance races. The system is optional though.
Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Performance
- 3.8-liter V-6 engine
- Around 600 horsepower
- New transmission
- Upgraded brakes
- Improved weight distribution
- Redesigned suspension
For starters, weight distribution has been further optimized, and the center of gravity has been lowered
Nissan made the biggest changes to the GT3 car under the skin. For starters, weight distribution has been further optimized, and the center of gravity has been lowered by mounting the engine 150 mm (5.9 inches) further back. The unit also sits lower than in the previous model. There’s also a new dry sump system that helps lower the center of gravity and increases lubrication reliability. The flexural and torsional rigidity of the front and rear sections of the chassis have been improved thanks to advanced analysis technology.
The suspension system has been thoroughly redesigned, along with the cross member, for improved vehicle dynamics. A new transmission extends the car’s maintenance cycle, while the stronger brakes are more durable and reliable during long races.
The Nismo GT3 is as quick as it gets and its top speed exceeds the 210-mph mark
Nissan had nothing to say about the engine, but the GT3 model uses a version of the twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-6 found in the road cars. The previous race car had an output of 600 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, and I’m pretty sure that these figures haven’t changed much. While updated road cars tend to become more powerful, this rule doesn’t necessarily apply in racing, as most FIA-spec outputs are regulated based on power-to-weight ratios.
But rest assured, the Nismo GT3 is as quick as it gets and it top speed exceeds the 210-mph mark.
Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Pricing
Pricing for the new GT-R Nismo GT3 is set at JPY60 million, which converts to around $546,675 as of June 2018. That’s a massive premium over the road-going car, which retails from $175,490 in the U.S., but it’s not overly expensive for a GT3-spec car made by Nismo. The sticker excludes taxes. Nisan says that certain optional and spare parts are necessary depending on what category you intend to participate in, but you’ll have to contact the company for more info on that. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in January 2019.
Nissan GT-R Nistmo GT3 Competitors
The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 will face a multitude of competitors in just about every series it will join in 2019. The list is obviously too big to include here, so we’re only going to take a closer look at the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. While the competitors list for 2019 has yet to be announced, it’s most likely that many of this season’s car will continue next year as well. The series is now being contested by the Audi R8 LMS, Mercedes-AMG GT3, Bentley Continental GT3, Ferrari 488 GT3, and Lamborghini Huracan GT3, with many of these race cars having been launched or updated recently. Nismo will also go against the Lexus RC F GT3, BMW M6 GT3, McLaren 650S GT3, and Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The road-going GT-R may have lost its exotic appeal after more than 10 years on the market, but the Nismo GT3 model remains a force to be reckoned with on the race track. With so many wins and titles under its belt, the Nismo GT3 continues to be the weapon of choice for many teams around the world and it’s arguably among the race cars that keep competing in the most categories worldwide. Needless to say, it has become just as iconic as its Skyline GT-R predecessors.
Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan GT-R.
Read our full review on the 2015 GT-R Nismo GT3.
Read more Nissan news.