2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo - Driven
The R35 Nissan GT-R has been on the market since 2009, so it’s getting pretty long in the tooth. Be that as it may, car enthusiasts everywhere paint it as one of the world’s best cars. It is, quite literally, one of the fastest point-to-point cars on the planet, something it can lay claim to thanks to its precisely tuned chassis, sophisticated AWD system, a monstrous twin-turbo V-6, and race-proven roots that cannot be denied. But, being more than a decade old, makes paying six figures a tough pill to swallow, so it begs the question, is the Nissan GT-R actually worth buying? Is it still one of the best-driving cars in the world, and does its performance hold a candle to the new sports cars on the market?
We set out to find answers to those questions and more, and Nissan was kind enough to lend us a 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo for an entire week to do with as we please. Needless to say, it’s been a very fun week and, despite the GT-R’s age, Nissan has done a fairly decent job of keeping things somewhat fresh and interesting. This is our story with the Nissan GT-R Nismo.
2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo
The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo, revealed at the 2019 New York Auto Show, is the latest evolutive step for the aging Godzilla. Some major hardware migrated from race spec GT-R GT3 to it and made it as good as humanly possible. It’s angrier, more impulsive at the wheel, and more capable.
After Nissan showed it in New York, I figured that the GT-R is something like an excellent phone app. There’s someone that always works on it and makes it better in what it does. Back in 2007, when we saw it for the first time, the GT-R R35 rewrote the rules of affordable performance. CarMagazine in the U.K. clocked it at 3.6 seconds in its 0-62mph attempt. In the same test, the 2008 Nissan GT-R comfortably topped 190 mph.
Eleven years later (yes, it is that old), and the 2019 Nissan GT-R Nismo can manage 62 mph in 2.7 seconds. That’s a fantastic improvement and surprising result in its own. However, 2018 was not the last year of the Nissan GT-R Nismo. Lately, Godzilla has reached its latest evolution as the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo.
I will say right now. The 2020 Nissan GT-R is the best Nissan GT-R of all time!
2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition
The year was 1969. The “Skyline” name had already been introduced 12 years prior, first by Prince Motor Company, and then by Nissan in 1967 after the two companies merged. Two years after the merger, Nissan introduced a sports car based on the Skyline, and, among other things, it carried a three-letter nomenclature that has arguably become one of the most famous names in the entire industry: the GT-R. Fifty years later, the GT-R is still used today as the name of Nissan’s all-conquering supercar. It’s fitting then that the Japanese automaker that created the line of performance cars wearing the GT-R name is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the model with a special edition version, appropriately called the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. In line with its stature, Nissan debuted the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
2018 Nissan GT-R Naomi Osaka Edition
Despite its age, the Nissan GT-R is still an absolute monster of a performance machine. That said, Godzilla does occasionally get outshined by the newer competition, and in response, Nissan offers a variety of special edition models. The latest is the Naomi Osaka Edition, which celebrates professional tennis player and US Open champion Naomi Osaka with a number of color combinations both outside and in the cabin.
2018 Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign
While it might be a world-class performance icon, the Nissan GT-R was never really considered “pretty.” However, that all changes with the introduction of the one-off GT-R50 prototype, a collaborative effort between Nissan and the legendary Italian design house, Italdesign. Built to commemorate the overlapping 50th anniversary of both the Skyline GT-R nameplate and the birth of Italdesign, the GT-R50 is rolling eye candy laid atop an engineering masterpiece, bringing form and function into stunning harmony.
Updated 08/27/2018: We added a new series of images taken during the car’s official presentation at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign.
2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
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.
2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500
The current Nissan GT-R, also known as the R35, was introduced in 2007 as a successor to the popular R34. Redesigned from the ground up, the R35 set many new benchmarks for the GT-R nameplate. It’s the first to no longer feature the Skyline name and the first GT-R to use a V-6 engine (previous generations have used inline-six units). More importantly, it’s the first GT-R offered globally, being exported to the U.S. and giving Nissan unprecedented popularity in the sports car market. Finally, it is also the longest-running GT-R model. While previous versions were produced for three to five years, the R35 is ten years old as of 2017. Although a bit long in the tooth, the current GT-R is still making headlines on both the road and the track, the latter fueled by numerous versions prepped by Nismo. One of them is the GT500 and it just received an update for the 2017 racing season.
Used by Nissan in Japan’s top-spec Super GT racing division since 2008, the GT-R has brought the company five championship triumphs in nine years. However, after winning the series in 2014 and 2015, the GT-R was defeated by Lexus and its
based GT500 race car in 2016. Nissan wants to fix that in 2017, which brought significant modifications to the GT500 rule book, with a revised version of its Nismo-built, race-ready GT-R.
"We will make further development improvements during off-season tests and aim to create a race car that will shine brilliantly within the history of motorsports," said president and CEO of Nismo, Takao Katagiri. "We hope to thrill fans with a fast, more appealing GT-R that will excite fans as it lines up on the grid for the opening round competing against the new Lexus and Honda machines."
The new GT-R GT500 was unveiled at the Twin Ring Motegi along with entries for rival companies Lexus and Honda, and was showcased once again at the Nismo Festival at Fuji Speedway in December. The 2017 Super GT Series is scheduled to begin in April.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan GT-R GT500.
2016 Nissan GT-R by Alpha-N Performance
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.
2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition
The latest-generation GT-R was launched in 2007, bringing everything Nissan has learned from building sports cars since the late 1960s into one menacing vehicle. Priced from less than $70,000, the GT-R took the market by storm with a performance package that rivaled those of more expensive supercars. Although nine years old as of 2016, the GT-R received two significant updates that included enhanced aerodynamics and more powerful engines.
The 2017 facelift also brought a revised Nismo model, but unfortunately for GT-R enthusiasts, the range-topping version came with a significant price hike. But those who can’t afford a Nismo can opt for the new Track Edition package, which adds a few goodies inside and out, as well as a handful of chassis updates. This is the second time Nissan has offered a Track Edition model. The first one arrived in 2014 and was the most track-focused GT-R outside the Nismo. Much like its predecessor, it was also engineered by Nismo, the company’s motorsport division, and sits above the Premium, Prestige and Black Edition in the model lineup, but below the flagship Nismo.
However, there are quite a few differences compared to the previous Track Edition, most of which are visible on the inside. The new variant is also limited to certain European markets for now, with Nissan having yet to announce plans for a U.S.-spec model. Hopefully this will change soon, but until that happens, let’s see what makes the Track Edition special among other GT-Rs.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan GT-R Track Edition.
2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo
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
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.
1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka
In the world of high-end Japanese performance machines, it’s mighty difficult to top the Nissan GT-R. But like the folded steel of a katana, the twin-turbo AWD track weapon we know and love today is the product of meticulous refinement, and it all started with this: the Skyline GT-R Hakosuka. Now nearly five decades old, the Hakosuka was the first Nissan to bear the highly respected three-letter badge currently considered a synonym for speed, and it set the precedent by way of a high-revving six-cylinder engine, exceptional handling prowess, and a reputation for on-track dominance.
These days, there’s renewed interest in the Hakosuka, as evidenced by skyrocketing auction prices and the number of GT-R “clones” popping up on street corners around the world. But the prize, of course, is unrestored and unmodified, a combination that can command nearly a quarter million dollars on the block.
Why so much? Read on to find out.
Updated 08/22/2016: We added a series of images taken during the car’s presentation by Gooding & Company at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours. And, believe it or not, this car failed to sell.
Note: All images courtesy of Gooding & Company.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka.
2017 Nissan GT-R
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.