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 Global Time Attack TT 370Z
Nissan unveiled a Time Attack-spec Nissan 370Z built by Z1 Motorsport in conjunction with Nissan Motorsport that is bound to take the world of time attack racing by storm. With 750 horsepower on tap thanks to a pair of Garrett turbochargers, this 370Z is one of the craziest you’ll ever see. The widebody is made entirely out of carbon fiber, the interior is bare, and, to shed even more weight, the body was acid-dipped. In other words, the guys at Nissan and Z1 Motorsport stopped at nothing in their mission to turn what many consider an outdated sports car into a record-breaking track beast.
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!
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 Project Clubsport 23
The 2018 SEMA show is here, and Nissan is headed to Vegas with a newly tuned iteration of its aging 370Z sport compact coupe. This latest build combines a selection of parts plucked from the factory, and the aftermarket, as well as a smattering of custom one-off, fabricated pieces that “may appear someday alone or packaged together at Nissan dealership parts departments.” Sounds great, but how does it fare amongst the best of the best in the desert?
1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG
In case you were unaware, the high-end collectible car market in the U.S. is finally starting to recognize all the great classics hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun. While European and American sports cars have always held a place of prominence, Japanese rides are now making some serious parallel headway, carving out a real niche at some of the biggest auctions of the year. One of the most easily recognized classic Japanese models has to be the original Nissan Z, known stateside as the Datsun 240 Z. Offering timeless good looks, excellent handling, plenty of power, and a great noise from the exhaust, the original Z brought modern Japanese technology to the masses, and is now highly sought after in the collector market. One of the rarer and more visually appealing examples of the early Z is the ZG, also known as the HS30-H Nissan Fairlady ZG, which brought even more style to bear with the addition of several unique body components, plus a sharper driving experience with new drivetrain components.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240 ZG.
1993 Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R V-Spec
The GT-R V-Spec was the range-topping model of the R32-generation Nissan Skyline. Designed for homologation purposes in order for the R32 to compete in Group A racing, the GT-R was upgraded to V-Spec features in 1993. Production ended in 1994 with only a handful of V-Spec models built. Due to its massive success in the Australian Touring Car Championship, the R32 GT-R was nicknamed "Godzilla."
Launched in 1957 by Prince, the Skyline nameplate started life as a rather common automobile. By 1969, it was sold as a Nissan and spawned a number of higher-performance versions, including the first GT-R model in 1969. The R32 arrived in 1989 when Nissan decided to drop every other body style save for the coupe and sedan. Nissan built almost 300,000 Skylines in five years, but only around 44,000 were GT-Rs. The V-Spec was produced in less than 2,800 units, making it one of the rarest GT-Rs ever. Beyond that, the V-Spec was one of the agilest productions cars on the race track back in its day. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R V-Spec.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo Has Been Unveiled, But It May Leave You Disappointed
Since the introduction of the first Nissan Leaf, the automotive world has been quite eager to see what the Nissan performance division Nismo can do with the electric hatch. The race-ready Nismo Leaf RC was the first one to appear, but it was just too radical. Then, over the years, Nissan played around with some pseudo spirited versions never giving us a true Nismo Leaf. All that until October 25, 2017, when the Japanese company showcased the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.
Fast forward to today.
Nine months of the gestation period gave birth to a Leaf Nismo only available in Japan and wearing much the same attire as the concept version. Yet, I am far more interested in what Nismo did to that 147 horsepower drivetrain.
2020 Nissan Silvia S16
Between the 370Z and the GT-R, you could make the argument that Nissan already has a pretty solid lineup of sports cars. However, the more discerning enthusiasts out there will be quick to point out just how much more could be done. After all, the current Z car is practically ancient by modern standards given its introduction dates all the back to 2009, and at six figures, the current GT-R is just way too expensive for the average speed lover. That said, there’s one nameplate that desperately needs to be brought back into the discussion – the Silvia. The last time we saw this two-door beauty was in 2002 with the S15, and we think the time is right for a follow-up S16 generation to round out the Japanese automaker’s performance offerings. We know we’re certainly not alone in that respect, and indeed, the next-gen Silvia was expected to show in concept form at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Alas, such a creation never surfaced, but fear not, because we did a little chin scratching, drew up the above-featured rendering, and wrote up the following speculative review to help bridge the gap.
It’s been over 15 years since the S15 bit the dust, so any follow-up has a bit of catching up to do. However, we think Nissan has the right stuff to make it work. Read on for our take on it.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Nissan Silvia S16.
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 Sentra NISMO
These days, you’d be forgiven for dismissing the Nissan Sentra as just another eco-box for the daily A-to-B grind, but that wasn’t always the case. Believe it or not, there once was a Sentra designed for – brace yourself – fun. It was called the SE-R, and it was a glorious thing indeed, boasting a torquey four-cylinder engine, responsive suspension, and a price tag with room for aftermarket race tires. Unfortunately, the Sentra SE-R got shelved after the 2012 model year, causing enthusiasts to feel a bit left out in the cold. Luckily, Nissan is correcting that mistake, and now, there’s a new performance Sentra on the scene. This time around, however, it bears the Nismo nameplate, and compared to the standard-issue Sentra, it’s got a fresh exterior, race-inspired interior, and sharpened handling.
Nissan says the new Nismo Sentra is the first “mainstream,” “affordable” model to receive the Nismo treatment, and it hopes the four-door will broaden the brand’s appeal alongside the current crop of Nismo’d variants (GT-R, 370Z, and Juke). But the Japanese automaker is adamant that the Sentra Nismo won’t dilute the go-faster association of Nismo, and that the upgrades are much more than skin deep.
We’ve been waiting a while for Nissan to drop something like this, even going so far as to draw up a rendering and put together a speculative review. Now that the real thing has arrived, where were we right and where were we wrong? Read on the find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo.
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 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.
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.
2009 - 2017 Nissan 370Z
When it comes to sports cars from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Nissan Z is one of the best. As far back as the ‘60s, the Z has captured the hearts and minds of enthusiasts worldwide thanks to its timeless good looks, traditional drivetrain layout, sonorous six-cylinder exhaust note, and giant-slaying performance potential, all of which is offered at an affordable price point. The latest iteration is the Z34, a.k.a. the 370Z, which bears the same attributes as its predecessors, but with modernized packaging. Summed up, the 370Z gets slick styling, updated cabin tech, RWD handling, and a solid amount of thrust, making it a 21st-century performance-machine worthy of the letter Z.
Unlike most manufacturers, Nissan did it right when designing its next-gen sports car. Compared to the previous generation (the 350Z), the 370Z gets smaller dimensions and lower weight, plus increased chassis rigidity and higher engine output – exactly the right combo when aiming to please throngs of enthusiasts. Over time, Nissan added new features and trim levels to broaden the Z’s appeal, but kept the original’s hardcore attitude for customers who demanded it. These days, the Z needs to evolve, which is a tricky proposition for a model bearing nearly five decades of history. For now, though, read on for a look at the newest version of Nissan’s classic two-door.
Updated 07/10/2017: Nissan announced minor equipment and pricing updates for the 2018 model year 370Z.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2009 – 2018 Nissan 370Z.
2015 - 2017 Nissan 370Z Nismo
The Nissan 370Z Nismo is a cool, nippy sports car at 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Drop the hammer and it will reward you with fast-enough acceleration and precise handling. Do that on the track and you’ll be able to sweep the asphalt with a lot of famous and more expensive cars.
But despite its abilities, I always thought the 370Z lacked the looks most enthusiasts are expecting to find on a sports car of this caliber. Its face is just too clean and polished, without any of the sharp cues that make you scream in agony as you’re being chased by one.
Fortunately, that has come to an end today when Nissan took the wraps off the facelifted 370Z Nismo. The Japanese-built sports car has finally received its much-need rhinoplasty, one that throws the boring look to the dumpster and puts a new, "eat my dust" face on the hot coupe.
Of course, the 2015 370Z Nismo is not only about a new, evil grin. The folks over at Nismo have been working hands deep to upgrade the chassis and the suspension system, while developing brand new sports seats with Recaro, the industry’s main provider of high-performance shells.
I was a bit surprised to discover Nissan chose to keep output figures unchanged, but aside from that, it had done a great job to bring the 370Z back in the spotlight.
Updated 06/15/2016: Nissan announced prices for the 370Z Nismo which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. As no surprise, prices remain unchanged over the 2016 model year.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan 370Z Nismo.
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.
2016 Nissan Alpha G R35 GTR By AMS Performance
Gideon “Gidi” Chamdi is known in the U.S. drag racing scene as one of the most passionate owners of some of the most incredible drag-tuned supercars. If you’ve heard of AMS Performance, chances are you’re familiar with its staggering builds for the Nissan GT-R. Well, put one and one together and you can see where I’m going here, right?
See, Chamdi is the proud owner of just about every iteration of AMS Performance’s Alpha-tuned GT-Rs. He has the Alpha 10, Alpha 12, Alpha 16, and the Alpha 20. The last of those cars - the Alpha 20 - even became known as the fastest and most powerful Nissan GT-R in the world, a distinction it earned until it met an untimely demise when it crashed at an event back in August 2015.
With the Alpha 20 gone, Chamdi returned to AMS Performance, looking to replace his dearly departed GT-R with something that’s faster and more powerful than anything AMS Performance has built for the Japanese supercar. The result, or at least the partial result, is this monstrosity. It’s been labeled as the Alpha G and it promises to take the capabilities of the Alpha 20 and take it up to new heights.
Continue after the jump to read the review.
Not a lot is known about Nissan’s next Z-car. Early in December of 2014, Nissan’s vice president and global head of marketing, Roel de Vries, hinted that the 370 Z’s successor could have a variety of engines, depending on a given market. Then, a week later, word spread that the next Z-Car would be launched as a convertible (they were calling it “The Z”) and would probably have a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, hybrid engine.
Once that news hit the world, things went stagnant for a while – until June of 2015, when Shiro Nakamoa, Nissan’s senior vice president, and chief creative officer, came out and admitted that the Z-car idea needed to be “rethought.” He also strongly hinted that the upcoming car would be smaller and lighter, potentially looking back to the roots of the original Datsun 240Z. Once that news broke, the information trail went cold, and we’ve been left waiting.
Well, at TopSpeed, we’re tired of waiting, so we went ahead and rendered up what the next Z-car could look like. Of course, it is a bit smaller and low slung, but it also shares some design cues with the current Nissan Sentra and Nissan Murano. The hole rendering is speculation based on what we’ve heard in the past and Nissan’s current design styles, but we think we have nailed it pretty well. We’re hoping to see the official debut of the next Z by 2018, but until then let’s take a look at our rendering and what we hope to see when it makes an official debut in the coming years.
Click past the jump to read our full, and constantly growing, review on the upcoming Z-car.
The Nissan GT-R has always been characterized by its ruthless aggression. It’s the kind of car that largely relies on its overwhelming power and performance to devour the competition. It is called Godzilla for a reason, right? But, just as evolution is an inescapable truth in the auto industry, the GT-R could find itself in this particular cross hair. That’s because Nissan GT-R program manager Hiroshi Tamura has revealed plans to bring the GT-R up a notch, not in terms of performance, but more into the realm of premium luxury.
Speaking with Top Gear, Tamura divulged his strong desire to make Godzilla wear the equivalent of a tuxedo. Not in a literal sense, of course, but more about giving the GT-R an authentic premium experience. He even harkened back to the Egoist Edition, a special edition version of the GT-R that was introduced back in 2010. That model had all the performance credentials of a born-and-bred GT-R, but it also featured premium leather upholstery, an upscale Bose sound system, and a unique Wajima Lacquer (Maki-e) GT-R Emblem that was placed on the center of the steering wheel. This emblem was able to change it coloring of Maki-e as time passed by.
So imagine the GT-R getting a nuanced makeover that will make it more rounded when lined up against the likes of the Bentley Continental GT and, presumably at least, the would-be successor to the Aston Martin DB9. These are the things that could be in play for the next-generation GT-R if Tamura’s vision for it comes to fruition.
That’s not to say that it’s definitely going to happen because at the moment, Nissan’s focus is on the current generation GT-R, so any talk of a premium version will likely occur with the next-generation model. Unfortunately, that model is still a ways off from happening.
Continue reading after the jump for the full story.