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2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo - Driven

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo - Driven

Godzilla is a fitting name, but you’ll never understand why until you get behind the wheel

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.

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2020 Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z

2020 Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z

There’ve been many 370Z race cars throughout the years but this is one of the baddest of the bunch

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In other words, the guys at Nissan and Z1 Motorsport stopped at nothing in their mission to turn what many consider an outdated sports car into a record-breaking track beast.

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2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is so good it could be a holy grail for car enthusiasts and car collectors in 20 years.

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!

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2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition

The king of monsters is getting special digs for a special occasion

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.

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2018 Nissan GT-R Naomi Osaka Edition

2018 Nissan GT-R Naomi Osaka Edition

Nissan’s nod to a pro athlete keeps Godzilla fresh

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.

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1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG

1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

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.

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1993 Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R V-Spec

1993 Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R V-Spec

Godzilla!!!

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.

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2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo

2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo

For Japan only. At least for now

Introduced in 2010, the Nissan Leaf set many benchmarks in the electric car market and has become one of the most popular EVs out there. But, after seven years on the market, the Leaf got a bit long in the tooth, and with other companies having introduced more modern EVs in this niche, Nissan had no choice but to develop a second-generation model. Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the new Leaf is better in just about any department and it finally spawned a Nismo version.

Previewed by a concept unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the Leaf Nismo is heavily based on the show car. However, the Nismo isn’t the "higher power, longer range version at a higher price" promised by Nissan, as the upgrade is far from comprehensive under the skin. The EV was also launched in Japan only, and it doesn’t seem as if Nissan wants to sell it in Europe or the United States anytime soon. Information is still scarce, but until more data becomes available let’s have a closer look at what we already know about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo.

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2020 Nissan Silvia S16

2020 Nissan Silvia S16

Could the Nissan cult favorite reemerge from the shadows?

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.

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2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition

2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition

The most track-focused GT-R you can buy without paying the Nismo premium

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.

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1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka

1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R Hakosuka

Laying the groundwork for Godzilla

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.

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