In Review

Nismo GT-R 2017: Critics praise Nissan's 'exciting' coupe

It's 'staggeringly fast' and 'terrifically responsive' – but is it worth the extra money?


Nissan has finally released its striking Nismo GT-R, the hardcore version of its recently facelifted R35 coupe. 

It houses the same 3.8-litre V6 engine as the regular model, but Nissan has injected a further 30bhp and 12lb-ft torque for an output of 592bhp and 482lb-ft torque. This is helped by the addition of two racing-derived turbochargers, which are bolted-on by hand. 

There are also several changes to the exterior, including a more defined carbon-fibre splitter and a larger rear wing.

Nissan claims this generates real downforce, too, as the body extensions direct airflow around the wheels towards the rear diffuser. 

Inside, lashings of Alcantara and carbon fibre give the Nismo GT-R a sportier edge over the predominately leather interior of the base model. It also has an onboard computer to tell the driver about the likes of tyre pressures and cornering forces. 

The changes have got a thumbs up from the critics.

Evo says the Nismo GT-R is "staggeringly fast" and "hugely exciting", with its four-wheel drive delivering power very effectively.

However, the mag adds that it feels "very much" like its predecessor, which may make it harder to justify paying the extra £25,000. 

Part of its appeal is its exclusivity, it continues, with only "30 or 40" expected to reach UK shores each year. As there were a mere 24 examples of the original Nismo GT-Rs sent to the UK, it will always remain "a rare sight".  

Autocar, meanwhile, says that while the Nismo GT-R is a heavy car, coming it at 3,083lbs, it does not feel too weighty thanks to the powerful engine.

It also hazards a guess at the zero to 62mph figures, which Nissan has yet to reveal. "There's a chance it'll start with a two," it predicts. 

Handling has improved, continues the site, and the Nismo invites the driver to "turn the steering less" due to the abundance of rearward power forcing the car through corners. It is also "terrifically responsive" and has a particular keenness in its "corner stance". 

Revisions to the aerodynamic package and V6 engine mean the Nismo GT-R has the handling characteristics of a hot-hatch, says Car, adding that the car's agility is so impressive its behaves like a "much smaller" and "lighter" vehicle. 

The mag also finds it to be responsive under power and easily adjusted mid-corner through throttle inputs, as the majority of the torque can be sent to the rear axle. Even with "stability control systems" enabled, the GT-R is "forgiving and communicative" in all driving conditions, it adds.

Spending £149,995 on a Nissan can seem "a touch far fetched" in today's economic climate, says AutoExpress, but the Nismo GT-R is "one of the most exciting road cars" available for those who can afford it. 

The addition of a carbon fibre rear wing and bodywork allows it to generate 220lbs of downforce, the magazine adds, which "glues" the Nismo to the road in a way that would amaze regular GT-R owners.

Orders are open now, with prices starting at £150,000. This makes the Nissan Nismo GT-R around twice the price of the regular model and around £20,000 more than the critically acclaimed Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Nissan GT-R Coupe: 'firm' ride and fast - really fast

15 August 2013

Price: £76,610 - £86,610

Pros: Stunning straight-line performance, razor-sharp handling, it looks great

Cons: Uncomfortable at low speeds, price is up by £10k from previous model, nissan badge not as prestigious as Porsche

3.6/5, Carbuyer "The Nissan GT-R is fast – really fast. It can accelerate from 0-62mph in only 3.1 seconds, and it's great to drive, too. The car's cornering ability is a strong selling point, and although the latest version is pricier than before – the result of VAT and fuel price increases – the car is great value for money compared to big-name rivals such as the Porsche 911 Turbo. It's been on sale since 2008, but updates to the 2011 model saw an increase in power, the addition of LED running lights, new alloy wheels and a red engine cover to complement its sleek lines. In 2013 a further update focused on performance but a bit more on comfort too, making the GT-R a nicer place to be. The GT-R's brakes are really powerful too – which is no bad thing considering the Nissan GT-R's twin-turbocharged 3.2-litre V6 engine can take you to a top speed of more than 190mph. The ride is firm and the hi-tech four-wheel-drive system makes a bit of noise at speed, but that's a small price to pay on the way to that stunning top speed. The latest version of the Nissan GT-R features a stiffer body at the front to give more stability from the suspension, and the engine has been tweaked for a bit more power. These things do actually work, although you need to be on a track to actually get the most out of it."

5/5, Auto Express "At the GT-R's launch in 2007, the chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno claimed: "The real car will arrive in three years." So we're guessing the heavily modified 2011 variant driven here is the model Nissan always intended the GT-R to be."

4.5/5, Evo "It is brilliantly and unashamedly Japanese in its design – a German or French manufacturer just wouldn't make a car look like this. With its bold lines and riot of creases, it fits into the Tokyo atmosphere perfectly, yet it's also aerodynamically tidy, with a drag coefficient of Cd 0.27."

4/5, Honest John "GT-R features large Brembo full-floating drilled discs, low steel high stiffness brake pads and Brembo mono block six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, which in combination minimise fade and provide stable braking. Runflat tyres balance high grip and all-weather capabilities and a comfortable ride in all driving situations. The tyres are designed to maintain their integrity for 80km of travel at 80 km/h."


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