Review: Nissan GT-R Nismo

Review: Nissan GT-R Nismo
Review: Nissan GT-R Nismo

Monster Nissan becomes even more monstrous – but at a monster price

You’ll perhaps be familiar with the basic shape of this Nissan GT-R. It’s been around since 2007, receiving several updates along the way, the latest of which is now with us. But Nissan isn’t letting this car go quietly: the 2017 changes are the most significant it’s yet received, covering engine, suspension and interior.

We’ve already seen the mainstream model, which now has some of the aero addenda previously reserved for the range-topping GT-R Nismo. Now, a facelifted version of that model is here: Nissan has duly restored the Nismo’s range-topping advantage with an enhanced aero kit to further up downforce levels.

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo

Price: £149,995
Engine: 3.8-litre, V6, twin-turbo, petrol
Power: 592bhp
Torque: 481lb/ft
Gearbox: Six-speed dual-clutch auto
Kerb weight: 1725kg
0-62mph: 3.0sec (est)
Top speed: 196mph
Economy: 23.9mpg
CO2/tax band: 275g/km, 37%

 

Nissan’s famously committed GT-R engineers have also stiffened the Nismo chassis over and above the stiffening other 2017 models already benefit from. And, to ensure everything’s just so, they’ve also intricately tweaked the springs, dampers and anti-roll bars by tiny amounts to maintain the car’s handling balance. Fanatical-level stuff, this is.

What they haven’t done is touch the engine. The 592bhp version of Nisan’s 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbo remains, so still has the kudos of wearing turbos from a GT-R GT3 racing car. Frankly, it didn’t need any more power before, and the same is true now: 0-60mph takes three seconds officially, with a fair chance of dipping into the twos if the weather is on your side.

It wasn’t when we drove it at a painfully wintery Silverstone in January. Ordinarily, you can rev the nuts of it and be thrilled aplenty, but we more often utilised the muscular mid-range – a great spread of power remains a GT-R strength, even if it means there isn’t quite the high-rev excitement of a Porsche 911 GT3.

The cold weather was why we couldn’t really detect any of the claimed improvements in grip levels, although the alterations in handling balance were easier to feel. It’s not neutral, but slightly rear-biased, with fantastically responsive steering further aiding this keen stance. It’s terrifically entertaining.

 

It’s also colossally expensive. £149,995. Hang on, you’re thinking, that’s more than a McLaren. Yes, and it’s also £25,000 more than the GT-R Nismo in pre-facelift guise cost. It’s quite some way from the time GT-Rs used to be supercar bargains, that’s for sure.

But this isn’t Nissan profiteering. The amount of hand-built stuff that goes into this is the equal of any Ferrari or Porsche. What’s more, it feels like a genuine supercar as well. Even at Silverstone in January, it’s clear the GT-R Nismo need not meet a 911 or a 488 GTB with embarrassment. Besides, Nissan’s only planning to bring around 25 into the UK. It will have no trouble selling them, and its owners will not be at all disappointed.

 

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