Japan has been raising the bar in the supercar segment for years. Take the LF-A, launched in 2010, for example. Packing a 4.8-litre V10, it made an incredible 560 horsepower and hit 100kph in 3.7 seconds. Exclusivity was guaranteed, too, what with just 500 units made. The world certainly sat up and paid attention. But we were back in our seats when production ended in December 2012. However, we’ve been up on our feet ever since news of an all-new Acura NSX hybrid broke. The twin-turbocharged V6 with three electric motors mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission promises to be hot stuff. But in truth, talk has ebbed and flowed about the Lexus and Honda, however, we’ve always had one constant from the land of the rising sun, and that is Nissan’s GT-R. It’s the most talked about Japanese supercar and for good reason.
Offering Ferrari and Lamborghini-baiting performance for a fraction of the cost, the R35 generation has been a smash hit ever since it debuted in 2007. It’s spawned many special editions (see sidebar) and the newest is this by Nismo.
Instead, the focus has been on aerodynamics and a revised chassis rather than tweaking the blown V6.
Originally launched in 2015 with an increased output and a revised aerodynamic package, it made a name for itself thanks to its staggering ability to hit 0-100kph in 2.9 seconds to go with a Nürburgring Nordschleife lap of only 7:08 minutes, the fifth-quickest for road-going production cars. The newbie should better that — even though it hasn’t got an increase in power. Instead, the focus has been on aerodynamics and a revised chassis rather than tweaking the blown V6.
The Nismo edition has a more aggressive front end with a larger grille in dark chrome and a ‘Nismo’ badge in the top right corner. The headlights and bonnet look the same as the regular 2017 GT-R but have been reinforced to avoid deformation at high speeds. So, no more unintentional active aerodynamics then...It gets daytime running lights while the side sills, rear diffuser, traditional red trim and a massive rear wing (made from carbon fibre) look a treat.
The cabin features a redesigned dash with fewer buttons on the centre stack, there’s anew 8.0in touchscreen and a new three-spoke steering wheel. There’s loads of Alcantara trim in there and those Recaro sports seats should keep you locked in place.
The 3.8-litre V6 engine with a pair of large diameter high-flow turbochargers (they’re more at home in GT3 racecars) is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch, and makes 600 horsepower (that’s the same output as the 2016 Nismo GT-R...) sent to all four corners. The chassis has been fettled with and should be able to put the power down far better thanks to retuned shocks, springs, stabilisers and adjustable Bilstein dampers. It’s a decent upgrade to the flagship which should keep everyone talking — until the brand-new next-generation GT-R is finally with us — and then some...
Other GT-Rs that’ll leave you breathless...
1. GT-R Special Edition: Featured an exclusive Midnight Opal body colour and was limited to only 100 units worldwide.
2. GT-R Track Edition: Featured an updated suspension, and fuel injectors. Limited to just 150 units.
3. GT-R Gentleman Edition: Just 10 were made and they got a Grey Squale paint job with an amber red leather interior.