RE: Nissan GT-R NISMO MY17: Driven

RE: Nissan GT-R NISMO MY17: Driven

Saturday 28th January 2017

Nissan GT-R NISMO MY17: Driven

With the GT-R softened off as standard now, what does that mean for the NISMO?



As conditions go for testing the latest GT-R NISMO, Silverstone GP in December is pretty much spot on actually: fast enough for 600hp to really show off, challenging enough to (hopefully) test those chassis tweaks and also rather wet. Perfect. Not usually ideal for a conventional track car, but then the NISMO isn't a conventional track car; it's a GT-R first and foremost, and rain rather suits a GT-R.

All the other cars ran off scared
All the other cars ran off scared
We'll return to that; first, a refresh of what makes this car fit to carry that hallowed nameplate. Taking the new interior and updated look from the standard GT-R, the NISMO also gets tweaks to the springs, dampers and anti-roll bars for a "better overall balance" and a marginal improvement in Nissan's dynamic tests. It remains a 600hp, near-200mph car, same as before. And it's £150,000.

The schedule is refreshingly simple in fact, with half an hour allocated on Silverstone, not a single other car and an instructor who is surprisingly quiet. Perhaps he was scared. That it was up there with some of the best half-hour drives of 2016 should hopefully tell you a lot.

Initial impression s from a couple of exploratory (read: slow) warm-up laps show a few familiar and endearing GT-R traits. Electro-hydraulic steering that's far more pleasant than even the best Porsche EPAS systems (with a lovely Alcantara wheel), a host of drivetrain noises that could only be from a GT-R and a sense of incredible agility that remains mismatched with something so physically large.

Steady now...
Steady now...
Same but more so
It won't surprise you to hear that much of what impressed about the old NISMO remains the same here. Even in their standard setting, the Bilstein Damptronic - why do they always sound like an incontinence aid? - dampers are fantastic, giving the car absolute composure and the driver great confidence. There are caveats here though, as always. First being that Silverstone is a smooth circuit anyway, providing a less challenging task. And without a road test being possible, it's hard to be definitive on whether the settings are successful for the NISMO or a crashy nightmare in the way some Japanese specials can be. Still, if it's good enough for that Nurburgring lap, you would hope it could deal with a B-road...

The NISMO is still tremendously fast too, tangibly if not significantly brisker than the standard GT-R. There's some lag from the venerable VR38DETT but also an appetite for the 6,800rpm power peak that implores you to keep it there. Even with a short shift into fourth and a conservative braking point for Stowe, the NISMO saunters on to 140mph down the Hangar straight. How do people feel the need for even more power?

Be less conservative with that braking point though and the magic box of tricks begins to open. As mentioned way back when we first drove the NISMO in Japan, the thicker rear anti-roll bar compared to standard makes this car far more mobile at turn-in; with a slipperier surface too this sense of agility is enhanced to a very entertaining degree. While never tremendously precise, the way a GT-R rotates its way into a bend on the brakes, alleviating the understeer that's sometimes there, is jolly good fun. With time and space perhaps it could be learnt and exploited properly, because it can be a little unnerving on first experience!

Brakes aren't ceramic, but more than good enough
Brakes aren't ceramic, but more than good enough
Twist and shout
That same sense of flightiness can be found on corner exit too. Sometimes it will hook up fantastically, the lock gradually unwinding in your hands, the traction control untroubled. Then another time you'll get a spike of oversteer with what feels like the same approach. Edgy might be a bit harsh; 'intense' probably best describes it, and you need to be concentrating.

Isn't that what we want from Japanese special editions though? The legend has been constructed on raw, angry, uncompromising cars, so it's a real pleasure to see that defiant attitude survive to 2017. You won't get the most from it in half an hour or without some effort, making it a more memorable experience.

Encouragingly, using the instructor's wet line around Silverstone shows how grippy and fast the NISMO really can be on this surface.  Whatever your chosen line or approach though, that the driver is told so much about the car through the steering, through the seats and through the brakes makes it so rewarding. There are different ways to drive and exploit it, while also being kept right at the centre of the action. Regardless of the tech and the image, a GT-R NISMO is still a deeply involving and exciting sports car. That's the joy of it.

Expensive, yes, but still rather brilliant
Expensive, yes, but still rather brilliant
Deal breaker
Trouble is that £150,000 remains a great deal of money, even if NISMOs hold their value. As well as being not far off double a standard GT-R, it's beyond cars like a McLaren 570S, Audi R8 V10 Plus and the new NSX. That sort of money will also buy a 911 GT3 still with a triple-digit mileage. While the NISMO retains a unique appeal, it's hard not to conclude that those rivals are more broadly talented and more suited to the majority of buyers. GT-R enthusiasts will adore it with very good reason, and we remain very happy that a GT-R NISMO exists, but our choice would most likely be a Track Edition with the best part of £60,000 left over.  


NISSAN GT-R NISMO
Engine:
 3,799cc, V6, twin-turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed twin-clutch automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 600@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 481@3,600rpm
0-62mph: 2.5sec (est.)
Top speed: 196mph
Weight: 1,725kg (kerb weight)
MPG: 23.9 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 275g/km
Price: £149,995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Author
Discussion

PunterCam

Original Poster:

749 posts

129 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
I think maybe it's time for Nissan to quietly retire the GTR... I've only seen one on the road in the last year, and there are more GTRs on my local Nissan forecourt than there are Micras.. Or Jukes. Or whatever it is Nissan are selling as a small car these days.

The GTR forced everyone to jump a generation (in terms of tech), and that's either a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view, but it was surpassed by everyone 5 years ago now.. I just don't see any appeal anymore. I'm sure it's a nicer everyday car now, and the interior looks a little more 00s than 90s, but it's still a bit "big 90s retirement coupe"..

Also - I really don't like this yearly update thing - you buy an older car and you're buying a WORSE car.. I don't like that.

Maybe I'm just grumpy, but then again I don't see anyone else buying them.

Deerfoot

3,880 posts

118 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
It`s not cheap either now is it?

British Beef

1,127 posts

99 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
If it were my money a standard GTR and £10k upgrades at Litchfield would surely yield something very similar to this.

Surely the main reason someone would buy this is rarity and associated residuals, as I just cant see an extra £70k of value in this car over the standard GTR.

jason61c

2,877 posts

108 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
I think maybe it's time for Nissan to quietly retire the GTR... I've only seen one on the road in the last year, and there are more GTRs on my local Nissan forecourt than there are Micras.. Or Jukes. Or whatever it is Nissan are selling as a small car these days.

The GTR forced everyone to jump a generation (in terms of tech), and that's either a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view, but it was surpassed by everyone 5 years ago now.. I just don't see any appeal anymore. I'm sure it's a nicer everyday car now, and the interior looks a little more 00s than 90s, but it's still a bit "big 90s retirement coupe"..

Also - I really don't like this yearly update thing - you buy an older car and you're buying a WORSE car.. I don't like that.

Maybe I'm just grumpy, but then again I don't see anyone else buying them.
Erm, can you say what cars surpassed it 5 years ago?

How about 4 years ago?

3 years ago?

Ok 2?

The only factual part of your post is that you are being grumpy smile

sidesauce

794 posts

152 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
I think maybe it's time for Nissan to quietly retire the GTR... I've only seen one on the road in the last year, and there are more GTRs on my local Nissan forecourt than there are Micras.. Or Jukes. Or whatever it is Nissan are selling as a small car these days.

The GTR forced everyone to jump a generation (in terms of tech), and that's either a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view, but it was surpassed by everyone 5 years ago now.. I just don't see any appeal anymore. I'm sure it's a nicer everyday car now, and the interior looks a little more 00s than 90s, but it's still a bit "big 90s retirement coupe"..

Also - I really don't like this yearly update thing - you buy an older car and you're buying a WORSE car.. I don't like that.

Maybe I'm just grumpy, but then again I don't see anyone else buying them.
So Nissan should stop selling GT-Rs. Because obviously (based on your anecdotal view) no-one in the entire world buys them. Ok.

Maybe Honda should have quietly retired the original NSX earlier than they did as despite all the talk of forcing their rivals to up their game when it came to super-car reliability and everyday usability they couldn't even manage to sell 19,000 cars worldwide. In 15 years (funny, that car had a crap interior too...). We know a replacement will be along in the next 2 years, we also know that demand worldwide is sufficient for Nissan to keep producing them.

A big retirement coupe? Please. Have you actually driven one? If you have then you'd know that the GT-R is NOT the car for retirement (or retiring) types; it's noisy, mechanical and pretty brutal in comparison to say a Mercedes S63 AMG (which is most definitely a 'big retirement coupe'). Efficient and effective it may be, refined it is not.

Finally, ALL older cars fall under your argument regarding updates. If Nissan are able to update the GT-R every year, why shouldn't they? What would you prefer? That they wait 7 years before updating the car?? Maybe it escapes your attention but pretty much everyone does this nowadays, not just Nissan!
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soad

29,149 posts

110 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
Deerfoot said:
It`s not cheap either now is it?
Not cheap for a Nissan. But it gets you more performance and a rare car.

Centurion07

6,909 posts

181 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
jason61c said:
PunterCam said:
I think maybe it's time for Nissan to quietly retire the GTR... I've only seen one on the road in the last year, and there are more GTRs on my local Nissan forecourt than there are Micras.. Or Jukes. Or whatever it is Nissan are selling as a small car these days.

The GTR forced everyone to jump a generation (in terms of tech), and that's either a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view, but it was surpassed by everyone 5 years ago now.. I just don't see any appeal anymore. I'm sure it's a nicer everyday car now, and the interior looks a little more 00s than 90s, but it's still a bit "big 90s retirement coupe"..

Also - I really don't like this yearly update thing - you buy an older car and you're buying a WORSE car.. I don't like that.

Maybe I'm just grumpy, but then again I don't see anyone else buying them.
Erm, can you say what cars surpassed it 5 years ago?

How about 4 years ago?

3 years ago?

Ok 2?

The only factual part of your post is that you are being grumpy smile
yes

Rest of the post is bobbins.

big_rob_sydney

2,120 posts

128 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
Huge GTR fan. I think it took Porsche quite a long time to catch up, and only recently surpass it. And even then, theres always the argument that the Porsche is more expensive.

In saying all that, I have to say I think the price point is just too much. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; you're better off with a Litchfield GTR if you really crave the extra performance. But then, for the road, it all becomes a bit academic.

If you really wanted to go fast on track, you'd be in a track specific car, eg some "formula" car with aero, because pretty much every road car is just too compromised.

No, as a road car, I think the standard car is more than adequate. Its a blast, and at about half the price of Porsche, its a hard value proposition to pass up.

Tuvra

7,660 posts

159 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
Deerfoot said:
It`s not cheap either now is it?
Compared to what? What comes even remotely close for the money?
big_rob_sydney said:
Huge GTR fan. I think it took Porsche quite a long time to catch up, and only recently surpass it. And even then, theres always the argument that the Porsche is more expensive.

In saying all that, I have to say I think the price point is just too much. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; you're better off with a Litchfield GTR if you really crave the extra performance. But then, for the road, it all becomes a bit academic.

If you really wanted to go fast on track, you'd be in a track specific car, eg some "formula" car with aero, because pretty much every road car is just too compromised.

No, as a road car, I think the standard car is more than adequate. Its a blast, and at about half the price of Porsche, its a hard value proposition to pass up.
The price difference between the Porsche rival (Turbo or Turbo S) is monumental, its like comparing the GTR to an Audi RS3 in terms of price.

You say it's expensive, is it though? I think back to cars like the E46 CSL, 360 Challenge, BMW 1M, Focus RS MKII all had lesser versions that seemed to offer a large percentage of the performance (M3, 360, 135, ST) for a fraction of the cost, but long term look how the values compare.

I guess what I'm saying is that residual wise, the Nismo should be an excellent purchase even if on the face of it it doesn't appear so.

Z4MR

1 posts

21 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
150k is just too expensive. One for the footballers and those with stupid disposable incomes. Even the new GT-R starts at 81k and that I think has surpassed the original idea of the car, to produce a car (affordable by many) yet capable of matching super cars twice or three times the price. Have they improved by 30k to justify today's price, i suspect not?. That said there are some lovely examples to be had (With or without Litchfield's intervention) starting at about 37k . May well have to talk nicely to "Her indoors" !! rolleyes

J4CKO

25,314 posts

134 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
What do they do to it that warrants another seventy grand !

That would buy a lot of very trick aftermarket stuff and a lot more BHP, if for some reason 2.5 to sixty was a bit slow biggrin

Out of interest, all these mega power GTR's, the 1000 bhp ones, how fast actually are they, my old woofer still feels fairly quick and a GTR is way quicker than that, and a tuned one must be way quicker again, how mind bendlingly fast is something like that ?

Deerfoot

3,880 posts

118 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
Tuvra said:
Deerfoot said:
It`s not cheap either now is it?
Compared to what?
Compared to the standard GTR. Good as I`m sure it`ll be it`s a huge premium over the regular car....

Tuvra

7,660 posts

159 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
Z4MR said:
150k is just too expensive. One for the footballers and those with stupid disposable incomes. (1.) Even the new GT-R starts at 81k and that I think has surpassed the original idea of the car, to produce a car (affordable by many) yet capable of matching super cars twice or three times the price. (2.)Have they improved by 30k to justify today's price, i suspect not?. That said there are some lovely examples to be had (With or without Litchfield's intervention) starting at about 37k . May well have to talk nicely to "Her indoors" !! rolleyes
1. GTR's start at £77,645 on Broadspeed
2. £60,000 in 2009 is the equivalent of £74,000 in 2017 so the £30k "increase" is a bit of an exaggeration.
3. A 2009 997 Turbo was £101k, a 2017 version is £126,920 so Nissan are only following the market.
4. There was a 40.6% price difference between the GTR & Turbo in 2009, there is a 38.8% difference in 2017.
Deerfoot said:
Tuvra said:
Deerfoot said:
It`s not cheap either now is it?
Compared to what?
Compared to the standard GTR. Good as I`m sure it`ll be it`s a huge premium over the regular car....
As a driving prospect I'd agree, but as an ownership prospect I don't think its that crazy at all. Lets not forget £150k will "only" get you a Turbo S with an aero kit and I know which one I'd rather keep for 5 years depreciation wise. I think these Nismo's will be the most collectable version of a car that will go down as a game changer in history, I doubt they will ever drop below £100k, all IMHO of course smile

Evoquative

116 posts

32 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
The Japanese Yen was at 220-250t to the pound in 2007 when the GT-R launched, it is at 140 ish to the pound now. Sooooo, blame the 2008 financial crisis and then the Brexit weak pound for the new price.

As various companies currency hedge positions expire, imported cars will get more expensive.

Dave Hedgehog

10,005 posts

138 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
as much as i love some red trim you would have to be barking mad to pay 150k for a GTR

gigglebug

920 posts

56 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
I think maybe it's time for Nissan to quietly retire the GTR... I've only seen one on the road in the last year, and there are more GTRs on my local Nissan forecourt than there are Micras.. Or Jukes. Or whatever it is Nissan are selling as a small car these days.
I'd be interested to see a photo of your local Nissan dealer that has more GTR's on it's forecourt than Jukes! Which dealer is it exactly? Might be worth a look if they've got such a fantastic selection to choose from!

gigglebug

920 posts

56 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
Tuvra said:
1. GTR's start at £77,645 on Broadspeed
2. £60,000 in 2009 is the equivalent of £74,000 in 2017 so the £30k "increase" is a bit of an exaggeration.
3. A 2009 997 Turbo was £101k, a 2017 version is £126,920 so Nissan are only following the market.
4. There was a 40.6% price difference between the GTR & Turbo in 2009, there is a 38.8% difference in 2017
You beat me to it, had just done the maths out of curiosity myself. Personally having experience of both I'd still have the Porsche over the Nissan if I could afford it but it by no means detracts from the GTR and what it is and can do. Both are pretty fabulous in my opinion.

epom

5,879 posts

95 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
£150k ? Crikey.... is it twice as good as the standard one?
One for the real die hards me thinks....and for those it will be the holy grail and well worth it.

Ho Lee Kau

1,155 posts

59 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
I'm sure it is an amazing set of wheels, but for 150k I'd rather buy second hand low mileage 911 Turbo S.

Vee12V

728 posts

94 months

Wednesday 25th January 2017
quotequote all
150k? Not when you can have a 570S for the same price.