When you think of supercars, the first names that come to mind will probably include the likes of Porsche and Aston Martin, not Nissan. However, the Japanese brand have threatened the big supercar names throughout the years, predominately through the coveted Nissan GT-R.
Launched in Japan in 2007, the Nissan GT-R quickly established an iconic reputation thanks to its sheer power, advanced technology and stunning performance. NISMO then got their hands on it and created not only the pinnacle of the GT-R range, but also one of the most impressive supercars to date.
The 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO came at a lower cost than most of its rivals, earning itself the giant-killing 'Godzilla' title; a nickname that originated from the GT-R's ancestors due to their abilities to destroy rivals on track.
Below, we take a closer look at the 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO and uncover why it is an automotive icon.
The NISMO Nameplate
Nissan Motorsport, AKA NISMO, is the performance branch of the Nissan brand and is home to a range of superb performance-orientated cars; with the flagship being the GT-R NISMO.
The GT-R NISMO comes with a variety of differences to distinguish itself from regular GT-R cars, with the most notable including aggressive aerodynamic styling to provide extra downforce, as well as NISMO styling with red accents. Much of the car is also made out of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre to save weight and increase performance while out on track.
These design elements were undoubtedly influenced by the GT-R NISMO GT3, a racing version of the Nissan GT-R that has had plenty of success competing at races such as the 24 Hours of Spa and 24 Hours of Nürburgring within the FIA GT3 class.
Sorry, How Fast?
Many would look at a regular GT-R's 0 to 62mph time and be satisfied, but not NISMO; they knew the GT-R was capable of more. The NISMO version is capable of going from 0 to 62mph in a frighteningly-fast 2.6 seconds and reaching a top speed of 196mph.
This is thanks to the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine that lives underneath the carbon fibre bonnet. 592bhp is produced by this unit, which is over 100bhp more than that of the original GT-R, as well as 481lb ft of torque.
The lightweight nature and responsive handling of the GT-R NISMO allows the driver to get a strong feel for the road, making it relatively easy to drive considering its power output. An extra 100kg of downforce provided by the aerodynamics make the GT-R NISMO a real beast while out on track. But do not fear, vented front and rear brake discs allow you to bring Godzilla to a sharp stop when required.
Tackling the Nürburgring
Speaking of tracks, the iconic Nürburgring played a huge part in the GT-R NISMO's heritage and in 2013, Nissan set off for Germany with one thing in mind.
A regular GT-R is capable of going round the 'ring in 7 minutes and 19 seconds, which is quick in its own right. However, NISMO managed to lose 11 seconds, sending the GT-R NISMO round the circuit in 7 minutes and 8 seconds, giving it the title of the fastest 'volume' production car.
The car that was used for the run was loaded with an 'N Attack' pack, which included a new ECU and traction control system, as well as various additional bits of carbon fibre.
It fell just short of beating hypercars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder (6 minutes and 57 seconds) to become the fastest production car, but the GT-R NISMO did take down the majority of its more expensive rivals.
Living with a GT-R NISMO
Whilst the GT-R NISMO is essentially a race car for the road, it still comes loaded with convenient equipment that allow you to drive to the track, destroy the competition, and then drive home in a fairly comfortable manner.
Many manufacturers strip their special edition cars down to the bare bones in their pursuit of faster lap times, but the GT-R NISMO manages to combine incredible track performance with a good amount of interior equipment and technology.
Features such as a BOSE® sound system, cruise control, parking sensors, active noise cancellation and satellite navigation are all available within the GT-R NISMO, making the car that bit easier to tame on a daily basis. The computers and gadgets also help while out on track too, providing the driver with various figures and numbers to track performance.
There is even a cup holder - maybe Godzilla is more friendly than its looks suggest.
A Rare Sight
Whilst it holds the record for the fastest 'volume' production car around the Nürburgring, the GT-R NISMO is not a common sight. Approximately 200 units are produced each year in the Tochigi assembly factory and only a handful of those make it to UK soil.
Prices started at £149,995 in the UK, which was notably more than a regular 2016 GT-R's starting price of £79,995, but still significantly less than most track-focused rivals.
Prices can vary for a GT-R NISMO depending upon various factors such as specification and production year. However, with its rarity, heritage and performance it will undoubtedly command strong values for years to come and rightly take its place in the automotive history books as a true Japanese legend.
End of an era?
As many automobile manufacturers begin to move towards hybrid and electric powertrain technology, the internal combustion engine era's days are numbered, making special vehicles such as the GT-R NISMO even more sought after.
At Stratstone, we have the privilege of selling remarkable cars such as the GT-R NISMO. Our retailers have a wide variety of excellent new and used cars that are available for you to browse and test drive.
History: Aston Martin Racing