Nissan’s GT-R supercar was a revelation when it launched in Australia in 2009, promising Porsche-slaying performance for a fraction of the price, but now a decade on, can it still keep up with the best in the world?
The original GT-R could also lap the infamous Nurburgring circuit in just 7:26.70 (with optimised tyres), leading many to claim Nissan’s flagship model could outmuscle the best from Porsche and Ferrari.
For reference, the 2009 Porsche 911 GT2 was priced at $447,500 and was powered by a 3.6-litre twin-turbo flat six with 390kW/680Nm for a 0-100km/h time of 3.7s, and the 425kW/540Nm Ferrari 458 Italia cost $526,950 and would hit the landmark triple digits in 3.4s.
Fast forward to now however, and pricing for Nissan’s 2020 GT-R kicks off from $193,800 and stretches up to $299,00 for the hardcore Nismo variant.
After 10 years, the GT-R is still propelled by the same engine, but power has increased to 419kW and torque rises to 632Nm thanks to efficiencies in engine management, updated turbochargers and a revised exhaust system.
Alongside improvements to its launch control, the current Nissan GT-R can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.7s, while the quarter mile time has also dropped to 10.8s.
Though Nissan is yet to lap the Nurburgring in its newest GT-R, it’s latest run in a pre-production Nismo version in 2015 resulted in a 7:08.679 time.
While Nissan has soldiered on with rolling updates to its ageing GT-R, its competitors however, have all switched to new-generation models.
The latest Porsche 911 GT2 RS is powered by a firecracker 515kW/750Nm, enabling a 2.8s 0-100km/h time and a Nurburbring lap in just 6:47.30.
Ferrari replaced the 458 Italia with the 488 GTB in 2015, which was powered by a 492kW/760Nm 3.9-litre turbocharged petrol V8, and could accelerate to 100km/h in 3.0s.
While the 488’s Nurburgring time of 7:21:63 just manages to beat out the 2009 GT-R’s time, Ferrari released a more track-focused 488 Pista in 2018 that has yet to lap the famous German circuit.
The last 10 years has also seen Mercedes-AMG launch its own high-performance coupe in the form of its own GT R, powered by 430kW/700Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which managed a 7:10.92 Nurburgring time.
Meanwhile, Lamborghini has honed its Huracan with the 470kW/600Nm Performante variant, which blitzed the German track in a time of 6:52.01 in early 2017.
Outside of coupes, sedans such as the BMW M5 Competition have started to creep towards the GT-R’s once high level of performance, with 460kW/750Nm on tap from a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8.
While the Nissan GT-R’s competitors have gotten more potent in the last 10 years, one thing has remained consistent, Godzilla is still cheaper than any other high-performance model.
Pricing for the Porsche GT2 RS was set at $645,000 in 2018, while the Ferrari 488 GTB ($469,988), Lamborghini Huracan Performante ($483,866), Mercedes-AMG GT R ($350,770) and BMW M5 Competition ($229,900) are all more expensive than the base Nissan supercar.
While Nissan’s venerable GT-R might be approaching its limits for performance as its rivals begin to outmuscle and outpace the once Nurburgring king, there is now doubt Godzilla still represents a great bang for your buck.
Article Source: Cars Guide MagazineAugust 23, 2019 9:27 am