Nissan GT-R 2020 vs the world: Does the Japanese supercar still hold up?

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?

Ten years ago, the GT-R was priced from $155,800 before on-road costs, and came with a potent 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 outputting 357kW of power and 588Nm of torque.

Drive was sent to all four wheels via six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, enabling a zero to 60mph (97km/h) time of just 3.2 seconds and a quarter mile time of 11.9s.

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.

And they were right, with the Porsche 911 GT2 stopping the clock in 7:32.00 the year prior, while the Ferrari 458 Italia managed a 7:38.00 time in 2010.

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.

Underneath the bonnet is a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6, making 419kW/632Nm. Underneath the bonnet is a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6, making 419kW/632Nm.

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.