Warning, I stood under the podium at Mt Panorama Bathurst in 1991 and 1992 as Nissan claimed victory in our Great Race – I was a massive fan of Fred Gibson racing and Godzilla. So I do love a chance to drive a GT-R. When given the option at Bathurst, I was at the airport early ready to go.
What was unveiled by Nissan Australia is the first NISMO vehicle to be made available here, the Nissan GT-R NISMO, and at $299,000 it’s not your average car.
NISMO is Nissan’s performance division, they take the learnings from all the NISMO race-track activities and put it into a range of Nissan Cars. While the full NISMO range isn’t here yet, the GT-R is surely a great place to start.
On the outside there are new tweaks and trims and a bloody awesome rear-wing.
On the inside there’s NISMO trimmings and updates to the seats for a performance look and feel.
But it’s the things you can’t see that really matter.
At the factory, engineers have developed a new bonding technique which makes the entire body stiffer by clear and measurable amounts – something no tuning shop or mechanic could ever do.
The suspension is three times stiffer on the NISMO and the wheels are each 3kg lighter.
Under the hood the turbo is upgraded to the same one used in the GT3 race-car which helps push enormous torque into the 441kW engine.
Your standard 2017 Nissan GT-R will set you back $189,000. This NISMO is $110,000 more and is built to be driven on a race-track.
I drove it on some serious country roads around Bathurst and the rigid suspension was felt through my entire body. Comfort mode on the suspension helped, but didn’t make it a leisurely drive.
I feel like if the standard GT-R is a Grand Tourer more than racer it’s a “GT-r” while the NISMO doesn’t really cut it as a long form grand tourer making it a “gt-R”.
If your budget it tight, and you want that capital R – consider the Track Edition – $227,000 and you’re getting that stiffer body, upgraded suspension and wheels without all the bling and trimmings and the boosted engine performance.
Whatever the case, the new GT-R is stunning, the NISMO edition makes you feel like you’re driving the car the Nissan engineers intended for us to be driving.