What is it?
You hardly need an introduction to the Nissan GT-R. It is likely that there have been more published words sacrificed on the GT-R’s altar than on any rival, even the ubiquitous Porsche 911. The sub-£75k, 542bhp, four-wheel drive coupé has become a giant-slayer of the first order.
So, meet the Nissan GT-R Track Pack. A more focused version that retains exactly the same bi-turbo V6 powertrain and four-wheel drive system but which gets stiffer springs and increased rigidity, lighter Nismo alloys and improved brake cooling. It also loses the rear seats (this, together with the wheels, saves around 20kg) and gets new sports seats that utilise a special ‘grippy’ material to help keep your body in place against the fierce g-forces the GT-R creates in an offhand manner.
For all this extra trickery you will pay a £10k premium, bringing the Track Pack in at £84,480.
What’s it like?
Get it onto a circuit, and it’s clear that the Track Pack has been dialed a notch towards being more playful; a subtle attempt to make the GT-R feel as if it’s relying more on the driver and less on its extravagantly complex four-wheel drive system. It’s keener to step-out, to give you the opportunity to unsettle it should you wish to. That will be a good thing for many.
There’s no doubting that the improved brake cooling, which Nissan claims can reduce operating temperature by up to 100 degrees during heavy use, will be appreciated by anyone who has discovered how quickly non-carbon brakes can fade when stopping a 1.7-tonne car repeatedly from insane speeds.
We can’t comment on how the firmer springs affect the on-road usability of the GT-R as we only had the chance to drive it on a track. All the adaptive elements of the GT-R, including the three damper settings, are still present but the standard GT-R is unforgiving in terms of its ride quality and the Track Pack is unlikely to improve that.
Should I buy one?
The Track Pack pushes the limits of being justifiable. Not because it isn’t exceptional – even at this price, the outrageous performance and handling makes it digitally clear that the GT-R is as much a milestone as ever. But the differences this upgraded car offers are subtle, and it’s a significant premium. Plus, if track use is such a priority, you’d be better off with something more pure – think lighter and rear-wheel drive – even if that comes at the cost of outright pace.
Even so, when it comes to an £80k super-coupé for occasional track use, the GT-R is still unbeatable. We’d have the standard car and spend the £10k we’d saved on enjoying it.
Nissan GT-R Track Pack
Price: £84,480; 0-62mph: 2.8sec; Top speed: 196mph; Economy: 24mpg; Co2: 275g/km; Kerbweight: 1740kg (est); Engine type: V6, 3799cc, twin-turbocharged; Power: 542bhp at 6400rpm; Torque: 623lb ft at 3200-5800rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd dual-clutch transmission