What is it?
Where do you start when trying to describe a car like the new £125,000, 591bhp Nissan GT-R Nismo? I mean it does so many things that can fry your mind – metaphorically, mathematically and physically, often all at the same time – that you can’t help but be overwhelmed by it, at least to begin with at any rate.
And perhaps the most amazing thing of all about the genuinely amazing new GT-R Nismo is that, fundamentally, it’s based on a car that’s now seven summers old. The original GT-R was launched in 2007. I remember, because I went to Japan to drive it. I also remember flying back to the UK with the outer edges of my imagination in tatters about what it could do.
But this new Nismo version is something else again. Dynamically it represents not just a small step but a leap forwards in every direction, and having driven it on both road and track in the UK, I’m struggling once again to get my head around how it can do what it does.
So what’s new about it? Lots. The 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbo engine is basically an extensive chipping job with some upgrades to the key bits of the internals to prevent it from trying to eat itself on high boost. Power rises to 591bhp, torque to 481lb ft, both of which represent fairly slight increases given the £47k price hike compared with the standard 542bhp GT-R.