From £70,895
Hardcore version of a performance legend gets extra edge

Our Verdict

Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R is not a cheap car, but it’s better value for money than cars that are seemingly as fast

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30 March 2009

What is it?

This is the Nissan GT-R Spec V, the long-awaited hardcore version of Japan’s formidable GT-R supercoupe. Think of it as the 911 GT3 RS of the GT-R world.

Conceived as a track day special that you can also take down to the shops, the Nissan GT-R Spec V has race-spec suspension and Nissan’s first ever use of carbon-ceramic brakes for the road. Riding on unique Bridgestone Potenza RE070R run-flats, the lightweight package is designed to lift the GT-R’s already outrageous cornering speed to the next level.

The Nissan GT-R Spec V shares its 20-inch alloys, titanium exhaust and carbonfibre Recaro bucket seats with the GT-R Clubsports, a NISMO special launched in Japan late last year. But it has shed a further 60kg through extensive use of carbonfibre and by losing its rear seats.

Power is provided by the same 478bhp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 rather than the 550bhp engine that some in Japan predicted. But it has a novel boost control system that provides an extra 15lb ft torque, the idea being to enable you to exit corners in a higher gear.

What’s it like?

A GT-R of any stripe is still a big, bulky thing, but also gut-wrenchingly fast. The engine spools up in devastating fashion and the twin-clutch gearbox slams through the gears faster than you can think. It really is something else.

What sets the Spec V apart is the agility of its direction changes and the way you can brake so much later and deeper into a corner. The steering action is as meaty and well judged as ever, and the car is noticeably more eager to turn in than other GT-Rs.

The suspension is 20 per cent stiffer than standard, yet the Spec V isn’t as raw, hard and uncompromising as you might think. Grip levels are immense, especially at the front, but it is ultimately more tail-happy and nervy than the standard GT-R if you don’t get your point of entry just right. For the serious driver this extra ‘edge’ could be something to relish.

As for that curious boost control device, you need to be in third gear or higher (and also above 3000rpm), for it to work. Does it work? After a fashion, but one of Japan’s top race aces reckons its effect will be more readily felt by most drivers on the road.

Should I buy one?

If you want the ultimate factory Nissan GT-R, and access to those fabulous carbon-ceramic brakes, then the answer must be yes. But is it really different and exotic enough to warrant its mighty Japanese price tag of £112,500, when a standard GT-R can be had for £61,500? Perhaps, seeing as Nissan is only planning to make 30 units a month, all for Japan. European sales are set for this autumn but still to be officially confirmed.

Peter Nunn

Join the debate

Comments
9

30 March 2009

What's the point?

Is'nt the first one fast enough, it was cheap for the performance,whose got the skill to drive it on the road,and in V-SPEC it dearer into 911 territory, and you'll be visiting the hospital a lot to get your neck sorted or even your back as well!.These cars will never see the road i hope , they'll be for track use only and anyway in the current economic climate they make about as much sense as a chocolate tea pot!.

Peter Cavellini.

30 March 2009

I couldn't agree more. How very dull the motoring news has become lately.

Nissan GTR V-Spec AlphabetSoupAllAcrossTheBootLidBecauseTheJapaneseAreAmazedByThatKindOfThing.

SO BORING!

Surely there is something better than this to report?

30 March 2009

Considering its massive straight-line performance and high kerb weight (over 1740 kg), I'm more certain than not that the standard car's engine already has nearer to 550bhp than the quoted 473bhp and therefore so should British Spec V.

30 March 2009

Autocar what kind of report is this, there's no detail at all, its not exstensive enough and no details about the weight of his Spec V all you have said is its 60kg lighter so. Whats the offical weight of the car?

31 March 2009

Looks more like an exercise to recoup some of the huge R&D outlay that Nissan spent in development of the car - selling them at such a loss can't be good in the current economic climate. We'll have to see if / when there is ever a British release date and price. Shame there wasn't the expected power upgrade, but I suppose that is more easily liberated from the engine than the rest of the V-Spec upgrades.

Still a car that commands a nodding respect for its massive technical achievements, but doesn't tug at the heartstrings, not mine anyway.

31 March 2009

i find it annoying when the economic climate is mentioned, it has nothing to do with the sales of very expensive sports car. the rich always stay rich and the poor get poorer thats the way it is. the market for supercars is more healthy than many boom years in the economy.

for those businesses who haven't done well say Bentley, its because they dont run a good business not because of the price of the cars they make.

look at many of the big car manufactures that are bankrupt and would be dead if it wasnt for bailouts, most of them dont even make sports cars or supercars, they make family/affordable cars...

economic climate my arse.

anyway, the spec v GTR is brilliant and i would love one, and would enjoy beating porches and Ferraris. until i have a fat load of cash i will be driving one on the playstation.

as for value for money though i am a bit sceptical, i'm sure a better spec can be had from getting the standard GTR and spending £50k extra on custom tuning and parts.

nissan could do well from making an even greater GTR how about a £500k version or a £1,000,000 model, it would be guaranteed to sell, oil rich Arabs buy these mega expensive cars just to have in their collections.

31 March 2009

The price is being quoted in £ sterling having been converted from yen at the current exchange rate. This partly explains why it seems so expensive; since the GTR was launched the pound has lost around 30% of its value against the yen. My guess is that it would be around £85K if the value of the pound hadn't dropped so much in the last year or so.

JP


31 March 2009

Hmm...still a pretty punchy premium over the 'standard' car. I guess it depends - these sort of versions aren't really aimed at people who save their pennies and stretch to make the purchase, so much as those who have enough cash that the cost premium for the top version won't really impact.

And there's the halo effect; no manufacturer can be blamed for demonstrating what their car is ultimately capable of. An engineering showcase, if you will.

Personally, I'd probably be happy 'settling' for the lower end model...!

____________________

www.iamnotthestig.com

19 April 2009

Why make a second one? The car is great, but how much better can you really make it? It's practically a waste of time and money. The name of this second car has a Spec V on the the end. All a bit odd for a car name. But not as bad as the name for the new IQ 2 the 2 part makes me think it's a sequel to a movie or something not an improved car! And that's exactly what's happened with the GT-R. They haven't actually improved enough and that's why I'm asking; what's the point of making it car.

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