New Car Review
2015 Nissan GT-R: New Car Review
Although the 2015 Nissan GT-R is classified as a 4-seat sport coupe (2+2), most of the press and public see it as one of the world's great high-performance supercars. Capable of running on the same track as cars costing two, three or even four times as much, the GT-R allows those with comfortable bank accounts to enjoy the thrill of driving a high-end, high-performance machine that doubles as an everyday driver.
At the heart of every GT-R is an extremely potent twin-turbo V6, a fast-shifting automated manual gearbox, sport-tuned suspension, powerful Brembo brakes and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. All these elements come together to make the 2015 Nissan GT-R an extremely capable sports car. In the GT-R NISMO edition, all of these elements are tweaked for even greater performance.
Inside and out, the GT-R looks the part of a fast car. Its exterior is sleek and aerodynamic, and inside is a well-crafted, sport-infused cockpit with no shortage of performance cues.
What's New for 2015?
For 2015, the GT-R receives a number of subtle enhancements, including new front and rear lighting motifs, more interior color choices and a Bose noise-cancelling system to help quiet the cockpit. Nissan has also recalibrated the GT-R's suspension to improve roadholding and deliver a smoother ride. The Track Edition gains a heated seat for the passenger side, along with the return of its rear seats.
What We Like
Very fast; superb acceleration; extremely agile; upscale interior; abundant premium amenities; affordable relative to competition
What We Don't
Less of a status symbol than most competitors; feels a little large and heavy in corners; no crash-test data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
The 2015 Nissan GT-R is equipped with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes a tremendous 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft of torque. In NISMO trim, those figures jump to 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque. All of this energy is fed to an advanced all-wheel-drive system by way of a revised 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox that offers smoother, quieter shifting thanks to sturdier components. The transmission offers three driver-selectable shifting programs.
The Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates for the GT-R are a respectable 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Standard Features & Options
The 2015 Nissan GT-R is offered in four distinct trims: Premium, Black Edition, Track Edition and NISMO.
The Premium ($103,365) includes a carbon-fiber center stack with a matte-black switchgear and a dash-top multifunction display that details a range of performance data, including G-forces, shifting patterns and lap times. Drivers can use this information to improve their piloting skills.
Notable convenience features include HID headlights, leather and suede upholstery, navigation radio, Intelligent Key keyless entry and start, Bluetooth, a rearview monitor, power front seats with heat and a premium 11-speaker Bose audio system with active noise cancellation, a USB port and streaming Bluetooth capability.
Performance enhancements include a Bilstein DampTronic adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, 10-spoke RAYS forged alloy wheels and nitrogen-filled Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 600 performance tires.
The Black Edition ($113,105) adds lightweight RAYS black alloy wheels, Recaro sport seats clad in red and black leather, a handmade dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler, a custom dark headliner and a red-accented steering wheel.
The Track Edition ($117,305) now includes rear seats (last year's model deleted them) along with blue-trimmed high-grip heated front seats, unique track-inspired suspension tuning for the springs and shocks and lightweight black RAYS 6-spoke alloy wheels.
The NISMO Edition ($151,585) has a more powerful 600-hp engine, enhanced aerodynamic body reinforcements, further upgrades to the suspension and brakes, NISMO styling touches and wider wheels and tires.
Options for the GT-R are limited to two packages for the Premium trim. A Cold Weather package adds a 30/70 coolant-to-water ratio and high-performance all-season run-flat tires, while the Interior Package adds red semi-aniline leather front seats.
Standard safety features for the GT-R include an anti-lock braking system, stability control, traction control and six airbags: front, side and head-curtain.
Due to its limited production number, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has performed crash tests on the 2015 Nissan GT-R.
Behind the Wheel
From a speed and acceleration standpoint, the GT-R is as good as it gets, with blindingly fast straight-line performance and tire-melting torque. All this power feels a little less daunting because it is accompanied by a very precise steering system, sophisticated all-wheel drive and big, strong brakes designed to reel the car in with precision and control.
The GT-R is as sure-footed and stuck to the pavement as a world-class sports car can be. That's especially true in the curves, whether on harrowing canyon switchbacks or a racetrack. The GT-R feels extremely confident in corners almost regardless of its speed. It maintains race-car-like grip and balance, offering a true sense of control and stability. But if the driver is feeling a little daring and wishes to break the car loose, the stability control can always be shut off.
The GT-R model's main drawback is its 3,800-lb-plus curb weight, which makes it feel a bit less agile than a few of its top German competitors. If this car were to shed 200 to 300 pounds, it would be better positioned to outmatch top performance cars.
The GT-R offers an easygoing ride thanks to a driver-tunable vehicle dynamics system. In normal mode, the car takes on a less rigid personality, making it viable for daily commuting or interstate cruising. Everyday comfort is something that many vehicles in this category can't claim.
Other Cars to Consider
Porsche 911 -- The starting price for the iconic Porsche is close to that of the GT-R, but optional equipment adds up quickly. The GT-R model's off-the-line acceleration is more impressive, but the 911 is more nimble.
Chevrolet Corvette -- The Corvette is more affordable than the GT-R. From a pure performance standpoint, however, the GT-R is slightly quicker and more agile.
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG -- All new for 2015, the AMG can offer both luxury and performance at very high levels. The GT-R offers more all-around track prowess, while the AMG is better suited to daily drives.
For our money, we'd choose the Black Edition over the Premium. The Black Edition is primarily an appearance package, but it only adds another $10,000 to the GT-R model's price tag and contributes a bit more exclusivity. Hardcore track enthusiasts should, of course, opt for the Track Edition, while the NISMO seems a bit pricey for the advantages it offers over the base car.