With its supercar-like performance abilities, the 2018 Nissan GT-R is a standout in the narrow field of $100,000 high-performance coupes. Hailed as one the world’s all-time great sports cars, the GT-R can run circles around some exotics costing far more, yet it’s exclusive enough to make even the wealthiest enthusiast beg for time behind the wheel. For those who are well-off enough to drop the cash, owning a GT-R provides the thrill of driving a high-end, high-performance machine that can double as an everyday driver.
At the heart of every GT-R is an extremely potent twin-turbo V6, plus a fast-shifting automated manual gearbox, a sport-tuned suspension, powerful Brembo brakes and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. All these elements come together to make the 2018 Nissan GT-R an extremely capable sports car. Inside and out, the GT-R looks the part of a fast car. Its exterior is sleek and aerodynamic, and its inside is a well-crafted, sport-infused cockpit with no shortage of performance cues.
What’s New for 2018?
Nissan adds a new, lower-priced Pure trim to the GT-R lineup, joining the Premium, Track and NISMO. Apple CarPlay integration is added to the NissanConnect infotainment system, and a new black "Kuro Night" interior package replaces the previous Ivory interior package. See the 2018 Nissan GT-R models for sale near you
What We Like
Very fast; superb acceleration; extremely agile; new interior; abundant premium amenities; affordable in relation to the 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 2018 Nissan GT-R is equipped with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes a tremendous 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque. In the NISMO edition, those number rise 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’s fuel-economy estimates for the GT-R are a respectable 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Nissan GT-R is offered in four trims: Pure, Premium, Track and NISMO.
The Pure ($101,685) includes 20-inch Rays alloy wheels, LED headlights and a 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 cruise control, leather and suede upholstery, an 8-in touchscreen navigation radio with NissanConnect Mobile Apps and Apple CarPlay, a Nappa leather-wrapped dashboard, Intelligent Key keyless entry and start, Bluetooth, a rearview monitor, power front seats with heat, a USB port and Bluetooth streaming capability
The Premium ($112,185) adds a premium 11-speaker Bose audio system with active noise cancellation and a Titanium exhaust with sound control.
The Track Edition ($130,185) includes a more rigid chassis, NISMO-inspired suspension tuning, NISMO front fenders, 20-in NISMO wheels, a carbon-fiber spoiler and a unique red and black interior treatment with Recaro sport seats.
The NISMO ($177,185) adds a more powerful engine, a stiffer chassis, a NISMO-tuned sport suspension featuring reduced weight and additional roll stiffness, plus carbon fiber for the rear decklid, spoiler, front and rear bumpers and front undercover. Inside, the NISMO gets Recaro sport seats and an Alcantara-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel.
Options are limited to some interior trim packages and paint choices. The Pure and Premium trims can be equipped with an All Weather package that adds All-Season Dunlop run-flat tires.
Standard safety features for the GT-R include an antilock 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 2018 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’s accompanied by a very precise steering system, sophisticated all-wheel drive and big, strong brakes that are designed to reel the car in with precision and control.
The GT-R is as surefooted 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. Almost regardless of its speed, the GT-R feels extremely confident in corners. It maintains grip and balance as if it were a race car, and it offers a true sense of control and stability. But if you’re feeling a little daring and want to break the car loose, you can always shut off the stability control.
The GT-R model’s main drawback is its 3,900-pound-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 200-300 pounds, it would be better positioned to outmatch top performance cars.
The GT-R offers an easygoing ride thanks to a driver-selectable 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 many vehicles in this category can’t claim they deliver.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 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 nimbler.
2018 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray — The Corvette Stingray sells for half of what a GT-R costs. From a pure performance standpoint, however, the GT-R is slightly quicker and more agile. The Corvette Z06, however, significantly ups the performance quotient and still undercuts the GT-R by tens of thousands of dollars.
2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S Coupe — The AMG C 63 S coupe offers both luxury and performance at a very high level. The GT-R offers more all-around track prowess, while the AMG is better suited for daily drives.
Used Ferrari F430 — For about the price of a new GT-R, you could pick up a used 2007 Ferrari F430.
Hard-core track enthusiasts will no doubt gravitate toward the NISMO or Track models, but we think most drivers will find the Premium offers an excellent balance between performance and livable daily driver.