I recently had the chance to drive a Nissan GT-R Nismo, which is a massively expensive, brutally fast automobile. The GT-R Nismo is priced from $176,000, which is an enormous amount of money — but then, it has 600 horsepower and it does 0-to-60 in 2.9 seconds. It’s an enormous amount of car.
I drove the GT-R Nismo courtesy of CNC Motors, an exotic car dealership in the Los Angeles area that has a truly amazing inventory of some of the best cars in the world — from Bentley to Bugatti, high-dollar Ferrari models and classy Mercedes-Benz trims. I wanted to check out the GT-R Nismo because I hadn’t yet done a proper review of a Nissan GT-R, so I spent a few hours with it.
What I discovered, first and foremost, is that it’s brutal. Brutally fast, sure, but also brutally loud, brutally uncomfortable and brutally capable of operating at the limit, with the steering and handling impressively dialed in to allow you to take it, quickly, wherever you want to go — assuming you can handle the ride quality. It’s just a lot of car.
But it’s also a lot of money. I’ve driven regular GT-R models, which now start from around $101,000, and I think spending $76,000 more for a Nismo is a big ask, especially since a regular GT-R has 565 hp and will do 0-to-60 in something like 3.1 seconds. The Nismo is incremental performance for big money.
And it doesn’t give you a lot more than that performance for the money. The interior is fine, sure, but not exactly brilliant or luxurious or special and certainly not on par with other $175,000-ish cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Acura NSX or the Audi R8. And sure, the GT-R Nismo is probably a bit faster than those cars, but it’s also older, with a familiar design that’s been around for nearly a decade and with in-car technology that doesn’t match up to the latest crop of touchscreens and digital gauge clusters.
As a result, the GT-R Nismo is best for someone who really, obsessively wants the performance — and for someone who wants the best of the best, period, with no compromises. The Nismo is certainly that, but you pay big money for the privilege of having the "best," and whether it’s worth the premium will be up to you, your own personal use case and your enthusiasm for the GT-R.