Nissan has a fire-breathing beast in the 2015 GT-R, a 2+2 sports car with looks that intimidate and performance to match. Affectionately called “Godzilla” by fans everywhere, this all-wheel drive sports car is one of the fastest cars in its price range.
The 2015 Nissan GT-R is the halo model for this Japanese automaker. Powered by a twin-turbo V6 engine and outfitted with all-wheel drive, the GT-R is easily the most powerful vehicle out of Asia.
The 2015 Nissan GT-R is a sport coupe, marked by an athletic presence with sinewy lines. This sports car is magnified by an oversized grille with distinctive upper and lower openings.
On either side of the grille is an oversized headlamp assembly that runs just below the leading edge of the hood and travels half way up the sides, itself marked by a pair of intercooler conduits. That assembly is amplified by a lightning bolt shaped LED display. A second set of LED daytime running lights is near the base of the front skirting.
The GT-R’s long profile features functioning wheel vents with scalloped body creases flowing across the front doors. The roof line starts off high as it meets the windshield and dramatically plunges to the raised rear deck. The rear fascia is marked by quad oval lights and four oversized and integrated exhaust tips. The rear view is punctuated by a robust, wing-like spoiler. A diffuser, custom wheels and a variety of paint schemes offer further amplification for this model.
Nissan provides four seating positions in the GT-R, but the rear seats are entirely useless. Still, they offer yet another storage option to the surprisingly roomy 8.8 cubic-foot trunk. Consider this model a two-seater and both you and your passenger can ride in style.
The cabin is awash in premium and uncommon materials, including hand-stitched leather, Ivory touches and carbon fiber. The Recaro seats make for a design statement alone and are body formed for benchmark support and exemplary comfort.
The GT-R’s instrument panel features a center-mounted tachometer with the gear display on its upper right, the fuel gauge to the lower right and an oil pressure gauge on the far right. To the left of the tachometer is a 220-mph limited speedometer. Each analog meter is ringed by a dial plate design. Digital odometer, average mpg and average mph information is set within the tachometer.
The GT-R’s center stack has a color display on top for audio, navigation, climate control and track functions. Below that are switches and buttons for the audio system and climate control followed by switches managing drive mode and the suspension system.
Between the seats is the transmission shifter, the start/stop button, two cup holders and an arm rest and storage compartment.
Performance is the be-all and end-all for the Nissan GT-R. This model has been designed for the track and seems too much for the standard road, but not in a bad way. A 545-horsepower, twin-turbo V6 engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. No manual is available, but this model can be operated in manual mode, with generously proportioned paddle shifters contributing to the fun quotient.
Appropriately, Nissan paints the start/stop button in fire engine red, providing a warning to all who dare try to tame this beast that a monster awaits.
Push that button and Godzilla is awakened, but not with the accompanying rumble found in even some lesser models. Suffice to say, the GT-R does not attempt to amplify what will soon become apparent.
Engage the transmission and the GT-R plods along locally. The suspension seems overly tight and the steering cautious — quite frankly, Nissan designed the GT-R for the open road.
Pressing on the accelerator and the GT-R roars to life. Indeed, when operated in launch control, this sports car provides neck-snapping thrills as the g-forces press in. When the beast is fully summoned, it provides a 0-to-60 mph time in approximately three seconds. That’s a number beaten only by a handful of million-dollar super cars.
The most notable point about the Nissan GT-R is that it makes the novice driver seem like a race professional. This model is fully composed with its all-wheel drive system and independent rear transaxle enhancing steering and handling. Nissan placed the transmission, transfer case and the final drive to the rear of the vehicle, and lowered the vehicle, benefiting feedback, lateral acceleration and yaw rate.
The color display goes beyond audio, climate and navigation functions to provide a video game-inspired, multi-function display created in conjunction with the developers of the Gran Turismo electronic game. The system provides 14 pages of information, enabling access to a variety of driving details, which include acceleration, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and a recording function with playback.
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have crash tested the 2015 Nissan GT-R. Despite the paucity of conclusive crash test data, the GT-R comes from a solid background, safety wise.
Nissan provides the requisite safety features, including front, front-side and side-impact air bags. The GT-R’s all-wheel drive system, traction and stability control systems, and four-wheel independent suspension systems can be viewed as safety features too.
Nissan prices the standard GT-R Premium from $101,770. A Black Edition is priced from $111,510 and the NISMO with its 600-horsepower engine is priced from $149,990.
As tested, Nissan provided a Premium edition with a total price of $106,650. That model featured $285 GT-R logo floor mats and a $3,000 premium paint option. The paint is mixed with 24-carat gold flakes to create a unique finish.
The Nissan GT-R is not your daily driver. What it provides is a driving experience best enjoyed on the track. The GT-R’s reputation as a beastly driver precedes it, and its road prowess is only matched by far more expensive vehicles.