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2019 Nissan 1130 GT-R 31857 403293
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The 2019 Nissan GT-R might be the most underrated and overlooked supercar in the world, because it’s the least dramatic. Its astonishing speed is effortless, its looks are relatively ordinary, and its price of barely six figures doesn’t really say supercar. It has also been around for a decade, earning the nickname Godzilla for its performance without beauty. Freshened in 2017, it’s unchanged for 2019.

The GT-R might be seen as a composite, combining ideas and directions in form, function and spirit to become part supercar, part commuter coupe, and part tuner car.

It used to be a brute, but over the years Nissan engineers have refined its manners and sharpened its performance by improving steering, handling and ride. The acceleration is blistering and cornering brilliant.

Its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine is built by hand. It makes 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque as standard, with 600 hp in the Nismo model; mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic manual transmission, it can blast from zero to 60 mph in a mere 2.7 seconds. Its standard all-wheel drive provides amazing grip and cornering, while the adjustable suspension makes the GT-R both a comfortable cruiser and beast in the twisties. The GT-R’s performance makes it competitive with supercars costing twice as much.

The GT-R’s creature comforts include a contemporary interior with nappa leather, navigation, Bose audio with Apple CarPlay, active noise cancellation, and four seats, if not room for four adults.

Although the GT-R isn’t a high-tech hybrid, it still gets decent fuel economy of 16 mpg city, 22 highway, 18 combined.

The GT-R hasn’t been crash tested. It requires the full attention of its driver, as there are no active safety features such as automatic emergency braking. It only has the mandatory safety equipment: airbags, stability control, and a rearview camera.

Model Lineup

At $99,990 (plus freight), the 2019 Nissan GT-R costs tens of thousands of dollars less than its supercar rivals.

The base Pure model includes an 8.0-inch infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth.

For about $110,000, the Premium adds an 11-speaker Bose audio system, active noise cancellation and sound enhancement, a titanium exhaust system, and more paint colors and interior options.

Track Edition GT-Rs cost more than $130,000 and include upgrades to the suspension, brakes, and aerodynamics.

The Nismo gets 600 horsepower, along with everything Nissan’s performance division has to offer, for $177,235. There’s your highest-performance supercar.


The GT-R has common coupe proportions and tasteful touches, but it isn’t as exciting to look at as other supercars, or even some slinky sports cars. Its jagged profile, especially where the roofline chops into the rear end, is intriguing but not iconic.

That’s not to say there’s no drama in the details. It flaunts fat fender flares, deep air scoops, and a humongous rear wing. It’s been tweaked and freshened over the years, most recently in 2017 with a grille and LED headlamps. The Track Edition and Nismo models are not only more dynamically intense, but visually as well, with more aggressive wheels and aerodynamic additions such as lip spoilers.


In 2017 the GT-R got new seats with nappa leather, better materials, and an updated infotainment system with navigation and Bose audio with Apple CarPlay. The instrument panel is angled toward the driver, and has the right number of knobs, buttons, and screens displaying pertinent driving information. Ergonomic touches like paddle shifters on the steering wheel are appreciated by serious drivers.

The comfortable front seat is heavily bolstered and somewhat upright. The back seats are suitable for kids, and the trunk holds more than a carry-on.

Driving Impressions

The 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 is hand-built in Japan by specially-trained engineers. There are some muscle cars and supercars with more than the GT-R’s 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque, but the GT-R’s staggering acceleration of zero to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds is due partly to its excellent all-wheel-drive system and 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The power is put down through 20-inch wheels and grippy tires.

The special and almost unique thing about the GT-R is that its power is available with so little drama that it can be a daily driverΓÇöalthough maybe not at its top speed of nearly 200 mph.

It’s only a monster when you want it to be. It has three driving modes that are true to their names: Comfort, Normal, and Race. These modes change the algorithms for throttle response, suspension firmness, transmission shift points and speed, along with the dynamic control traction and stability system. Comfort makes the car totally tractable with a nice ride around town. Normal is a bit sporty, less relaxed than Comfort. Race does its rigid quick job on the track, the only place you need it. Cruising along in docile Comfort and sixth gear, you can hear the whistle of the turbos and soft whine of the four exhausts.

The all-wheel-drive system delivers fantastic grip and cornering. It goes from rear-wheel drive to 50/50 front/rear, depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angles, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate. The suspension uses Bilstein dampers built for the GT-R to go with its springs and rigid chassis.

The massive Brembo brakes are six-piston in front and four in rear; they’re firm, fadeless and fearless. The paddle-shifting transmission shifts smartly even in Comfort mode, although because the paddles are mounted on the steering column and not the wheel itself, it’s not easy to shift in a corner when the wheel is turned.

Driving the GT-R on the track can be video game-like, with that eye-popping acceleration and grip that won’t quit. Until it does quit, when the rear slides out from you with too much power all at once. But the stability control saves you, and the balance is excellent. The weight distribution is good because the transaxle is mounted at the rear.

It’s an awesome thing to wind the GT-R into a long sweeper at 100 or more mph and be almost relaxed as it just hangs in there, no worries, it can do more. Now imagine the Nismo GT-R with 600 horsepower.


The 2019 Nissan GT-R is a supercar with nondescript styling, not counting its wings, flares and fat tires. Its twin-turbo V6 engine is race bred, with a rich history of wins. It has neck-snapping acceleration, neck-stretching cornering, and neck-flopping braking. Its simple interior helps keep the cost down. What makes it special is that it can be driven as easily or gently as a family sedanΓÇöas long as you can hold back, that is.

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