Touting a raucous twin-turbo V6 pumping out 565 horsepower and mated to an advanced all-wheel-drive system, the 2018 Nissan GT-R has earned its standing as one of the world’s great performance machines. However, the GT-R must contend with the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Porsche 911, two cars with lower price tags that are also easier to attain.
You'll Like The 2018 Nissan GT-R If...
If you live in a place where Porsches are as common as Uber, the 2018 Nissan GT-R affords the opportunity to drive a seldom-seen performance machine. With a sub-3-second sprint to 60 and top speed of 196 mph, even when the GT-R is spotted, it won’t be for long.
You May Not Like The 2018 Nissan GT-R If...
The GT-R can be a bit brutish, lacking the polished refinement of more expensive exotics from Jaguar, Porsche and even BMW. If you can live without all-wheel drive, the Chevy Corvette Z06 delivers impressive performance for less money and even offers a convertible version.
The 2018 Nissan GT-R performance coupe adds a new, lower-priced Pure model to the lineup. Apple CarPlay is now standard, and a new Kuro Night trim is offered on the Premium trim.
Nobody will mistake the 2018 Nissan GT-R for a luxury car, but this performance-oriented interior isn't without its charms. The big red start button draws your attention, situated on the center console between the two leather-appointed seats. Three switches on the dash control ride and handling settings, and the 8-inch display can show virtually every data point a car nerd could dream of seeing. Technically there are two rear padded spots with seatbelts, but the reality is that they're for occasional use at best, and should really be relegated to carrying extra cargo, since the trunk is on the small side.
Nissan’s GT-R coupe isn't the sleekest supercar, but it makes up for its lack of pulchritude with an over-the-top aggressiveness. Put another way: It looks like it wants to beat you up and steal your lunch money. Yet it's not for show, as all the odd angles, rounded contours and crisp edges are in the name of aerodynamic efficiency, and the resulting 0.26 coefficient of drag proves that Nissan knows what it's doing. Other elements, like the enormous front-fender vents, help provide front downforce. Staggered-width 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels further aid the GT-R’s stability.
With a quick tap of the center-console’s starter button, the 2018 Nissan GT-R’s twin-turbos burble to life. Engaging the built-in Launch Control yields a zero-to-60-mph run under three seconds, a time made attainable by the brilliant 6-speed automatic and its steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Pushing the GT-R to its limit is easy thanks to the numerous electronic and mechanical chassis systems designed to keep the car firmly in the driver’s control. These same systems keep the GT-R planted in the tightest of curves, allowing it feats of stability that would see most rear-drive cars fishtailing out of control. However, while you’ll find features like the Brembo brakes and adjustable suspension equally useful in everyday driving, the GT-R is not as comfortable on the street as an Audi R8, a Chevy Corvette or a Porsche 911.
The 2018 Nissan GT-R Pure has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $101,700, while the Premium trim starts just over $112,000. The all-conquering GT-R Nismo will set you back roughly a cool $177,000, give or take a few hundred bucks, and the Track Edition is a more palatable $130,000. However, despite the initial involuntary eye-pop of seeing a Nissan with a $177,000 price tag, the reality is that this car is a serious performance bargain compared to exotics like the Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches it routinely embarrasses in performance comparisons. On the flip side, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 starts even lower, and with 650 horsepower and nearly equivalent acceleration and performance numbers, is not only a better bargain, but it offers better day-to-day refinement as well. Be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid, and be confident that your GT-R's resale value will remain strong, matching Audi's R8.
There are now four Nissan GT-R models for 2018: Pure, Premium, Track Edition and Nismo. Base Nissan GT-R Premium models come loaded though, with power leather front seats, a rearview monitor, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch touch-screen nav system, and 11-speaker Bose audio. The Pure models delete the Bose sound system and titanium exhaust. The GT-R Nismo offers a more powerful engine, better suspension, reinforced body and additional brake cooling, while the Track incorporates a number of the Nismo’s suspension and exterior components but keeps the less powerful engine.
The most alluring Nissan GT-R options come as option packages, and mostly on the Premium model. A Cold Weather Package adds all-season tires and special coolant mixture to help this exotic handle cold climates better, while three Interior Packages add hand-stitched semi-aniline front-seat interior treatments in Red, Rakuda Tan or Black.
TWIN-TURBO V6 ENGINE
Nestled beneath the 2018 GT-R’s hood is a hand-built 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with an impressive 565 horsepower (600 ponies in the Nismo version). So proud are the Nissan workers who assemble the engine they put their name on every one that leaves the factory.
If there were a formula for deriving some measure of performance enjoyment per dollar spent, we’re pretty sure the 2018 Nissan GT-R coupe would score high. With a price topping out around $185,000, the GT-R is cheap compared to cars like the $250,000 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 or the Ferrari 488 GTB that pushes past the $256,000 mark.
Under the Hood
There are two versions of the same engine available for the 2018 Nissan GT-R. First up is the standard 565-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. This compact powerhouse uses twin turbochargers and high-tech construction techniques to squeeze as much power as possible from its family-car displacement. If somehow that's still not enough, the GT-R Nismo packs 600 horsepower. Both engines connect to a 6-speed dual-clutch sequential automatic transmission capable of snapping off shifts in milliseconds; it's way faster than you ever could manage with a manual, and the paddle shifters on the steering wheel are the epitome of engaging driving.
3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (Pure, Premium, Track)
565 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
467 lb-ft of torque @ 3,300-5,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (Nismo)
600 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
481 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600-5,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
Although Nissan has introduced a new, lower-priced trim this year, at just over $100,000 the 2018 Nissan GT-R isn’t exactly what we’d call an affordable sports car. Then again, if you compare the GT-R’s performance specs and technology to cars built by Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, suddenly the $100K price tag looks pretty darn good. Touting a raucous twin-turbo V6 pumping out 565 horsepower (600 horsepower in the track-ready Nismo version) mated to an advanced all-wheel-drive system, the GT-R has earned its station as one of the world’s great performance machines. Keep in mind, however, both the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Porsche 911 deliver similar performance, cost less and are much easier to get hold of.