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2011 Nissan GT-R

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2011 Nissan GT-R Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 7/20/2011


For decades, Nissan's GT-R taunted American driving fanatics from afar, available only to their counterparts in Japan. So, when Nissan decided to bring the legendary model out of the video arcade and onto American streets, a collective cheer went up all across the U.S. of A. Of course, once the cheering died down, what remained were a handful of enthusiasts who could actually afford the GT-R's $80,000 plus price tag, ironically placing the GT-R out of reach of many die-hard fans. The 2011 Nissan GT-R continues as the most expensive car ever to wear the Nissan badge, and as a formidable opponent to such automotive giants as the BMW M6, Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette Z06. With only 700 Nissan dealerships certified to sell the 485-horsepower GT-R, owners are guaranteed a significant measure of exclusivity, not to mention being annoyed by hyperactive teenagers wherever they go.

You'll Like This Car If...

There are so few exotic cars sold in the United States that, for the well-to-do gear head, owning a car like the 2011 Nissan GT-R is almost a must. From its terrifyingly quick acceleration to its unimpeachable handling and braking, the GT-R is Nissan's most brilliant car ever.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're just looking for a quick sports car with stellar good looks and handling, but at half the price premium fetched by the GT-R, the 2011 Nissan 370Z is probably a suitable substitute.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2011, Nissan made a number of small but significant changes to the GT-R, including the elimination of the base model, retuning of the front and rear suspension calibration, and double clear coat added to the front and rear fascias. New standard equipment includes auto on/off headlamps, speed sensitive wipers and an iPod/USB interface.

Driving It Driving Impressions

A push of the console-mounted red starter button awakens the twin-turbocharged beast beneath the 2011 Nissan GT-R's hood, but it's a push of the accelerator pedal that turns it loose. Neck-snapping acceleration is all fine and good, but without a way to control the vehicle, it's not really much fun. Thankfully, the GT-R's well-weighted power steering, driver-selectable suspension and variable torque-split all-wheel drive combine to give the driver exactly the control they require. With unwavering focus, the 2011 Nissan GT-R instantly obeys the slightest input, and when it comes time to stop, a set of Brembo brakes are dutifully standing by. Feeling more adventurous? The GT-R's "Race mode" settings can be set to quicken shifts, stiffen the shocks and deactivate the electronic stability and traction control.

Favorite Features

Twin-turbo V6 engine
A paragon of usable power, the GT-R's hand-built, 485-horsepower V6 delivers smooth, quick and predictable responses that make this ultra-quick Nissan easy to live with in town but an absolute rocket when called upon to give max performance.

Driver Tunable Vehicle Dynamics
The GT-R lets you select from several different and distinct ride compliance, stability control and transmission shift program settings, which can transform it from a high-profile but quite livable urban-cruiser into a hard-edged corner carver that can run with the best handling cars in the world.

Vehicle Details Interior

The 2011 Nissan GT-R's cozy but highly stylized cockpit mimics the same performance design as its exotic exterior. Controls are numerous but user-friendly, and the driver is treated to a tilt/telescopic steering wheel and rubber-studded aluminum pedals. The nicely bolstered front sport seats travel nine inches fore and aft, helping accommodate the tallest drivers. A multifunction display sits atop the center dash, its purpose to collect and store data detailing your driving activities. After a few hot laps at the track or a day racing through your favorite back road, you can review the data to see which skills might need improvement.

Exterior

By incorporating design elements from the last five generations to wear the GT-R badge, Nissan has created a bad-boy racecar that seems to defy aging. Peppered with sharp edges, cutting angles, and rounded contours, the 2011 Nissan GT-R manages a slippery 0.27 coefficient of drag, a feat aided by the car's unique carbon fiber underbody diffuser and low-key rear spoiler. The GT-R's most prominent features, however, are its enormous functional front fender vents attached to geometrically contoured front wheel arches. Its staggered-width 20-inch alloy wheels, which are wrapped in 255/40 tires up front and 285/35 tires in the rear, further aid the GT-R's stability.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2011 Nissan GT-R is equipped with a 485-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, sequential six-speed dual-clutch automated-manual rear transaxle, ATESSA E-TS all-wheel-drive system, Brembo anti-lock brakes and adjustable suspension and stability control settings. Inside, leather, Alcantara and brushed-aluminum trim complement a full roster of power assists, a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, 11-speaker Bose Surround Sound audio system, XM Satellite Radio audio with NavTraffic/NavWeather and Music Box hard drive, dual-zone climate control, speed sensitive wipers, auto on/off headlamps, push-button ignition, dual front airbags, bi-xenon HID headlamps, heated front seats, unique vehicle information-system graphics, side-impact and side-curtain airbags and Bridgestone RE070A performance tires.

Notable Optional Equipment

Nissan offers only three options on the 2011 GTR: Super Tricoat Metallic Silver paint, a Cold Weather Package (run-flat all-season tires), and an Ultra-High Performance tire package.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Nissan GT-R has a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that develops an electrifying 485 horsepower at 6400 rpm and an equally riveting 430 pound-feet of peak torque from 3,200-5,200 revs. Set back behind the front axle, the all-aluminum engine sends this Nissan super coupe streaking to 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, and on to 100 mph in about eight seconds, as it heads to a top speed in excess of 190 mph. Matched to this might is a six-speed, sequential dual-clutch transmission that offers three driver-selectable programs and a rev-matching throttle-blip feature, plus a conventional console shifter and finger-friendly paddles mounted on the steering column. While hard running will guarantee your mileage to be less, the GT-R's official EPA numbers are 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6
485 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
434 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2011 Nissan GT-R is around $85,000, and tops out around $88,000 if you'd like it in silver. Even so, there's no disputing this extreme Nissan offering is one amazing performance value. We project that all decently maintained GT-Rs will fare on par with the Corvette Z06 and considerably better when it comes to long-term value retention than many of their prime price rivals like the Porsche Cayman S, as well as more expensive exotics, including the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo. Based on past owner loyalty, most GT-R devotees will likely view any resale-related issues as moot.

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