By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
When most people think "Nissan," they think of an affordable, fun and rugged line of vehicles. But, there is one Nissan that dares to step into the world of the exotic supercar, delivering performance and a price tag unlike anything Nissan has ever offered, at least in this country. The 2012 Nissan GT-R coupe isn't some base model car with a big motor stuffed under the hood, it's a bona fide high-end performance machine designed from the ground up to take on such lofty names as the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and even the Chevy Corvette Z06. Sadly, while many Nissan fans applaud the company for finally bringing the car stateside (it has been sold in Japan for more than a decade under the name Skyline GT-R), its $90,000-plus price tag probably means the closest they'll ever get to experience a 2012 Nissan GT-R coupe is in the video game Grand Theft Auto. For those who do have the money, the GT-R offers a unique combination of old-world supercar performance attributes with Japanese-style high tech. With only 650 Nissan dealers authorized to sell and service the car, some folks may never see a GT-R on their local Nissan dealer's showroom floor. Then again, having to drive a few hundred miles to have your car serviced is the perfect excuse for a true enthusiast to spend as much time behind the wheel as humanly possible.
Unlike Europe, where exotic cars seem to proliferate like rabbits, in the U.S. a car like the 2012 Nissan GT-R coupe is a coveted possession. If you're looking for cutting-edge performance in a fairly exclusive car, the GT-R is likely to be far more satisfying than a BMW M3, Audi R8 or Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
If you're looking to get the most bang-for-your-buck, the Chevy Corvette Z06 offers roughly the same power at a lower price, and is far easier to find and service. Those looking for something costing half as much but still packing a punch might entertain a Nissan 370Z or Ford Mustang GT500.
Along with a new look, new wheels and new colors, the 2012 Nissan GT-R coupe gets a new Black Edition trim with unique black and red Recaro sport seats, a black headliner and black 6-spoke RAYS lightweight alloy wheels. Horsepower jumps from 485 to 530, while city/highway fuel economy moves from 15/21 to 16/23
Driving Impressions Pressing a single button is all that is required to bring the 2012 Nissan GT-R's twin-turbocharged V6 engine to life, but it's the pushing on the car's throttle that brings...the driver to life. The GT-R's neck-snapping acceleration would be terrifying if not for the impressive array of mechanical and electronic suspension components designed to keep both car and driver safe at high speeds. 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 he requires. Requiring only the slightest inputs, the 2012 Nissan GT-R's steering is precise and direct, and the big Brembo brakes perform faithfully even after repeated hard stops. Those who really enjoy pushing the limits will revel in the GT-R's "Race mode" settings that can be set to quicken shifts, stiffen the shocks and, wisely or not, deactivate the electronic stability and traction control.
Twin-turbo V6 engine
A paragon of usable power, the GT-R's hand-built, 530-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 2012 Nissan GT-R Coupe 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.
Nissan's 2012 GT-R coupe has an interior so high tech you'd swear you were sitting behind the wheel of a concept car rather than a production model. The GT-R coupe's highly stylized cockpit is cozy, yet sport seats with nine inches of travel and a tilt/telescopic steering column help to accommodate all but NBA-sized drivers. The user-friendly meters and gauges are placed at a uniform height, an important attribute that helps minimize the driver's head movement. The centerpiece of the GT-R's interior is a multifunction display that rests atop the center dash. The unit collects and stores data detailing your driving activities which, after a few hot laps around the track, can be reviewed to see which skills might need improvement.
Even with its new, wider grille, LED running lights, and revised air intakes, the 2012 Nissan GT-R performance coupe retains the trademark look linking it to the last five generations to wear the Skyline/GT-R badge. A collage of sharp angles, rounded contours and crisp edges conspires to give the GT-R a slippery 0.26 coefficient of drag. A carbon-fiber underbody diffuser and subtle rear spoiler help keep the GT-R grounded at high speeds. Certainly the 2012 Nissan GT-R's enormous front fender vents catch everyone's eye, but they are not just there to turn heads; the vents provide front downforce and optimal side airflow. 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.
The 2012 Nissan GT-R Coupe is equipped with a 530-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, sequential 6-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 headlights, push-button ignition, dual front airbags, bi-xenon HID headlights, heated front seats, unique vehicle information-system graphics, side-impact and side-curtain airbags and Bridgestone RE070A performance tires. The Black Edition adds RAYS black metallic lightweight alloy wheels, red and black Recaro leather seats and a black headliner.
Nissan offers only one option for the 2012 GT-R coupe: a Cold Weather Package featuring Dunlop all-season tires and a specialized water/coolant ratio mix.
The 2012 Nissan GT-R Coupe has a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that develops an electrifying 530 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and an equally riveting 448 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 6-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 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6
530 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
448 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
By Tasha's Guy on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Pros: "Awesome performance for cheaper money."
Cons: "Not so reliable, rough annoying ride,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Though the GTR is a bit overrated by the fans the only thing I can say that's tremendously great is the fact that the average joe can now enjoy performance near that of Porsche,Lambo, Viper, and Z06 etc. No matter how many times you hear that it's the fastest car on the planet, the sad reality is that it's not. Fans just say that for many reasons and though I have my own,I'll let you come up with your own theories on why they do this,lol. Anyway two things I never liked was the fact that they(Nissan Dealer) never let you test drive one before you buy, or rarely (That's to keep you from comparing it,lol) secondly nissan does NOT I repeat does NOT stand behind the transmission or more importantly the customer. Iowned a 2013 GTR, until last month, and I fought tooth and nail with Nissan, and it cost me over $20,000 USD in attorney fees to get nissan to buy back their GTR with the burned out Transmission and Launch Control. Now I have another battle brewing over being compensated for those attorney fees, so that I can pay back some of it to my dad and brother. Okay yes I attempted to race a gallardo, and a Porsche GT3 but got my rear handed to me, and ended up on the side of the track in Florida with a GTR that refused to move. Obviously many of you fellow GTR owners know that in order to run numbers closer to those cars or better,on the 1/4 mile, you need to engauge launch control. So why did Nissan put in the launch control??? especially when it burns out. I'm not here to discourage anyone on the GTR, or cause you to dislike it, I am here to bring about awareness to those who may have thoughts of forking over hard earned cash to a Nissan salesman for a product that on the long run may end up really disappointing you. I bought a Porsche (Unfortunately I had to go used) and am slowly modifying it and so far I'm really excited and happy with my investment. I think this one made me fall in love all over again. I recommend the GTR for the money, if you're not able to afford a McLaren, Porsche, Audi, Lambo, Ferrari etc. Good luck!"
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By GTRinGA on Monday, March 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance, value, safety,fun,adrenaline pumping"
Cons: "Exepnsive for the average Joe"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own a 2014 Nissan GTR and all I can say is WOW, this is simply the best performance to value package on the market. Nothing comes close to the handling, acceleration and top end speed of this car. Everyone I've taken for rides in the car loves it, one of my friends even bought one for himself."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By GTR FAN on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I want this caroverall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "4 seats, twin Ts v6, under 120k, fast, fun"
Cons: "interior is improving, stiffer ride cuz of tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this car is LITERALLY the only car you can buy and feel like you get a bang for your buck! this car holds its own value very well and does exactly what everyone says in performance reviews. I do not own one yet as they are still a bit out of my price range but I have done my research for sure. Ya everyone knows that you can buy a $1,000,000+ car like bughatti veyron or hennessey venom gt or others like that and they will beat this car in the long hull....but who wants to put $1mil as their daily driver or even weekly driver at that? At the top of the line (GTR Black Edition) you are hitting just over $110,000!!! that is 1/10 the cost of million dollar cars AND it PERFORMS like it was $1mill. Seriously if you do not believe me go look up reviews on youtube or go to nissan's website and just read the info on it. sure Nissan is not American made but very few supercars are. the corvette Z06 and ZR1 are the closest American cars that come to the same value...but even then I beg to differ. A twin turbo V6 vs a supercharged v8 Z06 will certainly suprise you who is the winner and by how much. This is one of the few cars that enthusiasts are raving about and actually has helped resale value. I read a review on here that said someone had an increase in value after they drove it off the lot (when is that ever heard of????) and everyone loves it! even the people who complain about the interior or ride comfort give it 9 or 10 and would recommend it 10 out of 10. MPG is great for a supercar if you really think about it and definitely a head turner for people who know supercars. The ignorant other drivers think it looks fast (which it is) but the real thrill seekers know exactly what this car can do and often want to just see it in person (that is the same with all supercars). You may have a hard time trying to do a test drive because they are so valuable but if you can afford it I would recommend getting one! For those of you who are crazy enough to see what a super car modified to be even more powerful is like check into this: "AMS ALPHA 12 GTR" (you will not be disappointed)"
2 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Mark on Saturday, March 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance, price, looks, AWD and much more"
Cons: "No auto headlights"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"What an absolute dream car. Super car performance at a fantastically low price (relatively speaking) Despite the massive horsepower and torque the AWD system keeps it planted firmly on the road. They hold their money too Its a dream come true."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Nailcutter on Thursday, November 22, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Speed, acceleration, power, attention, interior"
Cons: "The beeping noise when car goes in reverse."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"If you like to drive a car that people drool over than this is the car for you. It is comforting to know that you are driving one of the fastest and most powerful cars on the road. Every report I read about the GTR is true. The extra road noises and engine noises is all part of the mystique of this car. The interior cockpit is awesome with lots of gadgets and a great touch screen. The Super Silver is worth the extra cost and by far the best color in the GTR."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By JmanE55 on Tuesday, October 09, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 680overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Car is a BEAST, handling is on point with Turbo S"
Cons: "Interior quality could be better."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Best model yet... Much improved over the 2010 I had and once you stomped on the gas pedal, it's OVER!!!"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful