By KBB.com Editors
A performance legend in Japan – and perennial favorite of video racing gamers around the world – the all-new 2009 Nissan GT-R has finally arrived in the U.S. Priced near $80,000, the most expensive vehicle ever to wear a Nissan badge justifies its relatively lofty sticker with the appearance, attitude and, most of all, the ability to handily dispatch many costlier, more exotic foes, from the BMW M6 to the Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo. Only a Corvette ZO6 comes close to matching its price-to-performance index. Built on a unique variation of Nissan's FM (Front Mid-engine) platform architecture and fitted with a twin-turbocharged V6, dual-clutch rear-mounted transaxle and all-wheel drive, this 480-horsepower 2+2 super coupe also boasts a significant measure of exclusivity, as just 1,500 are planned to be heading to America for 2009.
Anyone in the market for an ultra-high-performance coupe that bolsters its edgy appearance with blistering acceleration, stellar handling and de facto membership in a rather elite brotherhood of owners should seriously consider this brilliant Nissan newcomer.
Drivers who prefer a bit less involvement – physically and/or financially – might be better served by checking out the equally-new Nissan 370Z, a great and even lower-cost alternative that's still capable of keeping your adrenaline levels elevated.
Long an enthusiast icon in its home market (as the Skyline GT-R), this latest incarnation of Nissan's ultimate street stormer finally makes its U.S. debut with the power, price and performance to start a whole new chapter in what is already a formidable motoring saga.
Driving Impressions Intensely focused, the 2009 Nissan GT-R responds near-instantaneously to any control input. Press its console-mounted red start-and-stop button and the engine rumbles purposefully to life. Push the accelerator pedal, and...prepare for an instant energy rush as the turbos spool-up and speed climbs rapidly. Matching quick, well-weighted steering, driver-selectable suspension and variable-torque-split all-wheel drive with sticky, low-profile tires and big Brembo anti-lock brakes, the GT-R goes, stops and corners with the balanced confidence of a purpose-built race car – albeit one that tips the scales at a substantial 3,836-3,858 pounds. Skilled drivers will love the GT-R's "Race mode" settings that further quicken shifts, stiffen shocks and totally deactivate the stability and traction control – although making that latter choice opens the door for some potential controllability issues, particularly when approaching the limit of adhesion. Caveats? Even in "Comfort" mode, the GT-R's ride remains decidedly firm. Tire and transaxle noise also make their presence known on a fairly regular, but quite livable, basis.
Twin-turbo V6 engine
A paragon of usable power, the GT-R's hand-built 480-horsepower force-fed 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-effort 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 that can transform it from a high-profile but quite livable urban-cruiser to a hard-edged corner carver that can run with the best handling cars in the world.
The GT-R's intimate but well-finished cabin speaks the same kind of performance design language as its exterior, from user-friendly function controls, a tilt and telescoping steering column and rubber-studded aluminum pedals to well-bolstered front sport buckets that offer nine inches of fore-and-aft travel. Topping the center stack is a multifunction display that collects and stores data about your driving activities for playback and review after a hot-lapping session or a quick blast on your favorite back road. While its front quarters are surprisingly roomy, a notable dearth of head and legroom make the GT-R's rear seats best suited to hauling gym bags. However, there's a respectable 8.8 cubic feet of space in the trunk.Exterior
An amalgam of angles, edges and contours that incorporates numerous cues from its five previous incarnations, the 2009 Nissan GT-R's bad-boy bodywork boasts a slippery 0.27 coefficient of drag, aided by its relatively low-key rear spoiler and a carbon fiber underbody diffuser that also houses paired pairs of chrome exhaust tips. A signature kinked C-pillar treatment, semi-fastback roofline, functional front fender vents that open onto deeply contoured door panels and prominent wheel arches that house unique, staggered-width 20-inch alloy rims mounting 225/40 Y-rated tires up front and 285/35 rubber in the rear make the new GT-R a study in fast-lane functionality.
Mechanically, the 2009 Nissan GT-R and GT-R Premium share a 480-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, six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM Satellite Radio audio with Music Box hard drive, dual-zone climate control, push-button ignition, dual front airbags and bi-xenon HID headlamps. The Premium model upgrades the mix with an 11-speaker Bose Surround Sound audio system, heated front seats, unique vehicle information-system graphics, side-impact and side-curtain airbags and Bridgestone RE070R performance tires in place of the Dunlop SP Sport 600 performance rubber fitted to the GT-R.
Both the GT-R and GT-R Premium feature comprehensive equipment rosters that leave only floor mats, an integrated iPod adapter, Super Tricoat Metallic Silver paint and a Cold Weather Package (run-flat all-season tires) as their sole available extras.
All 2009 Nissan GT-Rs have a 3.8-liter all-aluminum twin-turbo V6 that develops an electrifying 480 horsepower at 6400 rpm and an equally riveting 430 pound-feet of peak torque from 3200-5200 revs. Set back behind the front axle, it 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 end in excess of 190. Matched to this might is a super-efficient sequential six-speed dual-clutch automated-manual 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 21 mph on the highway.
3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6
480 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
430 lb-ft of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 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!"
20 people out of 33 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."
7 people out of 9 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)"
4 people out of 12 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."
11 people out of 12 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!!!"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful