By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
If there's such a thing as a supercar for the budget-conscious, the 2015 Nissan GT-R is it. While it's no longer quite the deal it once was, the $103,000 and up GT-R has the performance chops to pace or even pounce exotic cars such as Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Maseratis that can cost twice as much. Though it wears a mainstream badge, the GT-R is endowed with racecar technology and a phenomenal engine. A performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system enables the GT-R to have gargantuan grip, while its 545-horsepower V6 has the power to pin you and up to three passengers to your seats. For enthusiasts who somehow need even more, a 600-horsepower, track-oriented NISMO edition joins the GT-R lineup for 2015.
Zero to 60 mph in under three seconds, 545 horses powering all four wheels, seating for four, and a top speed of 196 mph. If these stats get your heart racing, the 2015 Nissan GT-R has a good chance of keeping that organ pounding.
While the Nissan GT-R certainly has awesome performance, it doesn't wear an aspirational badge and isn't laden with luxuries. If you want your $100,000 to go more toward high-end brand appeal and overall refinement, set your eyes on a Porsche, Audi, BMW, Jaguar or Maserati.
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In a bid to make the GT-R's cabin feel quieter, 2015 models receive Bose Active Noise Cancellation. Also new are multi-LED headlights and new circular taillight treatment. The new, range-topping NISMO edition packs 600 horsepower, a stiffer rear anti-roll bar and race-tuned suspension.
Pressing a button brings the 2015 Nissan GT-R’s twin-turbocharged V6 engine to life. And pressing the throttle brings the driver to life. Floor it, and this coupe throws you back...
... in your seat – that's what happens when you have the ability to blast to 60 mph in under three seconds. This blunt force would be terrifying if not for the GT-R's array of mechanical and electronic chassis systems intended to keep both car and driver safe at high speeds. And Nissan's supercar remains much more than a straight-line performer. Its cornering grip borders on surreal. The car's adjustable suspension, well-weighted steering and stop-me-now Brembo brakes all work to make the GT-R thrilling when pushed, while its 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission can fire off shifts far more rapidly than a traditional manual gearbox. Do know that, unlike a Porsche 911 or Audi R8, the GT-R's raw performance comes at a compromise to overall driving comfort.
TWIN-TURBO V6 ENGINE
Nissan's hand-built 3.8-liter V6 is a wonder of technology that packs power most V8s would envy: 545 horsepower in regular GT-R models, and an astounding 600 in the NISMO edition. So much pride goes into their assembly that an aluminum plate adorns each engine honoring the name of its craftsman.
DRIVER-TUNABLE VEHICLE DYNAMICS
The 2015 Nissan GT-R lets you select from several ride-compliance, stability-control and transmission-shift program settings, which can transform the car 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.
Even the 2015 GT-R's cabin is performance-minded. Slide into the driver's seat and you'll immediately notice the big red start button located just below the gearshift, between the two front leather-appointed seats. The front console has a trio of switches to select ride and handling settings, and when not showing navigation info on its 7-inch screen, the center display relays all manner of data relating to performance, including the torque split between wheels and transmission oil temperature. The Track Edition regains the two small rear seats previously removed to shed weight, but like other GT-R models, they are better at accommodating cargo than people.
At 183.9 inches long, Nissan's performance coupe isn't big on paper but has a commanding presence in person. And it's not all for show. This supercar's collage of sharp angles, rounded contours and crisp edges give it a 0.26 coefficient of drag that help is slip through the air. Various other bits, such as the GT-R's enormous front-fender vents, provide front downforce. Staggered-width 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels further aid the GT-R’s stability. Black Edition models stand out with Rays Wheels and a carbon-fiber spoiler, while the Track Edition boasts a carbon-fiber trunklid to reduce weight.
The 2015 Nissan GT-R initially arrives in three major trims: Premium, Black and Track. Even the base "Premium" version is loaded, as should be expected with its $103,000 starting price. In addition to blistering performance, that money gets you a coupe with leather-appointed and power-operated front seats, a rear-view monitor, dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch touch-screen nav system, and 11-speaker Bose audio. The Black edition adds Recaro seats and Rays wheels. Track versions have a race-tuned suspension, plus a carbon-fiber trunklid and additional brake cooling. The late-availability Nissan GT-R NISMO edition boasts 600 horsepower, reinforced body structure, further suspension tweaks and other performance upgrades.
Unlike its exotic rivals, the 2015 Nissan GT-R doesn't go crazy with extras. In fact, just two packages are available, both for the Premium trim. The Cold Weather Package includes all-season tires and special coolant mixture, while the Premium Interior Package has hand-stitched semi-aniline front seats interior treatments.
Given that the 2015 Nissan GT-R can out-accelerate exotic cars, you may think it houses a massive engine. This isn't the case. The GT-R actually uses a relatively small 3.8-liter V6. Yet the engine creates an incredible 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft of torque thanks to twin-turbochargers and near-magical feats of engineering that include plasma-sprayed cylinder bores for reduced friction. The NISMO version takes things to another level with 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. With its sequential 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the standard GT-R can rocket from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds. NISMO editions may be able to manage that feat in a warp-like 2.5 seconds.
3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6
545 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
463 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200-5,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6
481 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2015 Nissan GT-R starts at $103,365. Black and Track editions add roughly $10,000 to that price. The amount needed to get into a NISMO GT-R is forthcoming. Six figures for a Nissan may seem a big ask, but relative to the exotic cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis that it can outrun, it's a bargain supercar. Still, the GT-R's rising price over the years has been hard to ignore, now more especially so with the new Chevrolet Corvette on the scene that also offers tremendous performance and good livability with a mid-$50,000 starting price. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 also makes an obscene amount of horsepower – 662 – while starting in the mid-$50,000 range. Check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their GT-Rs. Resale value is another strong point for the GT-R, with residuals of Nissan's supercoupe matching those of an Audi R8.