2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo First Drive: Bullet train

The Nissan GT-R in its current R35 guise has been around for more than a decade – a long time for a performance car. Over the years Nissan has been tweaking its formula for its famed supercar killer to ensure that it remains competitive. This particular 2017 model year GT-R has also had a thorough reworking from the lap time-obsessed Nissan Motorsport or 'Nismo' department.

We put it through its paces at Silverstone. As did the British weather…

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo
2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo
2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo

First Impressions

It’s not a pretty car by any stretch, but the Nissan GT-R Nismo is all about form following function. The prominent front splitter, skirts, large diffuser and carbonfibre wing all work together to produce the sort of downforce required to lap the Nurburgring in close to seven minutes. Lightweight alloy wheels and further use of carbon shaves 27kg from the cooking model’s heft.

The interior benefits from changes first seen on the updated standard car. Many hard plastic surfaces have been replaced with plusher materials and a new 8-inch touchscreen negates the need for so many buttons. Naked carbon and some alcantara makes this Nismo interior feel a bit more special, too, but it’s the bolstered Recaro sports seats that steal the show.

2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo

Under the bonnet is that familiar twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 engine, with said turbos being borrowed from the GT3 racing car. Hand-built by one of five master craftsmen in Japan, it produces 592bhp and 481lb ft of torque. All of that performance potential is channeled to the ground via ...