2019 Nissan GT-R First Drive

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Doesn’t matter what you call it—GT-R or, more fittingly, Godzilla—Nissan’s range topper is a supercar-stomping, high-tech dynamo. Its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes a mighty 565 hp while a six-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive team up to put all that power to the pavement. The GT-R’s quick steering, rigid structure and adjustable suspension can make even amateurs feel positively heroic from behind the wheel. Want more? Check out the track-ready NISMO-tuned variant with 600 hp.

For the source of the Nissan GT-R’s bad-boy nickname, look to Honda—Ishirō Honda. In 1954, that Japanese film director conceived Gojira, the monster born of World War II nuclear radiation that we know as Godzilla. After this icon wreaked havoc in 30 films, the name was a natural fit for Nissan’s sports coupe, which evolved through six generations before arriving here as the 2009 GT-R. Now the seventh generation is about to face that nicer road monster of Honda’s making: the new Acura NSX.

2019 Gtr First Drive


Godzilla Gets a Makeover

Godzilla is a cute nickname, but Nissan’s intentions are more clearly revealed by this car’s three-letter ID bracelet. This is the GT coupe itching for track laps, the racer you can comfortably live with on the road. Now that the $100,000 class is thick with supremely capable sports cars, Nissan has had to raise its hero’s game. It’s calling the revised 2017 model the seventh generation, but much of the core Nissan GT-R carries over, so we’d say this is more of a makeover than a full redo.

Thanks to additional boost pressure, the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 now delivers 565 horsepower at 6800 rpm and 467 lb-ft of torque at 3300 rpm, increases of 20 horsepower and 4 lb-ft. A new titanium exhaust system sheds 12 pounds and is tuned for less noise in daily use. Subtle changes to the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle are also aimed at improved drivability.

2019 Gtr Overview

Structural refinements at the front and rear of the unibody raise torsional rigidity 5 percent, resulting in better handling and stability. The Bilstein dampers are both more supple and more adjustable through Normal, Comfort, and R (guess what that stands for) settings. Shift firmness and stability-control characteristics also are easily adjustable via console buttons.

20 Photos of the 2019 Nissan GT-R First Drive

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