It might be a hard pill to swallow, but the 100k bump on the price for a standard model will get you the new limited edition Nismo-tuned Nissan GT-R, which is now on sale in New Zealand. And if you want one, you better hurry into a dealership very soon. As they are only allocated one vehicle per year to sell in New Zealand, due to the cost and construction of the carbon fibre elements that are in the MY17 model. This must make it the rarest new car on sale via a dealership in New Zealand. Nissan said they have already sold the first one, which was allocated to the end of last year’s tax year, and they now have one more to sell this year.

For those of you who do not know about Nismo, and I do not think many of our followers would not be aware of the name. Nismo which is short for Nissan Motorsport is comparable to BMW’s M, Mercedes-Benz AMG or Audi’s RS range. It signifies that this model has been developed with their motorsport division which has a very long racing heritage. Nissan New Zealand are very excited to announce that the Nismo brand will be launching in NZ in 2017 with the GT-R Nismo and the 370Z Nismo

I have to admit that I did think $308,000 is a tall ask for this car, knowing what I did about the previous model I drove, which was the first gen R35 GT-R. Of which I thought was impressive with respect to its ability and technology. However, it lacked in the supercar appeal department on the exterior and interior. So the My17 Nismo is going to have to be something very special for the price tag they are asking.

So what do you get for this additional $102,000.

  • Nismo-tuned 441kW / 652Nm high-capacity turbocharged 3.8-litre V6engine
  • An additional 22kW of power and 20Nm of torque compared to the GT-R Premium Edition and GT-R Track Edition
  • Formula One race-car-grade factory tuned Titanium exhaust system
  • NISMO-tuned suspension with additional roll stiffness
  • The addition of adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding) for increased body shell rigidity
  • NISMO-tuned aerodynamic exterior elements designed to increase downforce, including carbon fibre boot lid and spoiler, carbon fibre front and rear bumpers and lower front undercover
  • Ergonomically sculpted Alcantara®-trimmed Recaro® front bucket seats
  • NISMO racing-style Alcantara®-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with a red centre mark, designed to provide the best combination of feedback, grip and comfort.
  • Rigid forged metallic black 6-spoke RAYS® forged lightweight aluminium 20-inch wheels, manufactured by RAYS

“The GT-R NISMO is a concentrated dose of NISMO’s long-standing expertise in the form of an ultra-high-performance car,” said Takao Katagiri, President and CEO of Nissan Motorsports International Co. Ltd., President and CEO of Autech Japan Inc. and Head of NISMO Business Office in Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

That all sounds great, but what does it mean when you’re behind the wheel. I will be honest and say that it’s been a while since I drove a GT-R, and my memories of the first gen model were vivid. Technology wise it was a mind blowing car, but it felt like I was just a bit of dead weight being taken for a ride, as you knew the car was doing most of the work. The inside also left you questioning what the price tag was, as it felt no better inside then a 350z that was also on sale at the time.

But things have changed a lot since then, and the latest model is a lot more refined both inside and out. The interior is more in tune with the price tag, covered with carbon fibre and Alcantara, leaving you feeling like you are in something special. And the drive, well we didn’t get to take it on the roads, just the track (imagine my disappointment). The MY17 model is far removed from the first gen, actually leaving you with the feeling of driver engagement. Yes, the car is still doing a lot, and if like me you’re, not a professional racecar driver, it’s nice to be able to push the car over what may be your own limits and still feel confident that you’re not going to ditch it in the gravel.

On the laps we got to drive the GT-R Nismo around the track at Hampton Downs, it was obvious that I enjoyed this car. Its best feature, to me anyway, was the sound. My god, it was amazing, a thunderous roar that came in as instantly as you touched the throttle. Whatever the extra cost was to add the Formula One race-car-grade factory tuned Titanium exhaust system, it was worth it. And the power comes in just like the sound, just like a powerful manual car kicking you in the back on the next gear change. In Race mode, it seemed like you got all the power the moment you touched the pedal. No build up, no lag, just all of it all the time. I wanted to just keep going to see how much it had, but we kept running out of track. It was exhilarating, to say the least. I could have driven that car around the track all day and with my silly grin enjoying the sound one second and the power the next.

To put some comparison to this car, my daily driver is an Audi RS6 Avant, a twin turbo V10 that produces 572hp or 426kw. And the Nissan’s power delivery and speed makes my RS6 feel slow and sluggish. One is heavier than the other of course, but one has a v10 and one has a v6, so you can’t help but stand back and be impressed with what they have done with this GT-R Nismo.

The day’s experience was a good one, and I put it up there with my hot laps around Manfeild in the Lexus LFA. Both cars are at the silly end of the scale, but both cars are just as awesome as each other.

For those who can afford it, I guess it could be a daily driver, but we won’t really know until we test one on the open roads. (Hopefully Nissan pick up on our subtle comments)

2017 Nissan GT-R –Pricing

  • $205,000 – GT-R Premium Edition
  • $211,000 – GT-R Premium Edition with Luxury Trim
  • $240,000 – GT-R Track Edition Engineered By NISMO
  • $308,000 – GT-R NISMO

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