If you're in the market for a high-dollar sports car, it's a good time to be alive. There's a new crop of new or refreshed vehicles in that class, including the 2017 Nissan GT-R. Granted, the GT-R remains fundamentally the same vehicle that debuted way back in 2009, but Nissan has tried to keep it fresh over the years with a nip here and a tuck there. That trend continues for 2017 with a subtle face-lift, a slight increase in power and an improved interior.
Like most sports cars, the GT-R requires some sacrifices with regard to comfort and convenience. Then again, shoppers in this arena are generally willing to give up some refinement in the name of performance. And the Nissan GT-R definitely performs, even though it's no spring chicken at this point. It put the mighty 911 Turbo on notice when it first hit the market, and it's still one of the fastest track-day cars you can buy.
What's even more impressive is how easy it is to drive the GT-R quickly. It doesn't take a seasoned racing veteran to make the magic happen, thanks in large part to technological advances that serve as a skill-enhancing safety net to compensate for driver inexperience. The downside is that seat-of-the-pants drivers might feel a bit disconnected as a result, almost as if they're playing a video game.
The new Acura NSX is perhaps the GT-R's most direct rival this year with its similar reliance on technology. More traditional competitors such as the Porsche 911, Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT and Jaguar F-Type R provide a more engaging driving experience. We also consider the more affordable Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Dodge Viper to be viable alternatives with a distinctly American brashness. Fortunately for you, there's not a bad apple in this barrel, so happy hunting.
The 2017 Nissan GT-R is a high-performance sports coupe with seating for four. It is available in Premium, Track Edition (late availability) and Nismo trim levels. The Premium includes 20-inch wheels with summer run-flat tires, LED headlights and running lights, power-folding heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, an adaptive suspension, configurable drive modes, and keyless entry and ignition.
Inside, you get leather upholstery with synthetic-suede inserts, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated eight-way power driver seat (four-way for the front passenger), a manual tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, voice controls, NissanConnect mobile-app integration, Bluetooth, and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with active noise cancellation and enhancement, USB connectivity and satellite and HD radio.
Options are limited to the Cold Weather package (all-season tires and a unique coolant mixture), the Premium Interior package (hand-stitched premium leather upholstery), special floor mats and a few premium paint colors.
The new GT-R Track Edition is similar but receives the Nismo's suspension, chassis and interior upgrades (see below).
Finally, the GT-R Nismo comes with with a stiffer body structure, a front fascia with more cooling area and downforce, side skirts and rear wing, , Recaro seats, lightweight forged alloy wheels, a more aggressive suspension calibration, and an uprated version of the V6 engine.