By on November 9, 2017

2018 Nissan GT-R

Alright, at $99,990, the new Nissan GT-R Pure isn’t exactly a K-Mart blue light special. It does, however, halt Godzilla’s spiralling-into-the-stratosphere sticker price. Introduced all the way back in, uh, wow, 2008, the R35 stickered south of $70,000 at its introduction.

The GT-R did see several improvements last year to help justify the steady march of its MSRP, with refreshed styling and 20 additional horsepower. The new Pure trim cuts a few fripperies but retains the same level of performance. That sounds like a tasty recipe.

Separating the Pure from its more expensive brethren is a lack of 11-speaker Bose audio system, Active Noise Cancellation, Active Sound Enhancement, and a titanium exhaust. Reading that sentence, it would seem that the noise cancellation and sound enhancement systems would be at odds with each other, like a rebellious teen cranking Spotify as his parents unplug the router, no? I’d rather not hear the engine through the speakers, anyway.

The bargain-basement GT-R Pure retains the twin-turbo V6, rated at 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque, that appears in the Premium and Track Edition Godzillas. A dual-clutch sequential six-speed manual is on tap, mated with electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. The GT-R NISMO is rated at 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque, also featuring unique exterior and interior treatments, along with special suspension tuning. I cannot fathom why the NISMO is priced $75,500 more than the Pure. Exclusivity has its price, I suppose.

Each 3.8-liter 24-valve twin-turbocharged V6 engine built to be fitted to a 2018 GT-R is still handcrafted by its own Takumi technician, delivering 565 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 467 lb-ft of torque. No matter the trim – even this admittedly proletariat-spec Pure model – the mill features an ignition-timing system controlled at each individual cylinder, which is the same technology utilized on the $175,490 GT-R NISMO. Each engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room. One cannot make that boast of their Z06, for example.

Nearly all of the visual changes made to the GT-R’s exterior twelve months ago for the 2017 model year were intended to improve aerodynamic performance, with Nissan engineers focusing their efforts to increase downforce, reduce drag, and improve cooling. The new-for-last-year visual tweaks do make for a sharper looking car, even if it takes a spotter’s guide to discern the changes unless an old and new model are parked side by each.

The GT-R was never meant to be a volume seller but sales in recent months have been in the toilet. Failing to crest 100 units a month since the middle of 2015, Nissan’s halo car found just 21 takers last month. Perhaps this new Pure model, priced about 10 percent below the next-step Premium trim, will entice a few buyers who are on the fence.

Sure, it might seem silly to think that someone who’s considering a car priced north of a hundred large gives a second thought to price, but even the one-percenters look for a deal from time to time.

[Image: Nissan]

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27 Comments on “Ace of Race: Nissan Announces a Bargain-bin GT-R...”


  • avatar
    jvossman

    i think you may have copied, pasted the engine specs twice by accidne.t
    Ace of Race made me laugh :)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Alright, at $99,990, the new Nissan GT-R Pure isn’t exactly a K-Mart blue light special.”

    Reminds me of the old Sears Hardware Store here in Gallup (now long gone.) You would walk in and see a Kenmore refrigerator with a sign on it that said “SPECIAL VALUE $799!” and then in tiny print “Regular Price $805”.

    Wow such value – much savings.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Alright, at $99,990, the new Nissan GT-R Pure isn’t exactly a K-Mart blue light special.”

    I’m probably in the last generation who even knows what that means.

  • avatar
    JMII

    At this price I can finally afford one… NOT!

    All joking aside the GT-R is already somewhat of a bargain in terms of performance per dollar. There is always one or two at most track days.

    I was surprised at the similarities between my ancient, slow 350Z compared to its GT-R cousin. Engine position and configuration is the same (minus the turbos of course), suspension mounting points, roof profile, doors and rear 1/4 window. This is due to the GT-R, JDM Skyline, Z cars, Infiniti G and now Q all being based off the Nissan FM (front mid ship) layout.

    Unlike most exotics the GT-R kind of blends in, the models (especially early ones) look like an Altima coupe with a body kit. As such its not the most desirable sports car and sales reflect that. Seems not many people want a $100K Datsun regardless of how fast it is.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Definitely a bargain in terms of speed for the dollar. But speed isn’t everything, and you get what you pay for. I would prefer my $100K car to not have the interior ambiance and refinement of a Sentra, no matter how fast it is around a track.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        hyperbole

        https://www.nissanusa.com/dam/nissan/vehicles/sportscars/gt-r/2018/colors-photos/360/interior/gclths/00-large.jpg

        the interior is at the level of that kind of $100k car

        newsflash: the 911 Touring isnt super luxurious either but being a ‘base’ 911 then…

        i’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Corvette Cadillac at $75k etc. would show these Japanese Euros a thing or two about luxury or maybe “lugshury”

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    This is a good thing and I hope more car makers do this with their performance cars.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Nice article, except I do have a gripe with “A dual-clutch sequential six-speed manual is on tap”

    Not to be picky, but “dual-clutch sequential six-speed is on tap” would be better. Let’s please reserve the word “manual” for a true manual, ie., a 3 pedal configuration. It’s bad enough as it is for the good old MT without diluting the terminology.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      No no…. this will be a 4 pedal car! With two different clutches to operate with your feet, it will finally be fun to drive on the street. :-)

      All joking aside, I full agree with you. This is what gives sales and marketing people a bad name.

      • 0 avatar
        doublechili

        I like the 4 pedal idea. For some reason my parents signed me up for organ lessons for a couple of years when I was a little kid instead of something cool like electric guitar. The lone residual benefit for me today is that when you can manipulate something like 30 pedals, 3 or even 4 is no prob!

        • 0 avatar
          SunnyvaleCA

          I think there were some experimental setups for race cars many years ago that employed two clutches.

          Funny you mention, but I too played the organ in high school and college (until the earthquake put the church out of commission). Turns out to be the best instrument ever for getting into college! There are almost no reasonably skillful candidates and all colleges seem to need at least one student — if nothing else, it gives the official school organist at least one student.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    GT-R needs to be a 5 digit sum cheaper than a base 911 to be worth looking at IMO. And even then, for the 90% of the time on the street you’re not balls to the wall, a base 911 is still a better all around performance car. GT-R should have got cheaper, not more expensive over time. $180K for the NISMO is effing ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Agreed. You’ve got to really desperate to win on race day to buy this car and let it win for you. 911 all the way, and I’ve never even cared for those.

      To be honest, I didn’t realize Nissan was still making these. I tuned out when the cross the $90K plateau.

      But at least now it has the Nissan chrome mustache on the front, so it will fit in with the Altima and Rogue that flank it on the showroom floor.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “11-speaker Bose audio system” – how many speakers such small cabin need?

    “titanium exhaust” – what that for? If it was titanium body…

    ” Each engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end ” – I’m not sure this is good thing. Robots make no mistakes, humans do

    “Nissan’s halo car found just 21 takers last month” – these probably people who has 20+ cars in their garage. Everybody else drives Mustang

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Good looking car. I’d rather spend 100k on a truck and a garage filled with off-road toys.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I could amass quite a car collection for $99k. None would likely be as quick as this, but they’d be easier to live with and provide me as much or more joy.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @JohnTaurus – agreed 100%. My son likes “Smokie and the Bandit” era Trams Am’s and assorted other vehicles of that era and older ones. So do I for that matter. I’d have just as much fun if not more with a ’77 TA FireChicken, any 64 1/2 to 71′ Mustang, or any Galaxie 500 big block older than 1970. Pickups or Bronco’s are another area that would be fun to play around in.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Fun QOTD there; What would you buy with a 100k new car budget?

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    Kmart not K-Mart
    It’s the little things in life…

  • avatar

    K Mart…Stern’s…EJ Korvettes…..Sears before the corporate raiders…all stores catering to a middle class with some money…ah, (cue Archie Bunker) those were the days….

    I had a few hours in a GT-R. It goes very fast in a straight line. AWD is key here, no sliding around. I don’t recall much about the interior, I was looking outside. You don’t accelerate, you hit the FastForward button. The inside, from what I do recall, was bland Japanese with gadgets….

    The only no/go part of the car is that it would be a horrible commuter, as it is sprung (at least my version was) for the track.

    I’m a fan of “it doesn’t need to look fast”, so that part works for me….and it is an excuse to say “GO GO Godzilla ” in conversation.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Per the Nissan configurator, it looks like the top two trims, the Track Edition and the NISMO, get a “NISMO-tuned” suspension that potentially makes the car worse for everyday use. Do you recall which version you road in?

      Regarding comments above about the interior, it looks like the trim level to get is the Premium. ~$15,000 extra vs the Pure nets you active noise cancellation and an upgraded interior. As one would hope, it appears to be actual good-quality leather (semi-aniline) as opposed to the “arguably not as nice as vinyl but with less durability” stuff you get on most cars. The configurator locks you into certain exterior color/leather choices, which seems crazy for such a low-production vehicle.

      I’m mildly surprised at the negative tone of many of these comments. I’ve always thought the GT-R was an interesting option at its price point.

      Conversely, I do agree with trepidation about the price point, but I don’t think that’s unique to the GT-R. My dentist, for example, has daily driven a series of Porsches and Corvettes over the past 30 years. (Yes, some people do cross-shop them.) He currently has a C7 convertible, and I doubt he’d be any happier in something more expensive. Unless I were making oligarch levels of money, a 718 is about where my interest would top out. Better to use that extra money on a fun classic (’66 de Ville convertible for ice cream runs with my nieces and nephews) or on something non-automotive.

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