It seems like everyone is trying to dabble in the sports car world these days, and Nissan is no different. Nissan has been manufacturing their GT-Rs for quite some time, and while the standard GT-Rs can be pretty quick, they’ve got a big brother that demands your attention. If you truly want to experience Nissan’s fastest car, then you’ll want to take a look at the 2021 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Your local Nissan dealer may not have this one in stock, so we’d call ahead and make sure they’ve got one available if you’re interested in taking one of the GT-R NISMOs out for a test drive. If you happen to be lucky enough to experience Nissan’s fastest GT-R yet, then here’s what you need to know about the NISMO.
Under the Hood
Nissan has truly packed the 2021 GT-R NISMO full of power with a specifically tuned twin-turbo engine. This 3.8-liter V6 engine is capable of pumping out up to 600 horsepower. This makes the NISMO a real go-getter on the street, and it is incredibly fun to drive as you feel yourself get pushed almost into the back seat from all the exertion. Paired with the 481 pound-feet of torque, the NISMO gets off the line and up to 60 miles per hour in about 2.9 seconds. Talk about a takeoff!
They’ve given the 2021 NISMO a dual-clutch transmission to help it perform more efficiently and be the total powerhouse it is without putting additional wear on the engine. This type of transmission also increases the fuel efficiency for the NISMO. For any sports car, we can’t really expect great fuel efficiency because they’re designed to throw as much gasoline into the engine to keep the power high. However, the NISMO is actually decent as far as gas life duration is concerned. It gets 18 MPG combined, which is acceptable. When you purchase a sports car, you’re not really looking at fuel efficiency; you’re looking for power efficiency, so we think that 18 MPG is perfectly reasonable.
Another thing that Nissan did to increase the speed of the GT-R is build it out of carbon fiber to reduce the overall vehicle weight. The lighter the vehicle, the faster it will be able to go. The carbon-fiber fenders, in particular, reduce the forward mass so the vehicle can respond more quickly to your steering input. Make no mistake, the NISMO may be a car, but it is a total animal on the pavement, and it certainly holds its own against some of the best sports cars out there.
When it comes to exterior appearances, the NISMO is eye-candy. The sleek lines, robust front end, and custom grille really add to the external appeal of the NISMO. If you take into consideration the upgraded lights, custom wheels, and the accent-colored spoiler, you know that the car you get is a looker. Nissan isn’t one to disappoint in the looks department, and while they clearly invested a lot into what goes into the NISMO, they didn’t forget about the exterior either. The red under trimmings are a nice homage to the red interior accents, and we feel like that really ties the look of the NISMO together. Nissan makes sure that this car looks as fast as it is. Even if we couldn’t drive the NISMO, we’d be happy to just sit and look at it.
Behind the Wheel
What’s under the hood is always important, but personally, we like to be comfortable when we drive. If we’re about to be tossed into the seat from the g-force this car can put out, they better be comfortable seats! Lucky for us, the seats in the GT-R are absolutely comfortable. The seats for the NISMO get the leather upgrade and are heated for ultimate comfort. The seats have also been given red stripes on the outside edges so that even they have the sports car appeal. The interior of the car also has deep red racing accents that make the inside look as sporty as the outside.
They’ve given the front seats of this beast a lot of legroom, which means the back seats are a little on the squishy side. Probably best not to put anyone in those anyway; better to keep them empty so when this monster chucks you through the front seat on takeoff, you can land safely in the back.
We like that Nissan kept the majority, if not all, of the physical buttons on the dash and console control system. They’ve also included an 8-inch touch screen infotainment display. This display comes equipped and prepared with Apple CarPlay, navigation, Bluetooth, HD and satellite radio options, and a backup camera. Along with that, Nissan has included 2 USB ports, keyless entry that can be set up to be triggered by proximity, dual climate control, push to start, and parking sensors on both the front and back of the NISMO.
The trunk of the NISMO is again on the smaller side, with only 8.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Really though, if you needed to, you could always utilize the back seat if your suitcases won’t fit in the trunk of the car. Most people aren’t buying the NISMO to park it in the airport anyway, so it’s not something we’re letting sour us against the NISMO.
On the Track
Fast cars are only as great as their control systems, and we firmly believe that. It appears Nissan does as well because they really amped up the 2021 GT-R NISMO to be as controllable as possible. Most sports cars are like toddlers on a leash, but the NISMO has finally stepped out of that category and is more like a toddler in a wagon now. Totally controllable as long as the adult steering the wagon knows what they’re doing.
Nissan has given the GT-R NISMO this extra control by having tires manufactured specifically for it. These tires have larger outer treads that increase the NISMO’s grip on the road and decrease the amount of understeer you experience while driving it. They’ve also upgraded the brakes so that you can press the brakes with the confidence that no matter how fast you’re going, you will stop. Nissan also adjusted the front end of the NISMO a little bit to make it lighter on the road and give the driver better control and maneuverability. All these adjustments make it a blast to drive.
Out of the Wallet
No one likes to talk about money, but great cars come at a great cost, unfortunately. However, if you’re in the market for a sports car and you want Nissan’s best, then the over $210,000 it costs probably doesn’t surprise you too much. The GT-R NISMO is a great car that is quick and has been given a lot of upgrades to try and put it ahead of the competition in terms of controllability.
As Nissan’s fastest car, the 2021 GT-R NISMO does not disappoint. The quick acceleration from 0-60 in roughly 2.9 seconds, the fact that you can feel the power under your feet, and the ability to tame all of that power make the NISMO a fun sports car to drive.