2020 Nissan GT-R: Why It’s Faster Than Ever

Despite having the exact same power and torque as the 2019 model, the 2020 Nissan GT-R has demonstrated significant improvements in speed. But how exactly has it managed to get so fast? According to Engineering Explained, the changes that have made the biggest impact on this car are the new turbochargers, weight reduction, and improved tire grip.

A Faster GT-R


To get a sense for the increased speed of the 2020 Nissan GT-R, we can compare it to the 2019 model. According to Nissan, if you were to put both cars side by side on the highway and tell each driver to floor it, within five seconds the 2020 model would be just under nine feet ahead of the 2019 model — despite the fact that they have the exact same hp. The 2020 model also has a 2.5 second faster speed around Nissan’s development track when compared to the 2019 model.

New Turbochargers

The 2019 and 2020 GT-R both have an impressive 600 hp, but where the two cars differ is in the turbochargers. Nissan has taken this road car’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo engine and equipped it with the turbochargers from the GT-3—a racing car. The turbine wheel has also experienced some changes. While it formerly had 11 thick veins, the 2020 GT-R now has 10 slightly thinner veins. This smaller size has reduced the mass of the turbine wheel by 14.5 percent, leading directly to a 24% reduction of rotational inertia and a 20 percent improvement in engine response. 

Weight Reduction

At 3,865 pounds, the 2020 GT-R is approximately 46 pounds lighter than the 2019 model and is 68 pounds lighter than the 2020 GT-R Premium. This weight reduction is partly due to the large amounts of carbon fiber used in the production of this car—the front fenders, bumper, and hood are all carbon fiber, as well as the roof, rear bumper, and trunk. In fact, the only parts of the body not made of carbon fiber are the doors and rear fenders, which are made of aluminum and steel, respectively. 

The forged aluminum wheels are also lighter, but not by much—Nissan only removed approximately 100 grams of weight here. However, the 2020 GT-R makes use of new carbon-ceramic brakes, which overall save 36 pounds of weight when compared to the standard steel brakes used on the other GT-R models. 

Improved Grip

Arguably the biggest change in this car is the tires. While there is not a significant visual difference in the 2020 GT-R’s tires when compared side by side with the older models, the new tires actually have an updated tread pattern. While this may seem like a small change, it means that the new tires have 11 percent more contact with the ground than the older tires, which causes the 2020’s tires to have a seven percent better grip. 

Transmission Problems

While this car is well designed for track driving, its old design can reportedly become apparent when driving more slowly in day to day life. The transmission, which was first developed around 2005, is loud and slow to respond, an issue that has also been noted in previous models. However, putting the car into manual mode improves the issues with the transmission. 

2020 Nissan GT-R Price

While this model is the fastest of the three latest GT-Rs, its speed comes at a steep cost—it retails at about $210,740, as compared to the just slightly slower 2020 GT-R Track Edition, which retails at $145,540. But regardless of which car you think is the better deal, the amount of work that went into creating this speedy GT-R is certainly impressive.