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You might remember that Nissan originally took Japanese sports cars to the next level in 2007 with the R35 GT-R. It was high-quality, customizable, and ridiculously fast. Back in the day, the GT-R was even called “Ferrari Killer” and “Lamborghini Killer.”

After three decades in Nissan’s lineup, the R35 Nissan GT-R hasn’t changed much and has always been expensive. The most extensive variant offerings were the 2012 Black Edition and the forthcoming high-performance Nismo, which everyone is excited about. But with a sticker price over $200k, is it worth it?

The 2022 Nissan GT-R Premium

A 2022 Nissan GT-R available as a 2022 Nissan GT-R Nismo in orange at an expo indoors.
2022 Nissan GT-R | Getty Images

The latest 2022 Nissan GT-R, even at its base Premium trim level, is a force to be reckoned with. It’s powerful with excellent sports car handling and up to 600 hp. It’s easy to see why it’s nicknamed Godzilla. It starts at around $115,000.

While the GT-R hasn’t seen any significant upgrades over the years, its competition has. The proof is in the cabin, where the interior design and materials wouldn’t look out of place in a far more affordable Nissan.

It has its advantages, though. You get an all-wheel drive standard on all models for enhanced handling and a confident driving experience.  As Car and Driver points out, it’s more uncommon than a Porsche 911, so you’re sure to turn heads when you’re out and about in this car.

The base engine is a 3.8-liter V6 with a power output of 565 hp. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with an all-wheel drive configuration for remarkable power and handling. The Premium can reach 0 to 60 in just 2.9 seconds. The adjustable suspension, rigid structure, and quick steering complete a thrilling ride.

The GT-R Nismo

The GT-R Nismo is a performance model with a 3.8-liter V6 but is dialed up to get a solid 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque. The GT-R Nismo (for Nissan Motorsport) has a far more aggressive aero kit with a big rear wing. The Nismo starts at around $215,000.

Then there’s the GT-R Nismo Special Edition, and only a small number of these models will be made with orders opening this fall. This special edition has a finish in Stealth Gray with an exposed carbon-fiber hood and 20-inch wheels trimmed in red. It’s also the first model graced with the new Nissan logo and is said to start around $215,000.

The special edition’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine is built to rigid specifications. It utilizes the same turbochargers as Nissan’s GT-R GT3-class race car. It’s equipped with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Nismo will likely be priced at around $220,000. 

How does it match up to the competition?

How does the 2022 Nissan GT-R Nismo stand up against key rivals? We’ll start with the fact that it hasn’t had any significant changes or redesigns since its debut. Sure, the price has gone up since then, and its acceleration is still thrilling. But the lack of meaningful updates has allowed rivals to zoom ahead of it in several areas.

According to Hot Cars, the Nismo has more horses than Aston Martin Vantage and Mercedes AMG GT R. It still trails the Porsche 911 Turbo S which has 640 hp. You also have to factor in performance EVs like Tesla Model S Plaid and Porsche Taycan, which can compete with Nismo’s acceleration.

The latest Nismo no longer has the most updated exterior design and looks a little dated next to the Aston Martin Vantage or Porsche 911. That’s important because you expect to drive a work of art if you’re paying that kind of money. The interior is dated to the point that it doesn’t look as expensive as it should for what you pay for it. 

The Nismo isn’t the best for the money when it comes to practicality. The Nismo can’t match up with the rise of super-EVs that can easily seat four and haul their cargo too, plus they have super-fast acceleration. And if you have that kind of money to spend, you should probably know you can now get the Audi RS6 Avant in the U.S.

If you’re a fan of the Nissan GT-R Nismo and have the coin, you’ll love its acceleration and thrilling driving performance. Otherwise, you might find another supercar with more to offer for the same or less money.


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