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Looking for a Budget Super Car? Buy a Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R has been one of the most venerable supercars ever since it came to the U.S. back in 2008. Its low cost of entry, for a supercar, and explosive power was big news back then and many dreamers and prospective buyers wished that they could have the “Godzilla” car in their driveways someday. Luckily, that “someday” can be today, as prices for the beloved Nissan GT-R have depreciated significantly.

The Nissan GT-R was “affordable” when it debuted

2009 Nissan GT-R | Nissan

When the Nissan GT-R debuted for the 2009 model year, it was the Japanese answer to cars like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, but it had one trick up its sleeve: its price. The German rivals at the time were retailing for well above $100,000, and while they did offer a good amount of refinement and engineering that everyone would come to expect from such high-dollar machinery, the Nissan GT-R gave Americans a different perspective by providing an affordable alternative.

When it was new, the Nissan GT-R retailed for around $78,000, which gave buyers a high-tech suspension, a potent twin-turbo engine, and an interior that was definitely fitting of a Nissan. That’s not to say it was cheap, but compared to the supercars from Europe, it did have a lot more plastic trim and carbon fiber. But that ultimately didn’t matter as this car was built for performance, not a flashy interior.

RELATED: Would the Nissan GT-R Make a Good Daily Driver?

2009 Nissan GT-R | Nissan

The Nissan GT-R meant business

The performance was the name of the game when the Nissan GT-R entered the scene. It was powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo, V6 engine that produced 480 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, which made it capable of getting from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and down the quarter-mile in about 11.5 seconds. This was impressive considering the car weighed 3,900 pounds, but its stellar performance could also be attributed to its all-wheel-drive system and computer-aided suspension settings.

With just a few flips of some of the center console-mounted switched into “R Mode” the Nissan GT-R had to ability to lay down quick lap times and turn corners just about as fast as a Porsche 911 Turbo or a Lamborghini LP640. According to Car and Driver’s testing at the time, the Nissan GT-R was able to pull a 0.99 g on their skidpad. Fortunately, the hidden beauty of this all-wheel-drive beast wasn’t the fact that it was fast and handled well, but it was the fact that just about any type of driver could pilot the car to a speedy success, thanks to the top-level computer programming that Nissan engineers incorporated in the car to make it nearly a “point-and-shoot” operation.

RELATED: Nissan Pulsar GTi-R: The Other Nissan GT-R

2009 Nissan GT-R | Nissan

It was affordable then and more affordable now

While $78,000 back in 2009 sounded affordable even to those that could never afford it, depreciation has since taken its toll and now the Nissan GT-R is almost half the price. Looking at the current market on Cargurus, we have seen Nissan GT-Rs on sale for around $46,000 for the 2009 models. Stepping up the 2012 model year could cost around $60,000, but that’s still much less than the original MSRP, especially considering the new models are priced much higher at around $113,000. So if you have been a huge fan of the GT-R for the past decade, then it’s finally time to make your dreams a reality.