Adolescent video game addicts, strident fanboys and curdled automotive journalists like to complain about the Nissan GT-R. They say it is too Brobdingnagian, too rattly and unrefined, too carousing and inelegant, too focused on trick technological solutions that make driving it impossibly quick far too simple.
It is also monumentally, stupendously, idiotically fun, and a lark from which you’ll never forget soaring. Driving a GT-R is like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. If the barrel were a padded rubber ball the size of the Astrodome. And filled with fuzzy puppies. And laughing gas. And jelly beans.
Now seven years old, and having reached maturity — or what passes for maturity —Nissan has decided to inject a bit more amusement into its behemoth amusement park. Today it unveiled the NISMO GT-R, an upgraded, up-powered iteration of this endorphin IV, with bigger turbos, custom Bilstein suspension components, custom Dunlop tires and an assortment of gilled, straked, and unwrinkled carbon trim bits hovering around the vehicle’s peripheries to create the downforce necessary to prevent it from becoming an unmanageable airborne event.
Oh, and 600 horsepower.
Inside there’s other compellingly superfluous elements, including carbon-fiber framed seats, a fuzzily Alcantarated steering wheel, the availability of a cheerily ivory semi-aniline leather interior, an app to instantly upload your lap time and telemetry data to your phone if you’re really that kind of dork, and more red stitching than a bordello sofa set.
All of this adds up to a car that can lap the fearsome Nurburgring Nordschliefe race circuit in 7 minutes, 8 seconds — a time that makes it competitive with the fastest volume production cars in the world, depending on who's defining "production." (Fanboy debate commences...now.) Nissan wouldn’t tell us exactly how much it will cost, except to say that it will be somewhere between $0 and $200,000. We’re guessing it will land in the top quartile-ish of that range.
If you hate fun, you will hate this car. Otherwise, you should definitely just shut up and revel in the fact that something this ridiculous exists.