With Kong vs Godzilla releasing soon in theaters, it’s time to show off who the real Godzilla is. It’s a firebreathing, twin turbo, 600 horsepower, 3.8 L monster from Japan. The 2021 Nissan GT-R is a true legend among the car scene, and it goes one step further by giving enthusiasts the driving experience they want. However it’s getting quite antiquated, reused and recycled by Nissan, and they charge a hefty price for what essentially a 12 year old car. High prices and relatively little updates tax the GT-R for what it is. A vast price disparity from the Premium trim and the NISMO trim pin the score down even more. While it is still a true driver’s car, it’s getting old fast— for better or worse.
The Belly of the Beast
Inside that monstrous engine is a blood-curdling 3.8 liter twin turbo V6 paired with a 6-speed DCT transmission. It shifts super smooth and no shift lag when you stomp on the throttle. The GT-R will sprint up to 60 in a shocking 2.9 seconds, breaking the 3-second mark. Steering is exactly where you want it, but feels a bit playful at random times. Active suspension makes the ride solid, and actually somewhat comfortable, despite the roar of the GT-R sonorous engine. AWD comes standard and an upgraded driveshaft and transaxle makes power going to the back wheels much more efficient without expelling any power. Nissan’s secondary air management system effectively cools the engine and the huge carbon ceramic brakes with little issue at all, pairing the water-cooled system with an auxiliary air cooled system. Additional high-output injectors allow the GT-R’s powerband to be increased in the mid and high-range revs. Coming quick out of corners and turns allow the GT-R to gap anyone that tries to even face up against Godzilla, as well as Brembo brakes that let the 4,000 pound beast to stop on a dime. The brakes are catchy as well, learning them takes a while to master, and is an art. Quad exhaust tips, a titanium exhaust, and wide pipes sing a chorus of exhaust tunes to everyone around you and sounds like a symphony of one of the glorious engines known to man.
The Looks of the Beast
While the outside is where the GT-R shines, the interior and exterior are where Godzilla falls flat. It’s outdated and getting old. It hasn’t changed since 2009. The exterior styling is still the same with some ragtag updates such as new carbon fiber pieces, new gills for upgraded cooling, LED headlights, and subtle updates for airflow. Nothing crazy nor anything crazy new that has completly changed the game. I love the styling, it looks menacing, but it looks like it’s stuck in the 2008 Financial Crisis and Nissan was just too lazy to update it. Most of the small pieces in the interior are straight from the Altima and Maxima grab bag of crappy pieces that Nissan uses in the Sentra. For a hefty price tag of over $200,000 for the NISMO model, it’s not worth it to use frugal interior pieces. Suede and leather do make an appearance in the interior, but it’s nothing what you’d get from other cars at this price point. Interior storage is kept to a minimum, as expected there, but is terribly inefficient with space. For some reason Apple Carplay is available, but Nissan omitted Android Auto… that baffles me just as it does to you.
The Nissan GT-R is purely meant for driving, not exactly for interior comfort. That ticks it down several marks, especially at this price point. We’re not expecting Bentley level luxury, but a little bit more would be nice. With prices for the Premium model starting at $113,000, and the NISMO at $210,000, the quality just isn’t adding up.