Nissan recently invited members of media to EuroSpeedway Lausitz, a racetrack in Germany to showcase how far the R35 GT-R NISMO can push its envelope of performance.
There are many incredible driving destinations in the world. Germany sets itself apart with a heady mix of high-speed road and track experiences that bring out the GT-R NISMO’s “absolute total racing performance.”
Birth of the GT-R NISMO
The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is the result of two of Nissan’s most important nameplates coming together. GT-R represents 50 years of history, pedigree, and a global fan following, while NISMO (NISsan MOtorsports International Co.), Nissan’s in-house tuning and performance arm is synonymous with absolute domination in motorsports.
Falling in line with NISMO’s ideology of perfecting every last detail, the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is an extreme track-focused derivative of the Godzilla that has matured through rigorous refinements, becoming sharper and more rewarding as a street car.
Little, minute, careful improvements here and there come together and make the GT-R NISMO more of a beast than its stock R35 sibling.
The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is less about outright power and performance, and more about the holistic experience of driving, in the way it feels like a natural extension of your body, making every drive an exhilarating occasion not to be forgotten easily.
The NISMO-tuned GT-R is more about total balance than outright power. Race-derived turbochargers, improved gearbox shift control, lighter engine and transmission components, reduced overall mass, and upgraded brakes, wheels, and tyres mean that the car is 2.5 seconds faster around Nissan’s test track than the car it is based on. There is also a marked improvement in high-speed stability, even at speeds of up to 300kph.
How did NISMO achieve such fine balance? The answer lies in the tuning house’s constant effort to evolve and fine-tune – called Kaizen in the dialect. Kaizen is at the heart of the GT-R NISMO, with the team believing that small changes may not amount to much on their own, but together they make a world of difference. This is where the car transcends from being defined by numbers and performance and becomes a holistic tool that feels like an extension of a driver’s body and mind, unified in the quest for speed.
With the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO, the changes are not just skin deep. The Kaizen approach saw the team take apart the venerable VR38DETT to extract more power. Each engine is hand-assembled in a special room by a team of specialists called Takumi. The turbos used in the car are lifted straight off the GT3 race version of the GT-R. These are lighter, faster spooling, and more responsive than the stock pair.
Carbon fibre finds application in many areas of the GT-R NISMO, from the entire roof to bits and pieces used for front louvres, side sill covers, trunk, rear spoiler, fenders, bumpers, and so on. Each component is carefully calibrated to lighten the car and contribute to improved performance on the road or track.
NISMO has used carbon fibre liberally throughout the car to improve aerodynamics, shed weight, and assist braking.
One of the most prominent changes to the car is in the brakes. The rotors are made of carbon and silicon carbide, shedding a whopping 16.3 kg from the GT-R NISMO. These rotors are the biggest ever to be fitted to a Japanese car, at 410mm up front and 390mm out back. The front calipers are six-piston units, while four-piston calipers bite on the rear discs. Specially formulated brake pads round off the impressive braking setup and generate higher friction levels across the full operational range.
Dunlop developed tyres specifically for the GT-R NISMO, boosting grip by seven percent and contact patch by 11 percent. Tyre cornering force is now up by five percent. All small numbers, but exponentially effective as speeds climb. The kaizen mentality is really something else, even creeping into the chassis, with NISMO adding a special type of bonding between the welds on the chassis and body resulting in a sturdier-feeling chassis, more composure over imperfections and more precision through all controls when pushing the car hard.
So, in essence, how do you go about making Godzilla even more ferocious? You send him on a diet, sharpen his fangs and claws, and above all, take care not to mess with the pedigree of the nameplate or the philosophy of the tuning arm. Maintaining a fine balance between these parameters has resulted in something truly spectacular to drive: the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO.