2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo deep dive: How it’s the fastest Godzilla ever

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Nissan’s R35-generation GT-R has now been in production for more than a decade, and while many believe it’s time for the Japanese giant to give way to a successor, Nissan is content to make the current car better with each passing year.

The 2020 Nismo GT-R is the latest and greatest, and Nissan says it’s 2.5 seconds faster around its development track than the 2019 was. So, what makes this $210,000 Nismo GT-R even better than the lizards that came before it? We turn once again to Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained to give us an in-depth look at just what makes the 600-horsepower 2020 Nismo GT-R the fastest Godzilla produced to date.

The first ingredient is weight reduction. Compared to the 2019 model, 2020 Nismo lost nearly 50 pounds. A lot of the savings come from the body, where carbon fiber has been utilized extensively on the 2020 model’s exterior. The only panels which aren’t carbon fiber are the rear fenders and the doors.

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

Second, Nissan went to great lengths to improve the engine’s responsiveness. This was accomplished by borrowing turbochargers from Nissan’s GT-R race car. These incorporate lighter turbine wheels that spin up more quickly (which, in turn, reduces turbo lag). Nissan says this improvement translates to a half-car-length advantage over 5 seconds when flooring the 2020 Nismo GT-R from a 55 mph roll. 

The rest comes from tires and aerodynamics, with a heavy focus on the former. For 2020, the compound and tread were both improved. There’s now 11-percent more rubber in contact with the road, and this results in a 7-percent improvement in grip. 

Fenske explains how all of these come together to make the 2020 Nismo GT-R significantly quicker than the 2019. Give it a watch.

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