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Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) review

Published:19 May 2009

Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) CAR review
  • At a glance
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By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

This is the ultimate GT-R. While Porsche has RS, Lamborghini has SV and BMW has M, Nissan’s best GT-Rs (or Skylines) have come with a V-Spec designation. Now reversed, the Spec V is Nissan’s newest GT-R, with carbon brakes, a stripped-out interior and a bank balance-breaking 15,750,000 yen, that's over £100k.

So what turns a ‘regular’ Nissan GT-R into a Nissan GT-R Spec V?

At the current exchange rate? Somewhere in the region of £55-£60k, or the price of a second GT-R on your driveway. Gulp. Most of that cost comes from the Spec V’s carbon brakes, which cost around £35k. The reason for the extra expense, says Nissan, is that the discs feature a higher carbon content than you’ll find in the equivalent Porsche, Lambo or Bentley stoppers.

Along with the brakes, the Spec V also features a new front splitter with carbon ducts to help cool the carbon discs, a carbon rear wing, some more black stuff to replace the hefty rear seats, and a special steering wheel-mounted boost button. Very KERS.

All the above is exclusive to the Spec V, but the rest of the tweaks – including manually adjustable carbon Recaro seats, a new diffuser and titanium-coated exhaust, black forged Rays wheels, performance-orientated rubber and fixed-rate suspension – are available for your regular GT-R through Nissan’s Nismo motorsport outfit.

What’s this Spec V boost button?

A bit of a gimmick, if we’re honest. When pressed it’ll make the red needle of the rev counter flick round the dial a little faster, but it can only be used under fairly restrictive conditions.

The engine and transmission temperatures have to be spot-on and you have to be in manual mode for the dual-clutch gearbox, with at least third gear selected. To prime the system you flick a button where the switch for the adjustable suspension used to be, and you then have 80 seconds when you can use the extra boost. Then 80 seconds when you can’t. Then 80 when you can. And so on, and so forth, whether you’ve used the boost available or not. Even then you only get an extra 14lb ft and the smallest of extra horses above 2400rpm.

>> Click 'Next' below to read more of our Nissan GT-R Spec V first drive

Surely the GT-R is still pretty amazing?

Of course it is. The extra power isn’t noticeable, but with 60 fewer kilos – thanks to the carbon trim, lighter wheels and brakes and the lack of rear seats – the Spec V feels more willing to change direction. The difference is marginal, and the GT-R is already pretty special, but you can feel the tweaks during our brief drive at the Nurburgring.

The new Bridgestone tyres take the levels of grip even higher, the four-wheel drive system makes sure you’re always secure, the steering is direct, and with ultra-fast gearchanges from the double-clutch ‘box, the GT-R makes sure you’ve always got easy access to the twin-turbo V6’s power. The car belies its (still hefty) kerbweight and will beat pretty much anything else on the road.

Verdict

The Nissan GT-R Spec V (2010) isn’t perfect. The interior of the GT-R is still pretty functional, we cooked the ultra-expensive brakes after just three short – but high-speed – laps on track, and the £100k plus price tag makes us wince. Plus the fixed Bilstein suspension will be too firm for most bumpy British B-roads, though we might not actually see the Spec V in official European showrooms.

But if you’re craving the ultimate GT-R, then this is it. A regular GT-R is just so good that most won’t be prepared to pay double for a marginally better car. Yet it is marginally better – and that’s what counts.

>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of Nissan's Spec V GT-R

Specs

Price when new: £0
On sale in the UK: Now (in Japan)
Engine: 3799cc 24v twin-turbo V6, 485bhp @ 6400rpm, 433lb ft @3200-5200rpm
Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch, four-wheel drive
Performance: 3.5sec 0-62mph, 192mph, 22.8mpg, 298g/km
Weight / material: 1680kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4655/1895/1370

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  • Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) CAR review
  • Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) CAR review
  • Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) CAR review
  • Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) CAR review
  • Nissan GT-R Spec V (2009) CAR review

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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