2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO Shows Its Racing Pedigree



If there is one place you’d want to experience true automotive engineering, it has to be Germany’s EuroSpeedway in Lausitz. This race track has it all and the perfect locale to put the new 2020 GT-R NISMO to the test.

While there are many worthy locations around the world, Germany seems ideal for drivers to seamlessly combine high-speed road and track experiences. And that is why Nissan chose to showcase the GT-R NISMO’s “absolute total racing performance.”

The DNA make-up of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO comes from the GT-R representing 50 years of racing history with a large global fan following. Combining the GT-R with Nissan’s very own tuning house, NISsan MOtorsports International Co. (NISMO), the Japanese automaker has produced a car with a next-level performance by perfecting every last detail.

You wouldn’t think it is possible to improve upon such an extreme, track-oriented version of the GT-R but they have. The NISMO is not only a racer but thanks to stringent, quality refinements, it has become a top-notch streetcar with a rewarding experience for drivers of all calibres.

What Makes The 2020 GT-R NISMO Better?

Considering that it is deemed a performance and a streetcar, it has to be about total balance. To that end, Nissan engineers have developed new race-proven turbochargers and an improved gearbox shift control. Furthermore, the NISMO is made from lighter components which naturally reduce the overall weight.

Upgrades to the brakes, wheels and tyres cut 2.5 seconds off the lap time at Nissan’s development track. Combine that with an improvement to the GT-R’s high-speed stability, it cruises comfortably even at speeds of up to 186 mph (300 kph).

How Did Nissan Do It?

To answer that question, we have to first look at the Kaizen mindset, a Japanese productivity philosophy. It focuses on making a “good change” and refers to “constant, continuous improvement” which describes Nissan’s pursuit of perfection to develop the NISMO beautifully. Besides quality components and precision engineering, it also required persistence.

The Kaizen philosophy is certainly at the heart of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO as the talented team of engineers challenged themselves every step of the way. To create something this special just shows their level of curiosity and having the right mentality of exploring possibilities. While small improvements to individual components or parts may not seem important, it becomes a winning recipe when combining all of them in the right way.

Hand-Assembled GT3 Turbos

The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO has the same turbochargers currently on the GT3 race car version and that speaks volumes for its performance. Everything about the NISMO is based on precision and it all starts with the components.

Each VR38DETT turbo is hand-assembled in a special clean room by master technicians known as Takumi. This elite group of specialists assembles the complex power plant with passion and extreme precision. They also leave a bit of themselves behind as the Takumi signs their work with a special aluminum nameplate on the front of each engine.

A new backplate drastically improves gas flow efficiency while the new design increases flow rate resulting in improved boost response and acceleration. When in R-mode, the vastly-improved 6-speed dual-clutch transmission changes gear more aggressively and intuitively thanks to a new algorithm for the adaptive shift control (ASC).

According to Chief Product Specialist, Hiroshi Tamura, the 2020 GT-R NISMO will be 2.4 meters (8 feet) ahead by the time it hits 80 km/h (50 mph) from a standing start. The improvement in cornering and brake performance means the new NISMO should cut 5 seconds off a lap at the Nürburgring.

Advanced Aerodynamics And Design

The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO has evolved drastically in terms of aerodynamics. The changes are entirely functional and increase cooling of the engine bay and brakes. They’ve also used far more carbon fibre as most of the new components are lighter compared to the current GT-R.

Following the kaizen philosophy, engineers painstakingly improved every component to cut weight, increase downforce and enhance aerodynamics. From the front and rear bumpers, front fenders, bonnet, roof, side sill covers to the boot and rear spoiler.

The GT3 GT-R race car heavily inspired the new front fenders as they now have specially designed slats to increase front downforce. Vented fenders were tested in a wind tunnel to maximise airflow along with the rest of the body to avoid creating turbulence at the rear wing. All these improvements help promote greater stability at high-speed.

Better Brakes, Handling, Grip And Steering

Nissan and Brembo, the Italian brake manufacturer, joined forces to create a brand new brake system for the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO. They made special large calipers that join carbon-ceramic rotors which are the biggest ever fitted to a Japanese performance car. Six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers are incredibly firm with a more responsive and progressive brake pedal resulting in a marked improvement to brake reaction time.

Handling, grip and steering redefined

Nissan has been specially tuned the suspension to improve cornering stability (lateral G) with enhanced yaw-rate response and a smoother ride. The steering is more precise than before only requiring minimal corrections even at high speed.

The exclusive 20-inch RAYS aluminum wheels are 100 grams lighter with a new nine-spoke design and feature a diamond-cut white-and-red NISMO logo to indicate exclusivity. Newly designed Dunlop tyres are made from a new rubber compound that increases grip by 7%. The tread pattern has one fewer groove at the front which increases the contact patch by 11%.

Due to the tyres being slightly rounder, the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO has even more grip when the car leans during cornering. This also improves steering response and stability without impacting rolling resistance compared to the current model. The NISMO also gets retuned Bilstein DampTronic shocks with better rebound and compression to compensate for the almost 30-kilogram weight reduction.

Tamura said in a statement, “We have built the 2020 GT-R NISMO for our customers to be the ultimate track and street vehicle. It is about total balance management, not just chasing power figures. The new NISMO has been brought to a new level, with an enhanced engine, handling, braking, and aerodynamics.”

There is no confirmation yet whether the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO will be available in South Africa but we sure hope it does. If you liked this article and would like to keep up to date with all the latest in global motoring news, please follow us on Facebook and read our blog. For more information on new and used cars or to book a test drive, visit our website today.

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