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Nissan GT-R R35: Buying guide and review (2005-present)

Nissan GT-R R35: Buying guide and review (2005-present) Classic and Performance Car
Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R Nissan GT-R
Producing the latest successor to any classic model lineage is a tough task for any car manufacturer. It’s a fact Nissan was all too aware of when developing a replacement for the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R. With the release of the R35, however, Nissan managed to blow away the expectations of the motoring press, giving the likes of the Porsche 997 Turbo a serious run for its money in the process.
 
The spec sheet of a Nissan GT-R is an orgy of technical nerdery. The hand-built twin-turbocharged V6 is front-mid mounted, and depending on model produces anywhere between 478 and 591bhp. Power is transmitted via a rear-mounted BorgWarner dual-clutch automatic transmission mated to a four-wheel drive system. Active Yaw systems and electronically-controlled dampers recalibrate 100 times per second to optimise grip levels according to conditions. The tyres are filled with Nitrogen as it’s more stable than air. The chassis is predominantly steel, but the bonnet, bootlid, doors, front shock towers are aluminium, while the front crossmember is carbon fibre to centre the weight distribution.
 
Despite the overwhelming processing power, the GT-R feels remarkably natural to drive. The steering is alive with feel, and the chassis balance is playful yet predictable. The performance, for a car which weighs 1740kg, is phenomenal: with the aid of a trick launch control system, current models accelerate from 0-62mph in just 2.7 seconds, and keep pounding on to a 196mph top speed. 
 
Some might find the interior a little plain and the ride overly firm, but with prices starting at well under £60,000 on its UK release in 2009, it was an undisputed performance bargain, and remains so today.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Updates to the GT-R have appeared on an almost annual basis since its 2009 UK release. The twin-turbo 3.0 V6 was initially rated at 478hp, but subsequent changes in 2010 and 2012 saw total output rise, first to 523bhp and then 542bhp.
 
Standard models have become slightly softer over the years, allowing room for even more focussed options above. The biggest revisions to the range came in 2011. All subsequent models featured a carbon strut brace, larger diameter brake discs and lighter alloy wheels.  Suspension tweaks improved the ride quality relative to earlier models, and gearbox revisions mean the dual-clutch unit was easier to live with every day. Updated models can be recognised by the redesigned front bumper, which houses LED daytime running lights.
 
A number of special edition examples have been produced, the first of which was the Spec V. Released in early 2009, a variety of weight saving measures improved performance: the spoiler, grille and brake ducts were all carbon fibre, the brakes carbon ceramic and the exhaust titanium. A set of NISMO alloys replaced the standard items, and inside the rear seats were removed and the fronts replaced with a set of carbon-backed Recaros. Only 40 officially made it to the UK.
 
The NISMO is the most extreme of all. Distinguishable from the rest of the range thanks to its aggressive aero package, which produces 100kg of downforce at 186mph, the NISMO features upgraded springs, firmer dampers, a hollow rear anti-roll bar and RAYS forged alloy wheels. Larger-bore turbos, revised ignition timing and a new fuel pump helps the V6 produce 591bhp and 481lb ft of torque - enough for a circa 2.5-second 0-62mph time. The N Attack pack adds a fixed rear wing and front lip spoiler, plus fixed back buckets inside, all of which featured on the example which achieved a 7:08.679 Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time.
 
With so many updates introduced throughout the GT-R’s life, we’d recommend searching out the newest model you can afford. Though a full service history is highly advisable, don’t be too concerned if the work hasn’t been carried out at a Nissan dealer – many buyers prefer equally capable but much cheaper specialists.
 
It’s really not surprising to see tuned examples on the market – the engine is pretty much bulletproof, and it doesn't take much a huge amount of work to bump the power output to as much as 800hp. Search for reputable tuners if any serious work has been undertaken, for example Litchfield or Severn Valley Motorsports (the firm responsible for developing the wonderfully barmy 1500bhp Qashqai-bodied GT-R).
 
Performance and spec
 
Engine 3799cc V6, twin-turbocharged
Power 542bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 466lb ft @ 3200-5800rpm
Top speed 196mph
0-60mph 2.7secs
Fuel consumption 23.9mpg
Gearbox Six-speed dual clutch automatic
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2780mm
Length 4670mm
Width 1895mm
Height 1370mm
Weight 1740kg
 
Common problems
 
● The GT-R’s mix of performance and usability makes it very popular among trackday enthusiasts. However, with so much mass to haul around, consumables wear very quickly. Check the condition of the tyres – particularly on the outer edges where hard cornering will have taken its toll – and check for any cracking on the brake discs 

● There is little to worry about under the bonnet – even well used engines stand up to plenty of abuse. Tuners frequently squeeze extra power from the twin-turbo V6 without causing harm

● Some early models have suffered from gearbox issues. The sump design doesn’t allow the oil to drain fully during changes, so a build-up of gunk can affect the control solenoids, which in turn leads to further complications. In a worst-case scenario, this will necessitate a gearbox stripdown and rebuild. The preventive measure, however, is fairly simple: ensure that the sump is removed and cleaned at each gearbox oil service.
 
Model history


2001: Nissan GT-R Concept hints at the design direction for the replacement to the R34 Skyline GT-R
Nov 2005: Second Nissan GT-R prototype unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show bearing a much closer resemblance to the production model to follow
Nov 2007: Production GT-R unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show. First Japanese deliveries begin the following month
Jan 2009: GT-R Spec V released. Extensive use of carbon fibre and removal of the rear seats sees weight drop by 60kg
March 2009: Gradual worldwide rollout is completed with the GT-R’s European launch
2010: Minor revisions include firmer spring rates and stiffer suspension bushings, a revised rear diffuser, and gearbox software updates to improve low-speed usability. Black Edition features lightweight RAYS alloy wheels and a carbon rear spoiler
2011: A raft of updates are introduced. Power rises from 478bhp to 523bhp, while suspension, gearbox and exterior styling all receive attention
2012: Power increases again, to 542bhp. Suspension and gearbox software are subtly revised
February 2014: NISMO GT-R released. Power climbs to 591bhp, an aggressive aero package improves grip, and weight is reduced by 20kg.
2014: Standard GT-R softened slightly to provide a more pronounced difference between it and the NISMO. Brakes and steering tuned to deliver improved feel
2015: Dampers softened to improve ride quality. Track Pack added to the range, which combines the NISMO’s stiffened shell and suspension settings with the regular car’s power output
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
● www.litchfieldimports.co.uk
● www.severnvalleymotorsport.co.uk
● www.gtr.co.uk
● www.autotorque.net
 
Summary and prices
 
Early UK models were priced from £56,795 back in 2009. Values have help up pretty well in the subsequent years, with values for early cars with 30,000 miles hovering around the £40,000 mark.
 
Prices climb gradually from there to nearly-new models, which will have depreciated little from the circa-£78,000 retail price. In the case of the NISMO, values are the same – or sometimes higher – than the £125,000 dealer figure.
 
Tuning tends not to have an effect on GT-R values one way or the other, until the extremes are reached. Models breathed upon by reputable tuners like Litchfield and SVM can command six-figure values.
 
Words: Alex Ingram
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Last updated: 21st Mar 2016
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Nissan GT-R
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  • Nissan GT-R

    £80,500 £80,500

    Variant name:3.8 Prestige 2dr Auto ,Derivative:Prestige ,Variant: 3.8 Prestige 2dr Auto 6 Speed Gearbox,ABS,Air Conditioning,Bluetooth Prepared,CD Player,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,Four Wheel Drive,Full Service History,Heated Seats,iPod Connection,Keyless Entry,Leather Upholstery,Manufacturer Warranty,MP3 Connectivity,Onboard Computer,Parking Camera,Satellite Navigation

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 5000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.8
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    Lookers Group -Newcastle Nissan
    0845 149 9100 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Nissan GT-R

    POA POA

    HDD Sat Nav, Rear Camera, Bluetooth, Voice Recognition, Push Button Start, Dual Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Electric Heated Seats, DAB Radio, Bose Sound, Xenon Headlamps, Daytime Driving Lights, Tyre Pressure Monitor and 21" Alloys. Full Nissan Service History. Due in Soon. www.imperials.co.uk ------ Please call us to Confirm which of our 3 Essex Showrooms your desired vehicle is located at before travelling to see us, Everyone of Our Cars Goes Through Our In House Work Shop Prior to Sale by Our Fully Qualified and Experienced Technicians - Buy with Confidence, For up to 20 images of this vehicle and an Instant Finance Quote please view www.imperials.co.uk, For Out of Office Hours Enquiries please call Tony 07956 564440, Jim 07811 208138 and he will be happy to help, We are also good buyers of all prestige, Sports and 4x4 vehicles so why not give us a call for a price on yours, Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, Thank You, www.imperials.co.uk

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 28000 mi
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  • Nissan GT-R

    £49,990 £49,990

    Bluetooth, Xenon Headlamps, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Cruise Control, Bose, Tracker Fitted, 4x4, Full service history Nissan GTR 3.8 V6 TwinTurbo Litchfield Stage 4.5 LM700 with Sport Engine rebuild running circa 800BHP registered June 2009 (09) finished in Ultimate Silver, Black and Red Leather and Alcantara Heated Electric Sports Seats, SEE PICTURES OF INVOICES DETAILING WORKS, Stage 4.5 to LM700 with Sport Engine Rebuild: Litchfield Sport Camshafts with increased lift and duration; Litchfield custom valve springs; Litchfield Ported and Polished cylinder heads; Litchfield combustion chamber which revised squish; Litchfield produced Titanium retainers; Upgraded valves; Trojan valve guides; Blue Printed oil pump with pressure check; Modified water pump; Litchfield secondary air pump deletes; Dodson engine seal plates; New Nissan timing chains; New NGK sparkplugs; New bearings, engine gaskets and seals; Joe Gibbs running in oil; Litchfield Engine cleanse; High performance engine oil, Nismo Style Carbon Fibre Front Splitter, Side Skirts, Rear Diffuser, Rear Lower and Upper Spoiler, Tracker Fitted, Full Service History at 6,355 on 26/10/09; 11,184 on 13/04/10; 18,698 on 10/11/10; 23,482 on 04/06/11; 28,214 on 28/02/12; 33,019 on 15/03/14 and 35,162 on 21/01/15; Litchfield Imports with Gearbox Solenoids done on 13/06/16 at 42,203; 26/08/16 at 43,202; 08/12/16 at 45,537.

    • Mileage: 47800 mi
    • Engine size: 3799
    For sale
  • Nissan GT-R

    £77,995 £77,995

    4x4 Massive Saving on New Price. ONE OWNER FROM NEW - 5 Month Old Supercar in Storm White with Red & Black Leather. Recaro specification car with Touchscreen Navigation, Reversing Camera, DAB Digital Radio, 20'' Y Spoke Alloy Wheels, Heated & Electric Seats, Bluetooth Phone Preparation, Trip Computer, BOSE Sound System, Cruise Control, Aux/Ipod Connections, Isofix Child Seat Anchor Points. 2 Keys. All Books/Manuals. As New. Call us to discuss delivery anywhere in the UK on this car. Have a look at our testimonials on our website to read more about us and the services we can offer our clients. Video walk around of this car available. 'Like' our page on Facebook for stock updates. This vehicle is HPI Checked and supplied with Nissan Warranty until 15/04/2020. UK Nationwide Delivery Available. Finance Available - We have a range of lenders for all circumstances - CHALLENGE US TO BEAT YOUR FINANCE QUOTES. Part Exchange Considered. View our website - WWW.GEORGEKINGSLEY.CO.UK - Prestige & Performance Specialist

    • Mileage: 3685 mi
    • Engine size: 3799
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