Currently, if you're in the lucky position to buy a Nissan GT-R in the US of A, you have just a few choices. The most attainable version is the Premium model, starting at $109,990 and featuring all the sound and fury that the 565-horsepower, 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V6 can deliver. On the high end, there's the $174,990 Nismo GT-R, with more power and better suspension, plus enough other fun tweaks to fill a rather voluminous press release.
There's a pretty sizable price gap between those two, a void that is finally being filled for American buyers. If you want the look and handling of the Nismo but don't quite have a hundred and seventy-five grand to spend, Nissan has you covered. Welcome to the $127,990 Nissan GT-R Track Edition.
Available only by special order, the Track Edition adds a host of special elements from the top-shelf Nismo, like adhesive bonding in critical areas to increase chassis rigidity and the addition of Nismo-tuned Bilstein dampers. The car also features extra carbon fiber trim inside and out and comes wearing lightweight, six-spoke Rays wheels with special knurled lips to prevent the wheels from spinning inside the tires. Yes, it's legitimately racy.
What don't you get? That Nismo motor, primarily. You'll have to make do with the same 565 horsepower and titanium exhaust as found on the stock car. Big sacrifice? Hardly. When I drove the 2017 GT-R at Spa last year I certainly didn't find it wanting for power, and in a day spent lapping the new Track Edition at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park, I was not disappointed.
The car felt precise and controllable on the circuit, those re-tuned dampers doing their thing, but it was the extra rubber and wheels that made the biggest impression. The Track Edition grips ferociously, and while it's still easily possible to induce understeer in this car like other GT-Rs, it's also more than happy to kick the tail out should you provoke with an extra stab on the throttle with your right foot.
No, it isn't quite as focused as the ballistic Nismo edition, but unlike the Nismo the Track Edition still feels very much like a normal car when driven at normal speeds. It's not overly loud nor harsh, and so overall it doesn't feel like you're having to make any compromises at all in exchange for that extra performance on the circuit.
The 2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition will make its US debut at the New York Auto Show this week before hitting dealerships later this summer, but again it will be available only by special order. So, if you want one, better pick up the phone now.
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