Car Feature>> Nissan Gt-r Specv

Costing close to double the price of the base GT-R the SpecV certainly needs to be a very special car to warrant all that extra money. With the promise of a more focused and tighter handling package, not to mention top of the line carbon brakes, there was only one thing to do, head to Sendai Hi-land circuit and get behind the wheel.

On top of the SpecV Nissan prepared a few other GT-Rs for the members of the press to test, the 2007 and 2009 GT-R as well as the white Nismo demo car you see above, fitted with the Club Sport package.

Here is Mizuno-san, head of the GT-R project, giving us a peek at the special SpecV catalogue. Mizuno-san has always said the GT-R will continue to evolve into better performing variants, something so obviously confirmed by the ever improving Nurbugring lap times the R35 has been recording. And ever so often NIssan will spawn a limited edition model, the first of which is the SpecV.

Looking at the SpecV there are only a few small changes hinting this is no regular GT-R. First up the special Ultimate Opal Black, a very dark color-shifting purple, that is offered on top of the regular color selection. A pair of carbon fiber air intakes bonded to the stock plastic splitter help channel air to towards the Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes…

…which, as Mizuno-san explains, contain far more carbon than any other set up ever made by Brembo. Here you can see the massive ø 380 mm carbon disc wired up to a special tester, which measures frequency response.

Specially tuned Bilstein dampers do away with the “Comfort” and “Normal” settings found on the stock cars settling for a more performance oriented set-up. The suspension were developed taking into account the lower weight of the SpecV, not to mention the substantial loss of unsprung weight achieved through the use of the carbon discs…

…and the lighter (-1.6 kg at each corner) forged wheels made by Rays Engineering. These, available as an option via Nismo (part of the $23,300 chassis package), were also fitted to the Nismo car, albeit in a different color.

Helping lower the weight by 60 kg to 1680 kg are the above carbon fiber additions which include the beautifully crafted rear spoiler and the carbon fiber subwoofer housing. The obvious question here is why not remove the subwoofer completely? In fact none of the GT-R’s gadgets have been removed. The navigation system remains as does the powerful Bose surround sound system and the satellite navigation. The heavy electric seats have been replaced by a pair of leather-clad, carbon fiber, reclinable bucket seats made by Recaro (- 6 kg each). These are the same ones that Nismo sells for $20,000, except the Nismo logo has been replaced by an embossed GT-R one. Additional weight saving measures mean that the SpecV is a pure 2-seater, as the rear seats have been removed and replaced by quilted fabric. It’s all finished off with carbon inserts for the dashboard and center console.

As you can see the carbon spoiler is exactly the same shape as the stock one. The most noticeable addition from the rear has to be the titanium exhaust system which makes the V6 burble feel deeper and a little more aggressive than your regular R35.

Looking at the SpecV on paper one can’t help but be confused, it aims at being a more focused, lighter car, but at the same time doesn’t want to give up any gadgets the stock car is packed with. And then there’s is the engine, it packs bigger turbochargers and a Nismo titanium exhaust but develops the same 485 PS the revision-II stock GT-R develops. The confusion continues…

…until you get behind the wheel that is! The SpecV is the definition of fine tuning, all the little parts that we have so far looked at combine to create a far better driving experience, something which was instantly evident the moment I took the first corner at Sendai Hi-land.

This is the track the GT-R development team have been calling their home for a few years now, it is where the GT-R was finely tuned before its debut back in 2007. It is a challenging track combining a good selection of fast to medium speed corners with tons of elevation changes. A true test for any car. The SpecV feels right at home here, being thrown from apex to apex. The suspension allows you to dig deeper into the chassis’s formidable grip and bring in more speed into the corners as well as allowing you to get on the power earlier as the AWD system puts all that torque down to the ground via the sticky Dunlops. With the traction and stability control in “R” mode the computers allow for a few degrees of yaw before reeling you in, but once the system if turned off the SpecV becomes even more impressive. It feels livelier, more nervous under power and through the corners but introduces a whole new level of adjustability making it even more precise.

There is also an overboost function which increases boost once you are above 3,500 rpm and in third gear or above, giving a barely perceptible increase in torque (2 kgm). But it’s the brakes that impressed the most. For a carbon ceramic system they offer superb accuracy with an instant bite and a progressive pedal feel. Under hard braking the greater adjustability helps you set up the car on corner entry and carry more speed. However when a replacement set of pads and discs comes in at just under $50,000 (no, that is not a typo!) you begin to wonder if it is really worth it!

To really see what the SpecV can do I was taken out for a few hot laps by Toshio Suzuki, the chief development driver and the man behind all the Nurburgring lap times. It’s amusing (and frankly a little bit depressing) to see just how fast a pro driver can drive a supercar, especially after just having done a few laps in it yourself. Suzuki-san brought more speed into the corners, broke harder and later and used the full width of the track and not once did the SpecV flinch. It truly is a stunningly fast car…

…but one that only makes sense on track. No matter how much I liked the SpecV the price is something I just cannot wrap my head around. If I’m paying over $166,000, double the base model, I want more for my money, a hell of a lot more. More power, less gadgets, a real focused machine. This is exactly what the aftermarket offers, for considerably less money. Nissan are only making 30 SpecVs a month, which indicates just how small its intended market really is.

Below is an onboard video I took during the drive of the SpecV. Enjoy!

– Dino Dalle Carbonare



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i still think those wheels look hideous


Nice article, overpriced car.................$20.000 for a pair of seats? WTF.........


I will ALWAYS prefer the R34 GT-R to the R35 GT-R.


Mate, why all the wheel work? Too much communication there - keep them at 9 and 3 and cross them over if you need to.


Amazing car but still soooo heavy ... when will we see a "superleggera" below 1500 kay jees ... ?


If the customers will pay then I say boost the price Nissan. I guess the only way to differentiate between the base R35 and the V-spec are the intakes near the front splitter, the bare carbon fiber spoiler, and the shapes of the exhaust tips.

@MonK3y No GT-R has ever been lightweight. Maybe Nissan will revive the Saurus. Unlikely though.


Also I appreciate you giving us a better background when it comes to a sport car's development phase. hopefully you can make similar articles in the future.



Right there with you. Even though they are Rays/Volks, they look like they came from Sears with the black center and silver lip. If they were smart, they should have used a mesh design similar to the BBS LM or CH, or even the good ol' TE37 or CE28.

I think only the Japanese buying public are sill enough to buy such overpriced one-offs, much like the NSX-R GT that had the hideous snorkel on the rear engine canopy and over-extended bumpers.

Besides, what's wrong with just going to Mines or Amuse?


yeah too costly....I like the paint tho. dont like the wheels. How would you compare these Vspec brakes with the set you wrote an article about earlier (as far as overall feel and stopping power)?


Really is much more expensive for not much more, Best Motoring where there as well no?

The SpecV really wasnt that much faster than the '09... get a '09 GT-R and go to Amuse.


Yeah I don't get why they left all the bose sound system gear and gadgets in when they are trying to loose weight and also why they didnt pump some more boost into her, especially since they've put bigger turbos on...without increasing power you would think that it would be less responsive with bigger turbos. Pretty crazy price increase for not much difference really...awesome car but kinda pointless for that price when you could do so much more with that money going aftermarket on a standard GTR.


spec v?...i think i'll spend the extra dollars at Amuse..

i also cant believe they have made a subwoofer enclosure out of carbon for weight reduction..why bother with it all together..

wheels look horrible..but brakes look like they will do the job though!


Pics of back seat delete, please.


Please Santa, bring me one for Christmas this year!


Great article. Great insight.

I hate to agree, but rays totally missed it on the wheel design. And the car should at least have more power for that much more $$$$. Numbers sell.


I can see why this is so expensive, they need to offset the very low price of the regular R35 in some way.

The only thing that would make me consider this car are the brakes, but not at that price. It's a Nissan, not a Ferrari, damn it!

And yeah, I agree with the majority: the wheels are ugly!


that's why nissan released this car only for japan. because Americans just don't get it.

people always say the same thing about the spec-v. "oh you could mod a regular gt-r to be faster." well by that logic, i could build a base c6 corvette to be faster than a zr1 and have change in my pocket, so is the zr1 overpriced?

this is a TRACK car. people always think you need more horsepower to be fast on a road course when you don't.

people need to do their research and see what type of numbers this car is pulling compared to the standard gt-r.

the spec-v (tested by inside line) pulled 1.12 g's on the skid pad! compared to the .96 g of the standard gt-r.

the road car record for lateral g's is the ultima gtr with a lateral g of 1.17, so that means the spec-v is .1 g off from the road car lateral g record.

the spec-v also has a slalom speed of 74.7 mph compared to the 72.9 mph slalom speed of the standard gt-r

and in a 1/4 mile the standard runs 11.6 @ 120.9 while the spec-v runs 11.4 @ 124.2 (with reports of it running a 11.0 flat)

its east to think that the car is too expensive but when you look at the numbers compared to the standard gt-r and the exclusiveness and how much faster around a track than a standard gt-r WHILE maintaining your warranty having to do modifications then it kind of makes sense.

and balang_479: they tested the spec-v on a WET track. that's why the gt-r posted a faster time than the spec-v


Removing all the accessories is upto the buyer and they can arrange this.


Out come all the keyboard racers, good photos and looks like a fun car to drive Dino, just looks weird seeing a V-Spec GTR with no stick shift.


dori dori...the SpecV has been conformed for Europe. And I'm sorry but it's not a track car, Mizuno-san aimed it at those wanting to enjoy driving on "winding roads" and the occasional track outing for sure. Drive a GT3RS to find out what a modern track car feels like!


Andrew...where did you hear that? The specVs are sold as they are, there are no delete options.


im sorry but you're mistaken.

carbon brakes, deleted seats etc etc etc is grounds for a track car.

the gt-r itself is deigned to be one of the bet track cars to rival the 911 turbo and the spec-v is designed to go after the gt2.

and the standard gt-r is WAY faster than the regular GT3 so im pretty sure the spec-v would run circle around a GT3RS. porsche right now cant even get the new gt3 to come close to the series 2 gt-r's time so a GT3RS surely isnt as "modern" a you think


dori dori, it's easy to think that the Spec-V is too expensive because it is. you can't justify the two-fold increase in price by adding a set of ugly rims, HUGELY expensive brakes (as Dino proposed, is it really worth the premium?), and little bits of CF here and there. I thought the main appeal of the GT-R was that it was supercar performance at (relatively) affordable prices? This kind of breaks the idea. For 160k I could buy a 911 Turbo, and I would DEFINITELY take that over this porker. Nissan has let themselves down.


exactly. you would take the SLOWER car. in terms of performance it's way faster than a 911 turbo.

i can't say much to someone who would take the SLOWER car. me on the other hand i am a man about PERFORMANCE first. not about a badge and a spec-v performs at a higher level than a 911 turbo.


I don't think the R34 VSpec delete all the options that the GTR had, maybe it's the same here?

I'm betting that if they come out with an N1 Model that it will be a helluva lot lighter and probably do away with luxury items.

i wont comment on the price, cause thats been beaten to death and back..


I'd be more interested to hear what Nissan says the differences are (in a more detailed fashion than what has been released to the public so far), or, a detailed comparison between the 2 cars by someone who knows the R35 well. Is it expensive? Absolutely. Is it justified? Who among can say, since who among us can afford it in the first place? Factory built, homologated/rare versions are always significantly costlier than the "normal' model...that is nothing new. Let us not forget, that the Z Tune was a $200k car that started life as used cars. However, it was special, because of the attention to detail, quality of materials, and the overall finished product, and the fact that it was in and of itself a no expense spared excercise in how to build a truly well rounded GTR. Whether this continues in the same vein will be seen...but I suspect it was sort of what Nissan was going for.


"that's why nissan released this car only for japan. because Americans just don't get it." - dori dori

They're only releasing it in Japan because Nissan knows that only Japanese buyers are diehard and loyal enough to blindly pay that amount for a GTR that isn't substantially different from the standard GTR. Nissan is only selling this car in Japan for the same reason Toyota only sells the Century in Japan.

Even Europeans wouldn't "get it" because that price does not logically compute for what you're getting.

If this were a Authech one-off special or an actual Nismo model, like the Z-Tune(thank you Adam), then maybe enthusiasts outside of Japan could justify the ghastly price difference.


you get a car that is possibly one of the highest performing track cars from a automotive manufacture that's still comfortable (unlike the ACR viper)

there are few cars that rival the standard gt-r in terms of track performance. seeing how the spec-v is performs at a much higher level than the standard gt-r it puts it almost in a class of its own.

the spec-v is 2 seconds faster than the spec-v around sendai hi-land raceway. that's a pretty significant time gap on just a 2.525 mile track. people crying about the price. how is still overpriced when it practically outperforms the porsche gt2 while costing $30,000 less?


oops i meant 2 seconds faster than the standard gt-r not spec-v lol


@dori dori

I think you're missing the point of what Dino is trying to say about the SpecV. We all know that that a standard GT-R would pummel a GT3 on track, and the SpecV would probably be just as fast if not faster than a GT2, that's not the issue here. It's just that if Nissan really wanted to make a track-focused car they could have done more. A GT3 RS has a wider track, removed rear seats, less sound deadening, Lexan windows, half roll cage, etc. If they had taken this approach with the Spec V then it could warrant the price hike. That (I think) is what Dino was referring to by saying "modern track car", not that the GT3 RS was in any way faster than the SpecV.


Like Stabilo_Boss said it isn't all about speed. It's the approach too. Think if the SpecV was done following the same raw/extreme recipe as used on the GT3 RS...


Fact: All Spec V (V-Spec) models up til now (R32 to R34) were heavier than their stock counterpart. Spec V is meant as a durable track car. The lightweight versions have typically been the "R" and "Nismo" versions


Nicolas, you're talking absolute nonsense. Earlier V-Spec models have nothing to do with the Spec-V, the latter is a completely new thing for Nissan. V-spec models featured such mods as the ATTESA E-TS, harder shocks/springs, etc. and cost little more than the standard GT-R. The Spec-V costs nearly twice as much as the R35 and is intended as a lighter more extreme version.

As for the "R" and "Nismo" versions you mentioned, they mostly comprised of more powerful and better set up versions, and none were supposedly "lightweight versions" as you say.


Stabilo_Bos: thats nonsense tho.

why make a hardcore racecar that's uncomfortable for anything other than the track? thats an ACR viper approach.

that's not the approach nissan was going for.

why not have a car that is quite possibly the fastest street-legal track car out there but maintain AC and Navigation and Leather seats? instead of a car that is miserable to drive around the corner....


and last time i checked the spec-v wn't even the highest performance version of the nissan gt-r


back to the gt3 tho.

the regular gt3 had a msrp price of $120,670 while the gt3 rs had a price of $143,955. the GT3 RS only weight 29 pounds lighter than the GT3. omg what a weight loss. factor the gt3 rs had no power bump at all. not even 5hp.

the GT3 RS has the SAME performance numbers as a GT3 but cost 20k more. but the spec-v is a ripoff? so you're paying 20K just for a noiser and harsher ride? at least the spec-v has significant performance numbers over the gt-r than the GT3 RS ha over the GT3.


Dear dori dori, have you driven an R35 GT-R? I have, and the ride is hard as nails. From what I've read around, the Spec-V's ride is harder still, and the fact that they chose to eliminate the rear seats completely sends the message across that practicality wasn't really high on the agenda. So its definitely not the "tourer" you make it out to be, but neither is it as extreme as the ACR Viper approach. That's the issue. Its neither one nor the other, its somewhere in between.For the kind of money they ask for it should have been a "Scuderia" version of the regular GT-R. That means no subwoofer, less sound deadening, perhaps some carbon body panels (like the Z-tune), then the price hike would have been justified.


yes i have driven the gt-r and i never said it as a tourer. why not have a car that has an in between balance? why not have a car that is hardcore enough but at the same time still somewhat comfortable and civil instead of something that is brutal like an ACR? and you talk about rear seats? have you been in a gt-r? those backseats are useless for anybody over 5'5" so why not get rid of them?

the spec-v can out run practically any modern supercar WHILE maintaining navigation and a good audio system and leather seats and full climate control. the objective is a car that you can drive to the track comfortably, run everything down there, and go to sonic after wards. my question has still been unanswered. how is the price not justified when it out performs the porsche gt2 WHILE costing $30,000 less?

and then you talk about the z-tune but it was $200k! so you're argument is contradicting because people felt the z-tune was overpriced. the spec-v cost less than a z-tune and outperforms it.


Interesting comments.

But i think, alot of rich people will see the ignorant appeal in splashing the cash for a "special" GTR...

In saying that, i think this is also an opportunity for nissan to milk a bigger profit margin out of the GTR platform since the standard R35 was never expensive (by supercar standards) to begin with.

Has anyone ever wondered what profit they would earn from selling an affordable supercar? Not much i'd say.

Which reminds me of the ITR Honda built. They made a considerable loss on every single ITR they sold. But they did it to "brand" the company towards its racing heritage.

Similar exercise by Nissan? maybe...


i agree with what Q said. these GTR's and ZR1's and ACR vipers were all really sold well under for the actual price they really should have been retailed for. Nissan lost money on every GT-R made so like Q said maybe Nissan is trying to get back some of the money they lost from the standard GT-R's. Nissan isn't like Chevy. they didn't have government support at the times these cars were released, but i still fell with the performance of the Spec-V it still is a better bargain than a Porsche GT2 and certainly more than any Ferrari no matter how gorgeous F430's and 599's may be


Very unimpressed by the wheel design but the rest is acceptable


It appears GT-R_King is in need of a history lesson.

R32 weighed in at 3,146lbs, already had ATTESA E-TS. Ths V-Spec (Feb 1993) had a more agressive programmed E-TS but still weighed in at a heavier 3,300lbs due to the larger brake setup and coolers. The R32 Nismo was specifically a lightweight version and basis of the Gr. A. car.. and lightweight because of the AirCon, Rear wiper, intercooler grills, sound system and ABS delete... that's achieving a lighter weight. Same weight deletes were made for the N1.

R33 weighed in at 3,366lbs and still had ATTESA E-TS, while the V-Spec (released at the same tiem) was a gain of 22lbs with the new 17" tires at the time, and the E-TS Pro. Again, the lightweight track versions came in the form of the White N1 R33, that saved 44lbs on the R33 through the same diet: AirCon, Rear wiper, intercooler grille and sound system delete. That's what a track car lightweight version is.

I could go on, but it would just be embarassing for you.



My issue was not with your comment about V-specs weighing more than their standard counterparts, but with comparing the Spec-V with previous V-specs. Not to mention that in your first comment there was no mention of the N1 when you referred to the lightweight models.

And BTW, I'm not embarrassed in the slightest :)


how fast gtr spec v?