R35 Nissan GT-R Buyer’s Guide



A GT-R makes a lot of noises. These are sounds that people coming from a bland Toyota Camry or even a luxurious Mercedes S-Class sedan are not going to expect. The transmission and clutches make noise. The brakes make noise. Even the turbo noise and flutter isn’t something that people might expect. There are a few noises that indicate issues, like the bellhousing, but might be a little complicated for people unfamiliar with the car to distinguish. If you are used to turbo cars then it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but at a $70k-$100k price point the buyers are often not ready for the cacophony of sound that is the Nissan GT-R.

From the twin turbocharged engine to the dual clutch transmission and floating rotors, the Nissan GT-R makes a symphony of sounds. To mask it all would make the already heavy vehicle even more bloated, but the soundtrack is also part of the appeal of a high performance machine.


2009 Differences Base to Premium  

In 2009 the Premium GT-R trim level contained a Bose 11 speaker stereo, heated seats, Bridgestone tires and darker colored wheels. Front seat and side curtain airbags were also standard on the Premium trim only. Power output was 480 hp for both models. The winter package cars also all had silver finish wheels.

The 2009 GT-R came in Base or Premium trims with no visual differences in their bodywork.
A Premium trim 2009 GT-R had gunmetal wheels with Bridgestone tires, unless optioned with the cold weather package. Also, note that early brake calipers were only branded with the Brembo logo. The Nissan logo was a later addition. 

A Base trim 2009 GT-R had silver finish wheels with Dunlop tires. Cars with the cold weather package option also came with silver wheels.

2010 Changes

For 2010 the power bumped to 485 hp. Front-seat and side curtain airbags became standard on both trim levels. The 2010 GT-R also received an enhanced suspension with redesigned shocks, new wheel finishes and new transmission control module programming which “optimized clutch engagement for improved acceleration from a standing start with the vehicle dynamic control on.” Refer back to the Launch Control section of this guide for an interpretation.

In addition, the braking system was updated with more rigid brake lines for improved durability and the brake calipers carried both the Brembo and Nissan logos. Finally, the GT-R’s state-of-the-art suspension was retuned utilizing redesigned Bilstein shocks with a new valve body design and revised spring and damper rates.

The base GT-R model was also offered with a slightly darker, high-luster, smoke finish for the 20-inch RAYS forged aluminum-alloy wheels, while a new “near-black” metallic wheel finish was standard on the Premium model. For 2010 one new exterior paint color, Pearl White, was offered. The Super Silver (KAB) exterior color was enhanced to include a polished front bumper. Lastly, Titanium (GAC) was dropped as an exterior color option.

2011 Changes

2011 changes included slightly darker wheel center caps, double clear coat on the front and rear fascias and the addition of rear cooling ducts to improve cooling performance around the rear diffuser.

The suspension was retuned and the rear bushings strengthened to enhance ride comfort while still maintaining the GT-R’s outstanding handling. In addition auto on/off headlights and speed-sensitive windshield wipers became standard. The entertainment system was given a USB iPod® interface, streaming audio via Bluetooth and DVD playback. The navigation system was also upgraded with XM NavTraffic and NavWeather capability.

Premium trim was the only model available for 2011.


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