America’s got things like the Corvette C8, the Hellcats from FCA and in the past, muscle cars with outrageously big-displacement engines. Japan, on the other hand, has cars like this, and for a long time, we were barred from sampling the best of them. That’s largely changed because now, you can buy things stateside like the Acura NSX, Subaru WRX STI and Toyota Supra. Nissan, too, has its own drool-inspiring lust object for drivers who can simply never go quickly enough. It’s the Nissan GT-R, what used to be called the Skyline GT-R, and it’s justly one of the most famous and potent high-performance cars that’s ever screamed out of the Far East. Nissan finally bowed to untold years of pleading and supplication, and as of 2008, this powerhouse has enjoyed a place of honor in Nissan’s lineup of vehicles sold in North America. It’s offered for 2021 in a pair of guises that are perhaps best described as insane and then totally off-the-cliff crazy.
Even what stands as the base model, the GT-R Premium, is certifiably nuts as far as performance cars go. The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 in the Premium edition thumps out 565 horsepower, and fortunately has standard all-wheel drive to keep those ponies planted. It’s primarily positioned as a high-end, high-luxury GT with outrageous performance capability. For some, that’s not enough. Which makes everyone happy, we say confidently, that Nissan also offers the GT-R NISMO for those who demand the absolute most in terms of velocity potential. Each GT-R NISMO has a hand-built engine with model-specific turbochargers that boost – pun intended – its output to 600 horsepower, giving the car an actual top speed of 186 MPH. All-wheel drive, carbon ceramic Brembo brakes and Recaro seating are part of the package. Prices for the GT-R Premium will start at $113,540, while the GT-R NISMO begins at $210,740. Go ahead, it’s only money.