“Godzilla” gets a $14,000 price hike.
Somehow, I feel like I’ve seen this story before. The Nissan GT-R has been around for 11 years now, and it’s gone all that time without any overhauls short of a minor facelift in 2011. In short, the 2020 Nissan GT-R gets no significant changes. Despite that, Nissan effectively cranked up the price to the base model GT-R by a whopping $13,550 over its version. The “Pure” base trim is gone, leaving the Premium as the least expensive entry point. Then the Premium trim had its price hiked by $3,000 for good measure.
All the prices below do not include the $1,695 destination and handling fee.
Now, the 2020 Nissan GT-R starts off at $113,540.
For your $113,540, you get Nissan’s same VR38DETT twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 that you’ve always gotten. Like the 2019 model, this engine cranks out 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque, according to Nissan. That is more power than the earlier versions, though you still get a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. A titanium exhaust system comes standard, as does Active Noise Cancellation and sound enhancement in the cabin. Other changes to the 2020 Nissan GT-R Premium include new RAYS 20-inch wheels, revised turbocharger tuning, a new headliner color and a new available Hai Gray interior color.
For $8,500 more, you can step up to the 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. That’s also based on the Premium trim, but includes a two-tone paint scheme as well as unique interior trim and an Alcantara headliner. Base pricing for the 50th Anniversary Edition starts at $122,040.
Then there’s the 2020 GT-R Track Edition. Unlike the GT-R Premium and 50th Anniversary Edition, you do actually get more power. More specifically, the Track Edition and NISMO manage 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. However, you also get NISMO-tuned suspension, reduced weight, wider 20-inch alloy wheels, and a carbon fiber spoiler. Inside, you get a red and black interior with Recaro seats. As its name implies, this more hardcore Track Edition is more race-ready than its standard counterpart. But, there’s another huge price hike from 2019. Now, the 2020 Nissan GT-R costs $145,540 and up — $17,000 more than the outgoing version.
Finally, we have the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO. Nissan says the ultimate GT-R has a bespoke turbocharger design straight out of the GT3 race car, although the road version has a modified turbine shape and fewer blades. Still, the company claims that improves flow rate and improves throttle response by 20 percent.
Again, Nissan lightened the NISMO, improved the transmission’s shift control and upgraded the brakes. Nissan also includes some bespoke touches to visually set the NISMO apart from other models. However, there is a massive price to pay for the new version. The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO starts off at $210,740 before destination. That amounts to a $35,200 increase over the 2019 model.
A slow death for the GT-R?
Sales of the Nissan GT-R are already down nearly half this year, with sales in June alone dropping by 50 percent. Nissan managed to shift just 30 last month, as opposed to 60 in June 2018. It’s worth noting that Nissan did effectively drop the GT-R’s price a couple years ago by featuring the Pure trim. Even so, sales have not improved heading into 2019.
So why crank up the price? We aren’t talking about a measly thousand or two here either. $210,000 is a truly eye-watering amount of money, and that puts Nissan well ahead of the Acura NSX and Audi R8 on price.
Granted, the GT-R is still less expensive than the likes of the Lamborghini Huracan or the Ferrari Portofino. But for those of us who are used to seeing Godzilla pitched as something of a bargain racer, this is a tough pill to swallow.
Is it worth that much? If you’re a die-hard GT-R fan and feeling flush, perhaps it is. However, charging up to $35,000 for minor changes seems like a surefire way to drive the GT-R into the ground. I don’t imagine Nissan will shift many at that price, unless it’s a primer to a redesigned, cheaper model. Selling relatively few cars at ludicrously high prices make a less expensive new model easier to stomach.
That’s just a guess, but we will have to wait and see how this affects Nissan GT-R sales. This is a similar story to what Alfa Romeo did with the 4C Spider. Not only did they kill off the coupe for 2019, but they made the Spider $11,000 more expensive without making any major changes.
Correction 7/8/2019: I incorrectly stated that the Track Edition has the same amount of power as the standard 2020 GT-R. To clarify, the GT-R Track Edition and NISMO models both produce 600 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque, according to Nissan.