Year, Make, Model: 2019 Nissan GT-R
Topline: Nissan's halo car may be an angel ready for its wings, but it'll stay grounded for at least another year, and maybe more.
What's New: With this iteration of GT-R in what may be its twilight years, updates are fewer each model year. 2019s of all four trim levels feature LED headlights and daytime running lights, NissanConnect infotainment and navigation, and Apple CarPlay. Power still comes from the respected 3.8-liter, twin-turbo VR38DETT V6, whose 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque don't win stat comparisons like they used to, but remain unworthy of a scoff.
Footing the GT-R's trim levels is the Pure package, which starts a triviality below $100,000, and is unchanged from the 2018 model year. Vaulting up just over 10 grand to the Premium level adds more of the sounds you like with a titanium exhaust and 11-speaker Bose sound system, and subtracts the ones you don't with active noise cancellation. Another $18,000 on top of this attains the Track Edition, which makes up the difference between the Premium and throne-sitting Nismo models. The GT-R Nismo is good for 600 horsepower but also costs a head-scratching $175,540, placing it almost dead-center between the more modern 2019 Porsche 911 Turbo and McLaren 570S.
What You Need to Know: Nissan has been selling this generation of GT-R since before the 2009 financial crisis was even a blip on the private sector's radar—it arrived in Japan in early December of 2007, and followed in North America in July of 2008. Owing to inflation, a facelift, and more horsepower added since the R35 was new, price crept upward from $69,850 in 2008 (about $82,000 today) to today's starting price of $99,990.
There's no shortage of competition at that price point no matter your flavor of performance vehicle, but one tempting alternative is the 2019 BMW M5. At a starting point of $102,700, it's firmly in the same price neighborhood as the GT-R, but features two more doors, a nicer interior, and a more modern, more powerful engine. BMW's 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 goes to battle with 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which only the GT-R Nismo can face on even terms, but that car costs $175,540, which is still the better part of a McLaren.