Nissan GT-R Nismo Becomes Fastest Production Car to Lap on Tsukuba Circuit
The 2020 version of the GT-R Nismo arrived in 2019 with race car tuning and upgrades that maximize performance. The car, which first appeared at that year’s New York International Auto Show, gave fans of Nissan’s racing heritage a lot to be excited about. But of course, the car needed to prove itself on the track.
It did so very recently, when it became the fastest production car ever to lap the Tsukuba circuit.
The Tsukuba circuit and its challenging laps will be familiar to those who play Gran Turismo on the Playstation platform. The track hosts some of Japan’s biggest racing events, including the MX-5 endurance races. Granted, Tsukuba is only 2 kms in length, and doesn’t have the same heritage such as Nurburgring, Spa, Bathurst, or the Japan-located Suzuka. Nevertheless, a lap record is still a lap record, and 59.3-second 2-km run is no small feat.
Truth to tell, the Nismo G-TR is the only production car to complete Tsukuba in under a minute. Even the supercars can only do a hair over 60 secs.
Unfortunately, Nissan doesn’t have the video to prove the achievement. All we get is a film showing interviews, drive-bys, and onboard footage. Still, there’s no reason we can’t take Nissan at their word.
For the 2020 GT-R Nismo, Nissan engineers made it their mission to take race-proven technologies and develop them into a more accessible and comfortable feature for drivers of all skill levels. The engineers sought to maximize the GT-R Nismo’s vehicle control and predictability, which they considered critical in the vehicle’s development. Thus, they adopted the theme “absolute street and track performance” when building the car.
The car is set apart from the rest of all GT-Rs by the sheer amount of carbon fiber found all throughout, including the front and rear bumpers, front fenders, hood, roof, side sill covers, trunk and rear spoiler. Each component has been designed to reduce overall weight, boost downforce and enhance aerodynamics. The carbon fiber exterior parts alone have resulted in a total weight savings of 10.5 kgs, in addition to nearly 20 kg of reductions from other upgrades and new components.
Aside from the GT-R Nismo, Nissan also seeks to take on electric vehicle (EV) racing with the unveiling of the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC.