Far from a completely new idea, the GT-R descends from a long line of Japanese-market Skyline sports cars. Nissan made a smart choice in bringing this one to the United States, as it's one of the best-looking versions yet. With a more conservative, minimalist look, the GT-R's design shows a lot more restraint next to flamboyant, sensuous Italian exotics and all-business German sports cars. The flared-out, reaching front end and rakish roofline cuts into the rear end with tomahawk clarity, with a prominent rear wing and abruptly abbreviated rear end, marked with quad rear circular lights.
Reviewers are more positive than not about the exterior styling of the 2010 Nissan GT-R. The shape, Popular Mechanics comments, “commands respect in a way that no swooping Italian supercar can,” with the reviewer musing that Nissan nicknames the uniquely creased back pillar the "Sword Pillar." Nissan’s designers aim to “reflect Japanese culture and avoid aping the razor-cut European exoticism of Ferrari and Lamborghini” with the car's shape, says the Los Angeles Times, also sniping that the GT-R “sure does look menacing in person…like a Kabuki mask (or Cindy McCain).” Edmunds contends the GT-R has a “polarizing exterior design.”
But there are also plenty of naysayers who don't think the GT-R comes close in styling to other exotics. Car and Driver feels “Japanese cars have never been this exotic from the factory.” Cars.com, meanwhile, contends “it's like your 350Z left middle school for the summer and reappeared after it hit puberty and then the gym.” They continue: “To the average American, this just doesn't compare to the best of the Germans and Italians, and even, I daresay, the domestics.” Edmunds concludes “the angular exterior styling isn't for everyone—but then, when a $70,000 car can get you to 60 mph faster than any Ferrari or Lamborghini currently in production, does it really matter how it looks?”
Popular Mechanics points out the GT-R is “huge” by supercar measures: “at 183.3 in. long, it’s almost a foot longer than a 911, and it’s half a foot wider than a Honda Civic, at 74.6 in.” The sheer size, they say, is “striking.”
Inside, the GT-R looks quite different than other current Nissan products in the United States, with a definite cockpit feel, including center-stack controls angled toward the driver and rather narrow, heavily bolstered seats. Edmunds calls the interior “somber but appropriately driver-centric.” Popular Mechanics is somewhat distracted by “more switches, displays, gadgets and gizmos than you could ever imagine,” while Car and Driver observes it’s “graced with the same electric, futuristic feel of the film Blade Runner that pervades all of Tokyo.”