2020 Nissan GT-R vs. 2019 BMW i8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the GT-R and the i8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.


Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the GT-R 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the i8. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the i8 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GT-R’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.


The GT-R’s standard 3.8 turbo V6 produces 196 more horsepower (565 vs. 369) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (467 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid. The GT-R Track Edition/NIMSO’s standard 3.8 turbo V6 produces 231 more horsepower (600 vs. 369) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (481 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan GT-R (base engine) is faster than the BMW i8:



Zero to 60 MPH

2.9 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

11.2 sec

12.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

123.4 MPH

112.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The GT-R has 8.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the i8 (19.5 vs. 11.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


The GT-R offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The i8 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the GT-R’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i8:


GT-R opt.


Front Rotors

15.35 inches

16.14 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

15.35 inches

13 inches

The GT-R (except Premium/50th Anniversary Edition) offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The i8 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GT-R has larger tires than the i8 (F:255/40R20 & R:285/35R20 vs. F:215/45R20 & R:245/40R20).

The GT-R’s 255/40R20 front and 285/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i8’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

The GT-R NISMO handles at 1.02 G’s, while the i8 Coupe pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GT-R NISMO executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the i8 Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .92 average G’s vs. 24.6 seconds @ .8 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GT-R’s turning circle is 3.8 feet tighter than the i8’s (36.6 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The GT-R NISMO’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the i8’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet).


The design of the Nissan GT-R amounts to more than styling. The GT-R has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the i8 (.27 to .28). A more efficient exterior helps the GT-R go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the GT-R get better fuel mileage.

The GT-R uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The i8 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The GT-R has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the i8 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The GT-R has a much larger trunk than the i8 Coupe (8.8 vs. 4.7 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the GT-R offers cargo security. The i8’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GT-R is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the i8. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.


The GT-R’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The i8 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The GT-R’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the i8’s standard power windows.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the GT-R has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The i8 doesn’t offer rear vents.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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