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Why The US-Spec 2025 Nissan GT-R NISMO Misses Out On Epic Carbon Fiber Bucket Seats

Key Takeaways

  • The Nissan GT-R Nismo in the US won’t have carbon fiber Recaro seats due to safety concerns about missing airbags.
  • The Recaro Podium seats don’t have airbags, making it impossible for the manufacturer to approve them for use in new cars.
  • Consumers in the US wanting Recaro Podium seats in their 2025 Nissan GT-R Nismo can retrofit them, but pricing is hefty.

We have bad news: the Nissan GT-R Nismo sold in America will not get the gorgeous Recaro Podium seats that Japanese buyers get, and it’s not because of a lack of demand or because they’re too tight for some buyers but because of safety. When we were passing by the Nissan stand at this year’s New York International Auto Show, we noticed that the GT-R Nismo on display didn’t have the carbon fiber-reinforced plastic seats we saw in the JDM press images, so we reached out to find out why and learned that it’s because of safety concerns, despite the fact that the seat is listed by manufacturer Recaro as “the only retrofit shell seat on the market that is approved for use on public roads and has FIA homologation.” It’s also the lightest seat in that specific niche. So what’s the issue?

2024 Nissan GT-R NISMO

Base MSRP

$221,090

Engine

3.8L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas

Horsepower

600 hp

Torque

481 lb-ft

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

Drivetrain

All-Wheel Drive

Airbags, That’s What

Nissan’s spokesperson told us that the lack of side airbags in the Recaro Podium seat makes it impossible to homologate for use in a new car. The seats in several other high-performance sports cars, like the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, also feature carbon-shelled seats, but they’re thickly upholstered with leather, beneath which these all-important airbags are concealed.

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The Recaro Podium is far more sparse. Here, the basic shell – which has several intentional holes – is responsible for the shape of the seat, and on top of that, relatively thin cushioning pads aim to provide a semblance of comfort. We’ve sat in these, and they’re not bad at all, even over prolonged periods, but adding airbags would necessitate an entirely new design due to the lack of available space.

Nissan GT-R NISMO Interior
Nissan

What If I Want Recaro Podium Seats In My 2025 Nissan GT-R NISMO?

While most buyers will simply accept that America is missing out on something cool again and enjoy the comfort provided by the cushy leather seats in the updated Nissan GT-R, others want the raciest look. To them, we suggest retrofitting the Recaro Podium, which usually costs between $3,500 and $7,000, depending on the variant. Special-edition designs, like the Recaro Podium GF “24H Le Mans,” invariably cost more, but brace yourself because the real thing with all the correct Nismo branding can be made to order. Our research led us to a company called Bulletproof Automotive, which sells both left and right bucket seats for – breathe – $39,000. It’s unclear how long these would take to manufacture, but if you’ve got 40 grand to spend on seats, you’ve probably got something else to drive around in while you wait.

Related

Future Ferrari Supercars Will Have Infinitely Adjustable Seats

Users will be able to tailor the seat to their exact posture, or they can let the seat adapt to them automatically.

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