Pros Enough tech to make virtually any driver into a racing rock star. Gobs of torque. A cabin near perfect for a driving geek. Thunderous exhaust note (at least I like it). Forgiving personality when overestimating one's own skills.
Cons Enough tech to make virtually any driver THINK that they are a racing rock star. Noticeable turbo lag in the example I drove. Using so much tech to excuse all that bulk isn't exactly state of the art. A face that's still an acquired taste.
Summary I freely admit that the current R35 GT-R is a great driver's car. It's one of the very best on the planet, by most accounts. From first-hand impressions its road-going technology and dynamics are incredible, allowing even a hack wannabe like me to explore performance limits I'd only dream of doing in most any other car. On my favorite twisties here in the PacNW (granted, there aren't many of those around here, and what there is are often heavily patrolled), the GT-R is an absolute delight to be behind the wheel in. It absolutely blows away my Porsche 911 from a couple of generations ago, being so extremely competent and poised without ever feeling antiseptic or sterile with its amazing skill set (that said, I do miss the kinds of drama my 993 can impose onto my skill set with its rear-heavy design).
Yes the suspension is more hardcore firm than road-going compliant, but since I'm a fan of the 911 GT3 it's clear that the GT-R's mission in life is as a road warrior, not an interstate cruiser. Or grocery-getter. But this car can easily do those lesser chores. You CAN live with this car daily simply because it's so easy to drive, but it does demand something back of the driver in its no-compromise attitude. You WILL feel those bone-jarring potholes in your kidneys. You will get back all sorts of irritating feedback from road imperfections at times you really didn't need or want it. But then when you hit a open stretch of twisting road, almost all of that is instantly forgiven. Perhaps this Nissan is better suited as a track car or weekend samurai, but that to me is selling the qualities of this car short.
I didn't have to fill the tank of my friend's GT-R, but its fuel economy (based on the display numbers from the myriad of electronics) seems to indicate that it's not much different from my 911. In fact it's slightly better given how hard the car was driven by both him and me. The turbo lag I experienced was unexpected on my part; I don't recall anything about it from the few reviews of the car that I had previously read. My friend claims that it's normal, although I admit that all I could do was given him a doubting eye at that answer. I will bemoan the lack of a true manual box; I'm old-school enough that I'd much prefer doing the shifting myself, even if it means a loss of performance and added time to hot laps. Shifting on one's own brings its own sense of HUMAN interaction satisfaction and driving honor that a fully computerized, uber-smart auto-tranny will never replace, even if it means losing a second or three a lap to the automated, dual-clutch behemoth.
Driving position was spot-on perfect for me; everything was easy to set and/or adjust to my relatively smallish frame. The interior design was something of a hit and miss with me. Parts of it seem rather plasticky for a $85k car, albeit the plastics that were in place seem to be of a high standard. It's just for the price I would've expected different materials...or LESS materials altogether, in keeping with the GT-R's no-nonsense persona. I typically prefer performance cars with a minimum of fuss and gadgetry, but the GT-R's presentation still makes it very compelling and downright fun. Even so, most of my time behind the wheel was spent with my eyes looking far down the road; this car gobbles asphalt in a massive hurry and there's actually little time to be staring at the various displays when attempting to control a car with this sort of performance envelope.
In the end I have to say that I'm envious of my friend and his shiny white GT-R, mostly because of what this beast is capable of when moving forcefully down the road. To me its liabilities are few, and its pluses are many. I hope Nissan never loses sharply honed focus for this car when it comes time for a refresh or the inevitable redo down the road. Perhaps a bit more compliant ride would make the car more user-friendly on a daily basis, but then I fear it's a tact that dulls the blade on this very sharp implement, and to me that would be crying shame.
I don't miss iPod connectivity. I don't miss all the cabin accouterments that engineers and product planners of LESSER cars stuff them full of. This GT-R clearly serves a higher performance purpose, and really doesn't need to pander to the posers of the world. It's that good at what it does, and it befuddles me to wonder why anyone would need ask for anything more. I'm perhaps too much of a Porsche fanboy to actually want a GT-R in my own garage, but I can certainly see and understand and FEEL the appeal of the skills of this car. It truly is that good.
Pros Acceleration, brakes, roadhandling
Cons Automatic gearshift responds slowly, especially in the city when often it takes 1 to 2 seconds to engage a gear from neutral. Responds well in R mode in highway speeds. Paddle shifters are for show mostly.
Summary After half an hour test drive I was convinced to write a check. 11000 miles later I continue to enjoy driving. Unless you are a professional driver testing the limits of this car is suicidal. Previous japanese turbos that I owned (mr2 and Evo) lost performance as they aged. I will wait and see if that happens. Although the price of admission is not as steep as its competitors maintenance will be expensive: a set of summer tires is $1800 on line. The GPS is inferior to my handheld Garmin. You need to tell the car where in US you are. In default mode the car wants to take me to Manhattan, KY and not NY. Yes, the ride is harsh and there is a lot of tire noise. If you want comforts chose a Mercedes SL. This is the car if your aim is to outaccelerate any other driver in perfect safety.
"PURE EXHILARATION"on by gaaw31
Pros Neck-breaking acceleration, unmistakable styling and a cool performance computer make this car noteworthy. It outperforms many cars costing a whole lot more. It also has usable trunk space AND FULL iPOD INTEGRATION.
Cons Rear seats are useless except for transporting small parcels.
Summary Distinctive looks, pure performance and sheer exhilaration sums up the 2010 GT-R. It is a large car which makes fitting my 6' 4" frame inside easy. Despite being near 4000lbs, it doesn't feel heavy. Handling is a breeze and it makes mediocre drivers like myself seem like experts. This cars goes from 0-60mph in < 4sec, so who really cares about fuel economy. If that is your primary concern, a Prius may me more appropriate for you.
The cabin, though not having the visual appeal of say a high-end Mercedes, does not look cheap, in fact it looks very space age in design and lay out. My car came with full iPod integration, so it is an available option. The seats are snug and comfortable. The ride can be a a bit harsh on city roads, but quite comfortable at cruising speeds on the highway. I would buy this car again in a heartbeat!
Pros This car is a work of art!!!! Up close it looks to be a well
cut jewel, in which every line has a purpose in aerodynamics
Cons There is a limited amount of GTRs built every year.
They should build more!!!!
Summary This car is the beginning of a serious Asian super car.
And as usual it will cost less and do more than other cars
have done traditionally in this class. I only wish they
had put this car in mass production.. so more folks could
enjoy the Nissan gem. It has a beauty that has mathematics
at it's core and design. Everything about this car is serious business. The Nissan GTR has changed all the rules
in the super car market!!!
Pros Great handling; quick all wheel drive takeoff; I have beaten an owner of the covette z06 several times which is what class of sports car the GTR is compared to. I will modify my GTR once my warranty is over.
Cons The back seat is not for your average person. It is more for using as a luggage or grocery compartment.
Summary This is my fourth sports car and true sports cars are not going to be a relaxing ride. They are built for one thing only and that is to perform. The GTR is not for everyone and that is why you have many choices to choose from whether your interest is Ferraris or Vipers to Vettes. It is sad that we do not have access to the GTR spec V in the United States which is out overseas this year. The GTR spec V is truly a beast compared to my base GTR. Check it out on youtube.
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