The #2015 #Nissan-GT-R
MY15 / #Nissan
Once the embodiment of future tech, Nissan’s GT-R now feels deliciously old-school and involving.
Unveiled at the #2007
Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan’s R35 GT-R might be getting long in the tooth, but a process of constant refinement and tweaking has ensured its teeth remain razor sharp. And despite the familiarity with the shape, spotting a GT-R is a rare thrill – during its time on sale in Australia, more Ferraris have been sold locally than GT-Rs.
Like other exotica, the Nissan GT-R sizzles with a tension that is lacking from most modern cars. And like other big-hitting sports cars, a flutter of nervous tension shocks me as the unassuming key is handed over and I approach the hulking, square-shouldered shape. So futuristic when new, the interior has aged markedly, but the oversized steering wheel, chunky centre console and multi-mode display screen suit the larger-than life nature of the GT-R. If the design shows the march of time, the quality has improved out of sight over the first R35s of last decade. Our Premium model feels just that.
Prod the red starter button and the Nissan’s 3.8-litre twinturbochargedV6 fires with a dry cough. It’s more industrial than musical and doesn’t hint at the latent potency of the GT-R. For the MY15 model, power and torque remain at the already prodigious levels – 404kW at 6400rpmand 628Nm from 3200-5800rpm. I’m always surprised by how physical the GT-R feels, and while the inherent tech promises the future, the clunks and whirrs from the tightly wound drivetrain feel oldschool.
It’s a dichotomy that bears out in the Nissan’s dynamics. I’ve previously been highly critical of the GT-R’s ride quality (despite claims from Nissan that their engineers have softened the car for each update). TheMY14 update, however, changed my tune and the MY15 further softens my stance. There’s no denying that the GT-R still rides with tightly controlled tension, but there’s no longer a Pavlovian response to flick the dampers to ‘comfort’ mode before you even test out the road surface. The squishier seats also help round off the worst of the impacts.
As alluded to earlier, the GT-R’s dynamics are a blend of tech-enhanced efficiency and old-school, scruff-of-the-neck fun. For those that dismiss the GT-R as a fast car that drives itself, it’s anything but and requires more driver effort than a Porsche 911 Turbo. It also gives up its secrets earlier than Turbo (or even more insane Turbo S). The first time a GT-R steps into oversteer might well surprise you, but once you’re familiar with its responses, you’ll be looking for opportunities to provoke Godzilla.
The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 still possesses sledgehammer shove through the mid-range and into its upper reaches, but newer, more sophisticated turbocharged weapons (Porsche’s 991-generation Turbo and Turbo S are obvious examples) show up the Nissan’s low speed tractability. The Nissan’s six speed dual-clutch gearbox has also been surpassed by those from other brands (again Ferrari and Porsche lead the way here), but there’s still a ruthless efficiency about the manner in which the GT-R gets from here to there in very little time.
With Porsche and Ferrari updating their cars more frequently and with ever higher levels of technology, there’s delicious irony that the Nissan GT-R now represents the old-school.
Above: It’s hard to believe but the current GT-R was revealed in 2007.
+ Ride is much better (no really), still ballistically quick, playful dynamics
- Interior feeling its age evo rating
Engine 3799cc V6, dohc, 24v twin-turbo
Power 404kW @ 6400rpm
Torque 628Nm @ 3200-5800rpm
0-100km/h 2.7sec (claimed)
Top speed 315km/h (claimed)
Weight 1740kg (232kW/tonne)
Basic price $172,000