The R35 Nissan GT-R is still a motoring revelation, even as it’s approaching its eighth birthday and showing no sign of retirement in the near future. The GT-R is a hypercar for the masses, with a 0-100km/hr time of 2.8 seconds, it’s up there with the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, but costs at least $1million less and you can actually head to your nearest GT-R dealer and order your very own, rather than just watching endless YouTube videos.
This staggering performance is all yours for the bargain price of just $AUD189,000 drive away for the Premium model. If you want the Luxury model, it will set you back $AUD196,000 and for that you get full leather interior in either Amber Red or Ivory. The top of the range GT-R Black model is $AUD206,000 and comes with Black Edition wheels, carbon fibre rear spoiler and Black and Red Recaro leather seats. There is no options list for the GT-R, so if you want to customise your GT-R you will have to do it all after market.
All the models come with the same engine, drivetrain and gearbox that form the heart of the GT-R, giving the car these astounding performance figures. The engine is a 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged V6, with 404kW and 628Nm of torque.
These engines are seriously special pieces of engineering; you probably already know they are assembled in a clean-room to prevent contaminants from entering them as they are built. But I bet you didn’t know there are only four men in the world who are allowed to build the GT-R’s engine.
They are called Takumi, master craftsmen who inspect every component before assembling the engine by hand. The finished engine bears the name of its Takumi and it said that each engine contains part of the soul of its Takumi.
The GT-R is all-wheel drive and all manner of computer wizardry helps to get the power to the ground via the 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which is actually at the rear of the car and connected to the engine via a carbon fibre propshaft.
The Nissan GT-R is in my dream garage and it’s what I call my ‘mid life crisis car if we won lotto’. So when the chance arose for me to drive the press car I jumped at it in order to experience the GT-R’s hypercar performance for myself.
The acceleration of the car takes some getting used to, stomp on the throttle and you go from zero to instant licence loss in the blink of an eye. The speed is such that you and the car would quickly become frustrated on public roads. The GT-R and driver will want to hit the track as often as possible.
But unlike the Porsche 911, which provides the owner details on how to set up the car for the track in the owner’s manual, the GT-R has to be taken to an authorised dealer before and after your track session in order not to void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Life on the inside of the GT-R in the base model is certainly not luxurious, but as luxury adds weight so do you really don’t want it to be surrounded by leather? The Playstation graphics provide data overload for the driver, with everything from engine temperatures to acceleration and braking G-forces displayed for your viewing pleasure.
The rear seats have similar legroom compared to the 911’s (that is, none), but are much better upholstered and you could actually sit in them comfortably for longer than ten minutes.
There is a massive sub-woofer between the two rear seats and from my car-nut-with-children perspective I think it is fantastic for two reasons, 1) you could turn the radio up loud enough so you would not be able to hear your little darlings screaming behind you, and 2) it would mean less chance of them hitting each other, as they could not reach over the sub-woofer to do so.
The GT-R could easily be your everyday car if you had young children; the only real compromise you would have to deal with is moving the seats forward every time you had to get in an out. The boot is naturally huge being it’s a Japanese car and comes with the standard requirement of fitting a set of golf clubs in it, so even small bikes could easily be transported in it.
Living with the GT-R will require servicing it every six months or 10,000kms. Service costs are $AUD530, $AUD890, $AUD2,700 and $AUD1,600 for the service intervals in the first two years of the car’s life. If you are keen to go ahead and purchase one of these brilliant cars you can expect to wait about six months for it to arrive, because they are only built as fast as the Takumi’s can assemble the engines.
The natural competitor of the GT-R is the Porsche 911 and each car has its pros and cons. But all I can say is if you were to flip a coin to decide which one you were going to buy, whether it came up heads or tails, you would be on a winner as both cars are just brilliant in their own right.
For me, I prefer the GT-R because as a teenager all I wanted was a Subaru WRX and it eventually became the first ‘performance car’ we owned. So I have a soft spot for Japanese AWD turbocharged cars and I guess that is why the GT-R makes it into my dream garage.