The Nissan GT-R- Godzilla is a name well deserved
This car never fails to amaze, but have other manufacturers moved on too quickly?
JDM cars are fantastic. And while almost all of them are loved and are very popular, few can be called true legends which have cult followings. And the Nissan Skyline R34 is one of them. Launched in 1999, this car competed with other incredibly potent cars like the Mazda RX7, the Toyota Supra and the Lamborghini Diablo GT. It was also featured in the highly successful Fast and Furious movie franchise, which only added to its popularity. Come 2002, and Nissan has decided it is time for a change. They discontinued the R34 GT-R, and promised to launch a new car that would be faster and better than the outgoing model. They didn't do so for almost 6 years, which disappointed many JDM fans, who didn't know what was coming their way.
In 2008, Nissan launched the R35 GT-R. Did Nissan build something as good as they promised to? No. They built something BETTER than what they promised to. The car had 480 hp, still a good amount today. And it was fast. So fast. 0-60 came in at about 3 seconds, and this car lapped the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 29 seconds, a great time today, and an incredible time back in 2008. It was so good, Porsche didn't want to believe it!
But that was 12 years ago. Now it's 2020. What's new for the GT-R? Nothing, to be honest, and you'll see why and how as you read on.
The Nissan GT-R Nismo version- Built for the track
To start off, let's talk about the design of the GT-R. Nothing has changed much from 2008, but the car still looks cool. An aggressive bumper and lip kit are all the changes they've done. Moving on to the side, the GT-R's got a boxy profile, just like most of its predecessors, and sporty side skirts complimented by some pretty strong creases and bodylines. You have amazing alloys, and Brembo brakes which stop very well. At the back, you have a decently sized spoiler, which looks nice and a very aggressive bumper, which HUGE exhaust pipes, which are titanium to save weight, and a subtle diffuser. But the most noticeable feature- the two circular tail light which have carried on from the car's previous generations. The R34 GT-R had them, and so did the R33 and the R32. If you get the Nismo version of the car, which is basically a souped up GT-R for the track, you get a slightly redesigned front bumper with a larger and more prominent lip kit, a little bit of weight saving and tons of carbon fiber, including big side skirts and a massive wing at the back.
The front of the Nissan GT-R
Now let's talk about the interior. And to do that, we have to go back in time. To 2008, because this car's interior has never been changed significantly. The materials are really good though, and the quality is also quite nice, and it's hard to find cheap plastics. The infotainment however, is pretty bad. Firstly, its quite small, and then, it doesn't function all that well. It has tons of lag, and all the menus look quite dull, old and lifeless. And the whole interior has an old feeling to it. At least it's got Apple Carplay, but no Android Auto. Rest of the stuff's okay. The seats are pretty good, because you get Recaros in the GT-R. Storage is also not bad, with a decently sized glovebox and two cup holders in the center console. You also get an armrest, which is actually quite far back, so you end up leaving your arm on the handbrake. Speaking of which, that's right, this car has a proper, manual handbrake, something hard to find in most modern cars. So, the interior feels really old. But do we care? Even the blokes at Nissan didn't bother to change the car's interior for 12 years, so why should we care? But even though this car is focused on performance, it's got a back seat. Two of them, actually. And they are surprisingly okay, unlike many other sports car. Also, the boot's 315 liters, not bad at all for a sports car.
The interior of the GT-R - The age shows
The GT-R has a 3.8 liter twin turbocharged V6, which produces 562 hp. All the power is sent to all 4 wheels, through a 6 speed dual clutch automatic transmission. That's enough to enable the GT-R to roar to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. And that is just the normal GT-R. With the expensive Nismo version it just gets better. The same engine has been tuned to put out 600 hp, and with less weight, the car can rocket from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds! That's supercar territory! But even if that's not enough for you, don't worry. GT-Rs have always been very easy to modify. Slap on a wide-body kit, tune the engine and you'll get ridiculous amounts of power. And the VR38DETT engine should sound awesome, right? Yes, it does. The car has a deep exhaust note, but not the most intoxicating. But most GT-R owners never leave the exhaust stock. A muffler delete/straightpiping should do the job.
The GT-R's VR38DETT V6 engine
But none of this actually matters, because the GT-R's all about the way it drives. And it drives extremely well. The best thing is, it feels at home anywhere you take it. Race track? This thing will leave other cars in the dust. Want to use it in the city? It'll be as comfortable as you want it to. The Bilstein dampers are just great, and are awesome in the city, and even if you drive it on pothole-ridden roads, it doesn't feel very uncomfortable. But the 6 speed gearbox does. Leave it in automatic and floor it, and the car takes almost a full second to respond. So the best thing is, wherever you are, just leave it in manual and do the shifting yourself. And in manual, the car's fantastic. How does it handle? Really well, actually. It's so flat in corners, and when you turn into a corner fast, there's a bit of understeer, which is quickly solved by the all wheel drive system and then you get oversteer. Which is really fun.
So that's the Nissan GT-R. Old, antiquated and fantastic. Nowadays, most people who buy sports cars buy 911s or McLarens, etc. Rarely do you see a non-car enthusiast who says "I want a GT-R." And I don't think Nissan is to blame. It feels like other manufacturers have developed so much more (unnecessary) technology and have moved on so fast, they've given us little time to enjoy the GT-R.
But though other cars are newer and have better tech, the GT-R is quicker than most of them even now, 12 years since its launch.
And that's what makes this car great.
Do you agree with me? Comment down below!