Tino’s Thoughts on the Nissan GTR a.k.a the other Godzilla
I guess watching an epic monster movie called 'Kong vs Godzilla' has really got me in the mood to write about another Godzilla from Japan.
It would be very tempting to go waay back and talk about the GTR from its inception to modern day whilst highlighting the good ol classics along the way, mainly the R32, R33 and R34 generations. Today however, I have resisted the urge and instead will only focus on the current R35 model.
2007 Nissan GTR
The R35 Nissan GTR debuted in 2007 having spent 5 years dormant. When it was released it came with numerous differences to its predecessor. Such things included dropping the “Skyline” part of its name to just “GTR”, having a meaner looking face and a more muscular body as well as...oh I don’t know...TIPPING THE ENTIRE PERFORMANCE CAR LANDSCAPE ON ITS HEAD... just to name a few.
So why was the GTR making so much noise? Well firstly it was mainly to do with its ludicrous all wheel drive system which meant that although it had somewhat modest horsepower of 473hp, it was able to put most of that power down to all four tyres and it was not long until it became a drag race sensation, beating other performance cars that were way above its price bracket in the process.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! More power that is. A few years passed and the aftermarket sector had a good feel for the platform and realised that the engine was just as robust as the RB26 that came before it. This 3.8Litre V6 engine had a lot to give. As a result, throughout the 2010’s, it was no longer surprising to hear of 500hp, 800hp, 1 000hp, even 2 000hp tuned STREET GTR’s with not as much effort and resources involved as you might think to get them there.
Modified Nissan GTR
This coupled with stock or aftermarket suspension components also meant that it was not just a one trick pony. It could hold its own in the corners as well. The all wheel drive system allowed the car to shoot out of the corners at lightning speeds as well thanks to uber amounts of grip at your disposal.
As the car began to go through updates and refreshes something concerning began to occur. When it debuted in its first year, it was a blue collar hero of sorts as its supercar killer capabilities could be had for a bargain of $69 850 for the base model and $71 900 for the Premium model. In just 5 years the prices were not so blue collar anymore. The 2013 Premium model now costed $96 820 whilst a newer trim above that call the ‘Black Edition’ was a whopping $106 320. Worse still is the new top tier model, the GTR Nismo which has a starting price of $210 740.
Nissan GTR Nismo
Now there is news of a Nismo Special Edition that has just been announced which will obviously be more expensive than the already insanely pricey Nismo.
This is a hard sell for many not because they cant afford it but one could easily get an older version and bump up the specs to Nismo level or beyond, or even look outside of Nissan entirely where A LOT can be had for less than the asking price of these newer GTR’s.
However, even if you look, there’s nothing out there quite like the Nissan R35 GTR. Yes the current iterations including the Nismo are made fun of, for being incredibly expensive yet outdated but if you think about it, what other cars in the same market can boast an honest driving experience that hasn’t been watered down by electronics and regulations to the point where they are merely shells of their former selves.
Nissan GTR 5Oth Anniversary
Perhaps that is the price to pay to have an old school driving experience and features in a new school world IF you do not want to go the second hand market route. This could also be the reason why unfortunately there are not many of them found here in Zimbabwe, yet our auto market is predominantly Japanese. The rich Zimbabweans who can afford them, often go for 'blingy' alternatives like Rolls Royces and Lamborghini’s anyways.
To sum up, all I can say is that I am glad the R35 GTR exists. It is obvious that the new Nismo version is its last hurrah to a 13 year run of awesomeness. Will there be a followup GTR R36? Who knows. What is important to note, is that we have had good fun with it, in racing games, on track and on the road and I believe the fun isn’t over just yet.
Author: Tinotenda Nyakudzuka