Unveiled back in 2007, the Nissan GT-R has earned itself the name GODZILLA and it is called so for a reason, which we’ll get to in a bit. The successor to the Skyline GT-R, the car you see here was launched back in 2016. The GT-R is not about practicality, it’s not about the gadgetry and it’s also not about the lap times (there are faster cars than the GT-R). Then what is it all about?
The Nissan GT-R is over a decade old car and yet there is something very very attractive about its design. The long hood, sloping roofline, quad tail-lights and the massive rear spoiler make the car look no less than a design marvel while the headlights with 3 projectors, black-finished huge 20-inch alloy wheels with gold-coloured brake callipers, front and rear splitters and the quad exhausts lend the sports car some aggression. In terms of aerodynamics, the GT-R gets hood scoops and air curtains on the front fenders. There’s very less usage of chrome and overall, the GT-R would probably appeal to everyone even ten years down the line. Such a timeless icon it is!
The Nissan GT-R gets a sporty all-black cabin to match its racy exteriors. To start things off, there is a 3-spoke steering wheel with just a GT-R badge. Housing a plethora of buttons, this unit feels good to grip and is wrapped in leather. The instrument cluster might seem modest but the MID display does liven things up and is easy to read. There is a huge touchscreen infotainment with CD, Bluetooth and USB connectivity but it misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, there is various other information that can accessed via the infotainment like engine fluid temperature and the boost gauge for the turbocharger. The centre console gets a carbon-fibre finish and we particularly like the tiny gear lever. The AC vents are neatly tucked in between the infotainment system and the dual-zone climate control system.
The front seats are a single-piece unit with integrated headrests. They are comfortable, offer generous support and also feature electric adjustability and heating function. The rear is best-suited for kids as there is absolutely very little leg room and headroom too. The loading lip of the boot is high but there is ample space for luggage.
The VR38DETT V6 3.8-litre turbocharged engine is hand-built and produces 570 PS of power and 637 Nm of torque. These numbers might not seem enough for a GODZILLA but honestly, the manner in which the power is dished out and the way in which this car accelerates, those folks who branded the GT-R as a GODZILLA sure weren’t out of their minds. Power keeps coming, coming and just coming irrespective of whether you’re in the lower end of the power band or in the mid or top-end. The manner in which the GT-R accelerates and zooms ahead, the driver has to have frequent shots of caffeine to stay attentive. The 0-100 km/hr sprint comes up in under 3 seconds and the top speed is well over 300 km/hr!
A 6-speed dual clutch transmission sends power to all the four wheels which is super-responsive. The shifts are smooth, precise and there are paddle shifters if you find the need to manually take control of things. NVH levels are great and so is the exhaust note, especially in the top-end.
Ride and handling department is where the Nissan GT-R really shines. The all wheel drive system uses a unique rear-mounted transaxle which reduces the load on the driveshaft allowing up to 50% torque to be sent to the front wheels for better performance and stability. The transmission and the all wheel drive transfer case have been placed at the rear allowing for an incredible weight distribution. Despite the 1.7 tonnes of heft, you will be surprised how fast and agile the GT-R feels and factor in the excellent all wheel drive system, you sometimes feel the car itself can do things you couldn’t have even thought about.
There are 3 toggle switches on the centre console that lets you set up to three levels of performance for the stability systems, suspension and the transmission. You can either completely turn off the stability controls or switch to the R mode. Modes for the suspension include a Comfort mode and a super stiff R mode whereas the transmission button lets you access either the Save mode (for enhanced mileage) or an R mode.
The Nissan GT-R packs in quite a lot of safety tech like six airbags, ABS with EBD, Hill Assist, Traction Control, automatic wipers and headlights and rear parking sensors with camera. However, the reach of the service centres across India is limited but isn’t that the case with other sports car makers as well?
Back to the original question that we asked, there are other alternatives in the market when you put the Nissan GT-R’s Rs. 2.12 crores (ex-showroom) price tag in perspective. Nonetheless, what the GT-R is, is a proper Japanese sports car that will enthral you like no other car with its looks (if you fancy old-school sports cars), brutal performance and the fun and mad to drive nature (because, one is bound to go nuts when they have driven this beast). The improved ride quality too makes it a good daily driver. We then, have no glitches in recommending the Nissan GT-R to someone who’s in the market for sports car shopping.