Having interviewed the GT-R’s designers and engineers in Japan, and driven GT-Rs extensively in this country we still marvel at the level of racecar technology they offer.
Most important is the sheer driving pleasure they provide. We have fanged a couple of GT-Rs at Eastern Creek Raceway and driven them extensively on roads in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania. Without exception we have come away with huge smiles on our face.
Though it must be said that my partner Julie wasn’t smiling after her first trip in the passenger seat of a GT-R a few years back. Having had a broken back many years ago she found the rock-hard ride of the original GT-R very painful. To the extent she spent several hours lying down to recover from the experience. Not nice.
Having just spent a few behind the wheel of the latest Nissan GT-R – in special Black Edition guise – we were impressed with the softer ride. It’s certainly not Lexus soft, but it’s acceptable to the point that we could use it as a daily driver, not just a track day special. That’s important.
Maximum torque has gone up from 612 Nm to 628 Nm, this solid grunt is generated in a generous band between 3200 and 5800 revs, so it’s delightfully easy to keep the engine on song.
Each GT-R powerplant is carefully assembled by hand. As an example the engine builders precisely match the ports of the intake manifold and cylinder head.
Sodium filled valves speed up cooling and the catalytic converter is just half the size of the previous one. Impressively, engine efficiency means it can run on leaner air/fuel mixture, cutting emissions and fuel use. The latter is 98 octane, not cheap fuel, but it lets the engineers tune their motors to the max.
Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed double-clutch transmission mounted at the rear of the car. Shift feel and quietness have been refined.
The GT-R Black Edition runs on black ultra-light forged alloy 20-inch wheels. They have a width of 9.5 inches at the front and 10.5 inches at the rear.
Its rear spoiler is unique to this model and is built from lightweight carbon fibre.
Seats are Recaro sports units in the front. Finished in black leather with red accents they look as good as they feel. A pair of individual seats are squeezed in at the rear. The dashboard, steering wheel, console and doors also get the black and red treatment.
Incidentally, there is a good variety of colours, your GT-R Black doesn’t have to be black.
Acceleration is mind blowing. Hit the launch control and hang – for in just 2.7 seconds the big GT-R leaps from rest to 100 km/h. That’s superbike territory and emphasises that this really is a race car for the road.
The aforementioned improvement in ride comfort has been made possible electronically. The suspension settings are switchable between ‘comfort’, ‘normal’ and ‘race track’.
We particularly liked the action of the fixed-position steering wheel-mounted shifter paddles.
The latest Nissan GT-R has an even stronger body to let it handle the added power and torque. Obviously, it also gives the suspension a stiffer platform to work from.
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres, developed for the GT-R, give excellent road grip as well as improved feedback through the steering wheel.
There is little legroom in the rear of this sportscar, which is no big deal. A 315-litre boot provides reasonable usability for a pampered pair when touring.
The Bose sound system has been given a boost as it now has subwoofers that were previously only available with the Egoist spec GT-R. Door speakers and woofer in the rear are now mounted on a solid aluminium panel to reduce vibration.
On the subject of sound, that from the dual twin exhausts perfectly matches the feel of the big Nissan GT-R.
Nissan GT-R is the most affordable supercar by a huge margin. The GT-R Black Edition has a recommended retail of just $182,500 plus on-road costs. Over 400 Australians are amongst the 20,000-plus GT-R buyers worldwide – and every one we have ever spoken to just loves their car.
AT A GLANCE
Nissan GT-R Black Edition 3.8-litre twin-turbo petrol: $182,500 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Nissan dealer for driveaway prices.
ABS Brakes: Standard
Automatic Transmission: Standard
Cruise Control: Standard
Dual Front Airbags: Standard
Front Side Airbags: Standard
Electronic Stability Program: Standard
Rear Parking Sensors: Standard
Reversing Camera: Standard
USB/Auxiliary Audio Inputs: Standard
Satellite Navigation: Standard
Steering Wheel Mounted Controls: Standard
SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan GT-R Black Edition 3.8-litre twin-turbo petrol)
Capacity: 3.8 litres
Head Design: DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Bore/Stroke: 95.5 x 88.4 mm
Maximum Power: 404 kW @ 6400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 628 Nm @ 3200-5800 rpm
Driven Wheels: All-wheel
Manual Transmission: Not offered
Automatic Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive Ratio: Not supplied
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4670 mm
Wheelbase: 2780 mm
Width: 1895 mm
Height: 1370 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1699 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 74 litres
Towing Capacity: Not supplied
Boot Capacity: 315 litres
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Front Suspension: Double wishbone with aluminium arms
Rear Suspension: Multi-link with aluminium arms
Front Brakes: Ventilated disc
Rear Brakes: Ventilated disc
Type: Petrol 98RON
Consumption – Combined Cycle (ADR 81/02): 11.7 /100km
GREEN VEHICLE GUIDE RATINGS:
Green Vehicle Guide Greenhouse Rating: 4.5/10
Green Vehicle Guide Air Pollution Rating: 6.5/10