The Porsche 911 Turbo S, 0-60 in 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. The Ferrari 458 Italia. 0-60 in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph. The venerable Bugatti Veyron 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 253 mph. These are some of the fastest and most revered cars in the world for their speed and performance.
But of course these cars don’t come cheap. The Porsche 911 Turbo S starts at $161,000 while the Ferrari 458 Italia stickers for $225,000. The Bugatti Veyron is in a league all its own with a price tag of well over a million dollars.
In terms of speed and performance, the Nissan GTR is right in the same league as the Porsche, Ferrari and Bugatti, with a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. So what makes it so special? Well… it costs just $90,000. So does it best other uber exotic cars for a fraction of the price? Let’s find out.
It’s certainly designed by engineers to use the wind to its full advantage. It might not have been penned by Pininfarina, but the shape looks good and it grows on you.
I like the smoked 20″ alloy wheels Dunlop Sport tires with Orange Brembo brake pads. Even the rotors have been drilled out to save weight. From the front it has an angry and aggressive stance that suits it well.
Four round exhaust pipes, four lights and a functioning spoiler round out the look at the rear. In the corners, it resembles the Mitsubishi Eclipse. I think overall Nissan has pulled it off with form following function.
Ingress and egress is easy thanks to Nissan’s smart key feature. It also has very cool door handles that double as door pulls. Inside the instrumentation is all about going fast. There’s a bit of luxury thrown in for good measure as well, but you’ll find the tachometer and speedometer to be very predominant features.
I also appreciate the digital speed readout as well. Besides a great looking GTR logo, the steering wheel houses controls for the BlueTooth, radio and cruise control.
You get a 7″ touch screen that houses the sound system, information and navigation plus a bonus function mode that tells you your current cornering, acceleration and braking G’s, turbo boost, fuel economy, plus a stop watch and other goodies.
Other car makers should take note. The Nissan / Infiniti screen lets you clearly see the artist, title, and station on the same screen at the same time. I think it is one of the best in the business and it is an available option on most Nissans and Infinitis.
You are basically sitting in two lightly disguised racing seats, and for the GTR I think it’s a good idea. The seats are power controlled and heated. They are well contoured and hold you in well under heavy cornering. The back seats aren’t really small, they just lack head room.
Kids should be happy back there, and most adults will end up smiling like kids once you show them what the GTR is capable of. Oh, and you also get two nice Bose speakers back there as well! You might not be able to hear the conversation back there, but you’ll certainly be able to hear the engine and the music!
Power comes from a 3.8 liter dual overhead cam twin turbo V6 making 530 horsepower and 448 lb. ft. of torque. Zero to 60 literally flies by at 2.8 seconds on your way to a top speed of 196 mph. Expect to average 19 mpg overall with 16 mpg city 23 mpg on the highway.
Putting the power to the wheels is a twin clutch 6 speed paddle shift transmission. As an added bonus, it drives all four wheels. This translates to more grip and safety, plus increased acceleration and performance.
Two extra seats is not the only bonus you get with this super car, you also get a decent, usable trunk. I was able to fit my usual essentials, and it should be good for a couple of weekend travel bags as well.
The Nissan GTR was released in 2007 in Japan. It came to the US on July 4, 2008. It remained the same until 2011, but they’ve made lots of improvements for 2012.
These include improvements to the engine, exhaust, handling and brakes. Basically what they’ve done is they’ve made awesome even better.
People seem to come out of the woodwork to talk about the GTR and to get a look at it. A lady saw it and inquired about what sort of Nissan it is stating that she drives a Maxima. I told her it is a very fast, limited edition Nissan and she seemed satisfied. It’s a car that anyone can identify with.
Out on the road it draws attention too. People get beside you in souped up Mustangs and Corvettes and try to drag you, but there’s really no point when you are in the GTR. You can blow them away… end of story! They should know better! Just showing up in the GTR is enough.
It’s amazing to feel all of that power and science working for you. Nothing over the top just everything it needs to go fast. It is hard to describe the speed in print, so don’t forget to watch my video review to see it in action, but let’s just say it is awe inspiring in any situation.
You will be taking your favorite twisty road faster than you’ve ever driven it, and you won’t even feel like you’ve pushed its limits. You will be pinned to the back of your seat and an eternal grin will develop as well.
When you are winding the GTR out on back roads or the race track, you don’t really have to worry about keeping it on the road. The GTR does that for you 100 times per second! It takes input from the suspension and the all wheel drive system to keep you pointed down the road where you are trying to go.
Another thing about the GTR is that it is a very usable super car. Sure it’s a hyper exotic, but It offers things that other super cars just dont. With back seats and a trunk, you are already way ahead of most super cars in terms of usability.
You also aren’t sacrificing luxury either like you have to in many truly performance oriented exotic cars. The Ariel Atom might give you a run for your money, but try taking that one on a road trip! It doesn’t even have a top!
When it comes right down to it, numbers don’t lie. And the GTR’s performance numbers are better than most every other car on the market and very impressive. Perhaps the most important number is the asking price of $90,000. In the real world, $90,000 is a lot of money, but for a car that produces performance numbers like the GTR, it really is a true bargain.
Let’s face it. Many people in the market for hyper exotic cars really aren’t concerned about price, or getting a bargain. If you are in the market for a Porsche or a Ferrari, you are going to end up buying a Porsche or a Ferrari.
So even though the Nissan GTR might not have the storied racing history of marques like Porsche and Ferrari it still has a huge cult following thanks to its main influence, the Nissan Skyline GTR. The original GTR was manufactured from 1969 to 1974 and then again from 1989 to 2002.
It’s always been known as a “Giant Killer,” and that’s how it got it’s nickname, “Godzilla”. So behold! The all new 2012 Nissan GTR is the new “Godzilla”.
So to sum it all up, the GTR actually does have quite a bit of personality. In terms of looks it definitely looks better in person than it does in print. Its looks have really grown on me in the time I’ve been driving it, and now it seems to be one of those cars that I’m going to hate to have to give back.
It might not be a Ferrari or a Porsche, but it bests most of them and most other super cars with just the right amounts of technology and flair. It also has lots of style, comfort and safety thrown in for good measure.
I’m trying to think of something negative to say about the GTR and its really hard to do. It actually feels like you are driving a 370 Z or other Nissan when you are just commuting. It’s an easy car to just cruise around town in. You really don’t miss the third pedal in the GTR.
It does however sound like there are bunch of mice running around in the engine, or maybe the great and powerful OZ switching switches and cranking cranks to make sure you have the maximum amount of speed at any given moment.
Some of that noise also emulates from the wet twin clutch. It is basically a motorcycle clutch, so you really don’t even feel the up shifts or matched rev downshifts. You just feel like you are Michael Schumacher without all the training or effort that usually comes from high speed driving.
You never feel like you are underpowered or out of control. I switched the traction control off to check out how it handles at the limit, and it certainly is a handful, but in capable hands, it is just a ton of fun. I don’t however recommend that you turn it off… ever! I mean after all, $90,000 is a lot of money in the real world!
The GTR’s shape has really grown on me with every mile. In terms of looks it’s almost, but not quite understated. It is very aggressive looking, but it’s not over the top. There’s nothing that looks aftermarket or boy racerish. People seem to admire it, and they certainly seem to respect you for driving it.
I think it is safe to say that once you own a GTR you probably won’t be interested in selling it. However, if you do, you’ll be happy to know that recent 2009 and 2010 models are still selling for right around $70,000.
Like I was proud of the Cadillac CTS-V being American, the Japanese people should be very proud of the Nissan GTR. It really does shine a positive light on Japanese cars. If you drive it you will be impressed!
I think a garbage man who came up to me while I was filming the GTR said it best. He was admiring the car and he said “you know what… Nissan’s got something there!” And he’s right they really do!
If you want to buy a Porsche and you can afford it, you’ll buy a Porsche, but really anyone can buy a Nissan. It offers amazing performance to the lay person or just a person who appreciates fine technology no matter what the price.
Sure $90,000 is a lot of money, but so is $1.2 million for a Bugatti or $225,000 for a Ferrari. So does the Nissan GTR best the competition for a fraction of the price? You betcha it does! I’m Drivin’ Ivan Katz.