There’s no denying that Nissan is an automotive company with a long and rich history. The Japanese firm has built cars for several decades, including many iconic models. I particularly enjoyed the Skyline models from the 1990s, especially the .
The Skyline moniker first got used back in 1957, believe it or not. But, it wasn’t until the R30 models from the 1980s when the name got associated with high performance. These days, “Skyline” is no longer linked with sporty coupes. Instead, the brand has gone back to its roots of offering premium saloons.
Of course, all is not lost because Nissan is still building high-performance cars! The only difference nowadays is that they’ve dropped the Skyline moniker from the name. One of the latest incarnations to come out of Japan is the Nissan GT-R. The range first got introduced back in 2007.
Today, the GT-R is still going strong and has even undergone a few minor facelifts.
When I first got the chance to get behind the wheel of a Nissan GT-R, I knew I was driving something special. I am aware that I may have a slight bias towards high-powered Nissans. But, the latest incarnation has blown all previous Skylines out of the water! Even if you aren’t a die-hard fan of high-performance Nissan cars, you will still want to buy a GT-R.
So, what is it about this particular model that has made me fall in love with it? Well, today I’d like to share with you some of the things that have drawn me to the Nissan GT-R. They are as follows:
It’s a modern-day take on the classic Skyline sports cars
I won’t bore you with the reasons why I’m a big fan of the classic R33 Skylines. They were such an iconic sight in the 1990s, Nissan wanted to recapture our love affair with the brand.
Of course, Nissan wasn’t too keen to forever associate the Skyline brand with its coupes. They wanted to keep it as a premium brand. Still, nothing was stopping the powers that be from using the GT-R moniker for a range of sports cars. When you first look at the exterior of the latest Nissan GT-R, there’s one thing you will notice. It is a modern-day take on the classic Skylines of the 90s!
It bears more than a passing resemblance to its older high-performance brothers. As you’d imagine, Nissan wanted to enhance the looks for today’s motorists. They sculpted the exterior to make it less boxy than its Skyline predecessors. I applaud Nissan for the fact they’ve still managed to keep the car looking “mean”.
I came across a GT-R at the other day. I then did a Google image search of the older Skyline models. I think it’s safe to say that they both look as tough as each other!
Yes, that’s my own personal conclusion. But, it’s one I suspect most other Skyline fans will draw as well!
It’s got supercar performance for half the price
I don’t know about you, but I will never be able to afford a Ferrari or something in that class. In fact, the only way I’d be able to afford one would be if it was around 20 years old and was a “barn find”!
Yes, I dream of winning the lottery and having a fantastic collection of supercars in my garage. Still, until that day comes I am rather limited by the supercars I can own.
Don’t get me wrong; a brand new Nissan GT-R will set you back a lot of money. The good news is that the used car market has plenty of affordable options.
What’s more, you won’t end up with a lemon if you get a “cheap” one! The only people that buy cars like the Nissan GT-R are enthusiasts. You know, the ones that spend thousands on their cars to keep it in perfect condition.
So, you might be wondering why I say that it offers supercar performance. Let me tell you a bit about what’s going on under the bonnet!
As standard, the Nissan GT-R comes with a 3.8-litre engine. It’s a six-cylinder, twin-turbo engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The factory figures for the standard GT-R offer some impressive reading.
The 3.8 boasts a mind-blowing 522 horsepower! It will also get you from zero to 60 mph in a mere 2.9 seconds. To put that into perspective, it’s quicker than a Ferrari 458 Italia or a Porsche 911 GT3!
In case you wondered, the Nissan GT-R has a top speed of 196mph. There’s no denying that this car is one that is perfect for road and track use. Although I wouldn’t recommend doing 196mph down your local motorway for obvious reasons!
If you want even more performance, how about the Nissan GT-R Nismo? Nissan Motorsport tuned the standard GT-R and managed to extract an extra 69bhp. It’s also quicker to reach 60 mph from a standing start, as you would expect. In fact, at 2.5 seconds it’s 0.4 seconds quicker than the standard GT-R model.
Other cars that can do the same 0-60 mph speed include the Lamborghini Huracan and the . So, as you can see, I wasn’t lying when I said you get supercar performance from the Nissan GT-R! Only, in this case, you don’t have to pay a huge amount of cash for the privilege of owning one!
It has a strong gearbox
Some purists might argue that the Nissan GT-R should have come with a manual gearbox. The thing is; transmission technology has come a long way since the days of the old slush boxes.
The six-speed automatic used in the Nissan GT-R is a . The means you can, in effect, drive the car using a clutchless manual gearbox. DCT units have become rather popular in recent years. Even in Europe where most cars are traditionally manual, the DCT has fast become the top choice.
In the Nissan GT-R, the six-speed auto box offers razor-sharp shifts. There are no annoying delays when shifting up or down gears that you find on some autos. If you leave the gearbox in automatic mode, shifts get done with fuel economy in mind. Let’s face it; the Nissan GT-R doesn’t exactly offer high fuel mileage. But, that’s not what this car is about!
The reason why most people buy the Nissan GT-R is because of the manual mode on the gearbox. Using the paddle shifters, you can use the full potential of the twin-turbo engine. There is also an “R” mode, which I assume stands for “Racing” mode. This is what you would use when driving your GT-R on a racing track somewhere.
Check out the below video for some track-side action of the Nissan GT-R!
I remember the first time I had the opportunity to take out a Nissan GT-R on the track. I was in Germany at the time, and so I had the chance to go on the world-famous race track! I can tell you; it was quite an experience!
One thing I took away from my track action in the GT-R is how well the gearbox performed. Being an automatic, I didn’t expect it to be so precise as a manual when shifting up or down. If you get the opportunity, I suggest you take out a Nissan GT-R for a test drive. Only then will you agree on that point with me!
It won’t kill you going around corners
Many enthusiasts of the older R33 Skylines enjoyed superior handling. But, the suspension setup still needed some tweaking and adapting. Another thing that surprised me about the Nissan GT-R is the handling it offers as standard.
You can go around corners at 30 mph or 130 mph, and you won’t end up sliding all over the road. Even in wet weather conditions, the car grips to the road like a go-kart! Yes, the use of premium tyres and wide wheels helps. But, the main reason for the brilliant handling is down to the car’s suspension setup.
Nissan has clearly spent a lot of time and money investing in the car’s suspension system. Of course, some folks will still want to fine-tune the handling. After all; car enthusiasts are never satisfied with a “standard” car!
The good news is that you can adjust the damping settings via controls inside the car. Still, when I took a GT-R out in Germany, I didn’t feel like I had to adjust them.
There is plenty of things to love about the Nissan GT-R. In fact, I could probably spend all day talking about them. Instead, I recommend that you just go and drive one in real life.
I guarantee you that you’ll enjoy the experience. Even if you’re not a typical Nissan Skyline fan!