So we’re about 6 weeks on from taking delivery of my GT-R and here’s how I’m getting to grips with it so far….
The R35’s performance never fails to astound me, the sheer violence of torque drives you deep into the bolstered seats, what I find so unique is the way the acceleration builds through the Rev range. I’m used to turbo-charged cars giving their boost and then backing off towards the top of each gear, yet with the GT-R this simply isn’t the case. You get that assertive surge of power that builds adding drama to what is already a somewhat engaging if not terrifying experience. The ride is incredibly harsh I’ve been assured the latter DBA models have been softened a little but I must admit I find the GT-R hard work on long trips. Couple this to virtually non-existent suspension and I’m often stopping for coffee, just to get away from it for a few minutes. I adore the sheer road presence the GT-R delivers it looks broad-shouldered and mean. I can’t imagine how aggressive it must look in a rear-view mirror. I’m typically a little shy and awkward at times as I’m just not used to the amount of attention the GT-R commands , often being filmed, photographed or just genuinely stared at during my routine trip to the shops. However on the flip side the positive comments and random conversations you find yourself in are very rewarding even if you’re just putting some fuel in someone usually has something to say.
Being fair the R35 can be a competent car for daily duties depending on your usage , mine are mainly longer journeys of a couple of hours and around 100 miles. I tend to average around 27-29mpg with a mixture of heavy acceleration and commuting on dual carriageways and A-roads. The boot is more than large enough for my golf clubs, a rucksack and a suitcase or two, the rear seats are purely decorative unless you have small children. Being 6ft I’m not a big man yet I find my shoulders tend to straddle the seat bolsters and my driving position makes my seat touch the rears. Thanks entirely to my own doing the car drones quite badly at motorway speeds ,however this is some-what necessary to drown out the road noise. The roar from the tyres despite the fact the Pilot-Sport 4s are not run-flats as Nissan recommends still intrude in the cabin with the road making itself heard. You can hear all the gravel and soil hitting the underside of your car, a far cry in quality from its German rivals.
I think the best way to describe a Nissan GT-R is that quite simply when tuned nothing in its price bracket can compete. It’s performance both in a straight line or in the bends quite frankly scares the shit out of me more times than I care to mention. Despite its irritating quality issues it makes me smile and thanks to my exhaust it makes Norse god like noises (probably draws attention) but it’s by the far the most complete car I’ve ever owned and it really is savage. This being said day to day on short runs I would rather walk. The R35 is a fantastic platform but to quote Chris Harris “it’s just too bloody big” it’s fills any normal parking space, makes multi-story car parks feel incredibly tight and I’m forever wincing trying to avoid kerbstones. I did a gearbox re-learn a couple of days ago and it’s transformed the car dramatically it’s much more bearable at lower speeds with it “softening” its gear changes. I’ve always found its blip down to 2nd from 3rd less than satisfying and jerky, but since the relearn it feels slick and smooth. I would massively recommend ECUTEK software, as a complete GT-R novice I was able to download an app onto my iPhone and complete the relearn thanks to a Bluetooth OBD attachment, which has given me greater confidence in working with the car should any faults arise.