This is a somewhat subjective piece but the question I feel is still a relevant one. The R35 was a car I’d never planned on actually owning, they always felt unobtainable and if I’d managed it they’re ruinous to run, but here we are. Coming from fast Audi’s over the years the logical progression and dream was a first generation V10 R8. It’s a re-badged Gallardo effectively. You get the 5.2 litre V10, a manual gearbox (if you wish) and 518bhp which can easily be increased with a map tweak and exhaust. However the GT-R’s ability now overshadows the R8 it’s faster, arguably more agile and would decimate the V10 on track. The GT-R community is one I’ve learnt has a lot of cash. I’ve never known so many £100,000 builds spoken of so casually, not forgetting the monstrous power figures to match.
The last few months I’ve seen owners move on from their GT-R’s in semi-unique ways. Most enter more elitist supercar marques such as Lamborghini and Ferrari, some even opt for one of the latest McLaren models and then set about tuning it further. Unless I start getting paid a lot more per article or i’m offered the Top Gear job (both of which are highly unlikely) I simply can’t afford to go that route. I’ve said before how i’m young stupid and still learning about driving and performance cars. I’m not going to sit here and pretend i’m a driving god, the fact I’ve kept a modified GT-R on the road so far is as much of a claim to ability as I can make. So without the money to go elite supercar shopping never mind the lack of salary to run one what does this leave? Well in short going down an alternate tangent altogether.
The GT-R is without doubt a rocket-ship it’s re-defined what I consider “fast” and at the beginning it gave me a scaring more than a few times. The chassis is incredibly competent you can feel a little sidewall movement from the tyres when you’re pressing hard. The strangest feeling is when the weight-shifts mid corner. You pick your line and steering input then the weight moves to one side, it doesn’t alter your line but you can just feel it shift. It’s a feeling I can’t say I enjoy.
I love how communicative the R35 is and when it brakes away it will almost certainly pull itself straight again under throttle. I just wish it weighed a lot less. I feel I need to explore a different avenue to help my development as a driver. The GT-R has taught me to think quicker and the speeds that are capable in a road car, but what I would really like now is less weight and a manual gearbox. The R8 V10 is not by any means a light car but they’re certainly compact when compared to the GT-R. I’ve mentioned before my love for the BMW 1M coupe as they’re short, wide and gorgeous. From all reports they’re quite a handful as well. I’d be lying though if I said I wasn’t concerned about moving to a car with HALF yes HALF the power of the R35.
I’ve really developed a love for the Porsche 911 lately , specifically the second generation 996 GT3. Bucket seats, roll cage, fire extinguisher, rear-wheel drive and light-weight. This sounds like a recipe for a simply massive accident on a wet Welsh B-road, but I think i’m up to the challenge. Sadly the 996 GT3 feels unattainable again as these are still £60,000 cars. It’s nice to dream though and maybe one day I’ll get lucky. As I’ve said above I can’t go faster than an R35 GT-R and I certainly don’t want to daily one with 100k miles. I’ll have to try a different recipe for fun in the near future. Would you go mid engined and manual gearbox? Front engined rear-wheel drive and manual? Or rear-engined rear-wheel drive and manual? What does it for you?