Top Gear Speed Week: the super saloons
Nissan GT-R Track Pack, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series and BMW M5 kill tyres with POWEEEEER
Posted: 29 Aug 2012
The combined power output of these three cars? 1,619bhp. Until the Eighties, an entire F1 podium packed less horsepower. Maybe it's unfair to call the GT-R a conventional machine. Where previous GT-Rs were hyper-hopped-up versions of boggo Skylines, the R35 is a stand-alone supercoupe. But its cultural heritage is far more Everyman than Exotica, even though we're driving the GT-R Track Pack, the more hardcore version aimed at - and you knew this phrase would hove into view at some point, sorry - ‘track-day aficionados'. That means fresh six-spoke, lightweight alloys - shaving 10kg off the GT-R's kerbweight - along with sticky new fabric on the seats (sticky enough to hold your bottom slightly more firmly in place while cornering, that is, not sticky enough to trap passing flies or negate the need for seatbelts), stiffened springs and a very definite lack of rear seats.
I'd love to say the Track Pack feels hugely different from any GT-R we've driven before, but it doesn't: this is still a freakishly rapid sports car with more grip than an Alcantara barnacle. To undergo a full-bore launch in the GT-R - no wheelspin, no scrabble, just crushing, lung-pummelling traction - is to experience pure acceleration.