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Nissan GT-R – long-term review
Is the Nissan GT-R still relevant?
Godzilla is back in the TG Garage. Not the rampaging sea monster (that was an interesting day at the office, though), but the latest and greatest GT-R.
See, keen readers may remember that many moons ago we ran an R35 Skyline on the fleet. That’s when it first kicked down the door that read Supercar Performance with a size 13 boot of technology. It actually did more than that – way more, in fact – as the GT-R shook up the scene by setting new standards for point-and-shoot performance at an enthrallingly accessible price point.
The R35 instantly became a bang-for-your-buck yardstick and YouTube icon. At just over £50k it’d consistently and effortlessly eviscerate more prestigious and expensive supercars. But that was nearly 10 years ago.
With each year, the GT-R’s infamy has risen. But so has its price. To the point where this MY17 car comes in at £85,650. But Car World has also undergone change in the last decade. The GT-R has new competition. Competition that has shifted the parameters of performance through new drivetrains and technology. So is the ageing Japanese super-coupe still relevant? Or just a bit long in the tooth?
To find out, this Katsura Orange (a £1,775 option) is with us for the next few months. It’s the middling Recaro spec, sat in between the Pure (starting at £79,995) and Prestige, another £500 on top (or a further £1,000 if you want tan, ivory or red seats instead of black). The main difference between the three is down to the seats. The Recaro (which, surprise, has brilliantly supportive rib-clenching seats) is the pick.
There are no other options fitted to OY17 LHX, but for 2017 the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 has 562bhp (a 20bhp rise) and 469lb ft (a mighty 3lb ft climb). The stats haven’t changed; 0–62mph in 2.8secs and a top speed of 196mph. But speed wasn’t the priority. See, knowing that early GT-Rs rode like a wood pallet with caster wheels screwed on, Nissan has apparently made this one more GT than R. There’s a simplified interior, softer suspension and a smoother gearbox to make it a more long-legged car. Is it? Well, with 4WD, a plusher interior and winter tyres, we’re going to do some serious miles to see if it’s the ultimate sub-zero supercar.