Nissan's GT-R pure dynamite
Australian motoring writer Grant Edwards has his pick of supercars - and it's going to surprise you
Take a walk down supercar aisle at the Geneva motor show. Stroll past the Ferrari California T ... nope. How about the McLaren 650S Spider ... nope. Surely the Lamborghini Huracan ... nah, mate. None of them has a sprint to match "Godzilla". Meet the Nissan GT-R.
Forget bang for your buck, this is dynamite for your dollar.
While it's been around for a few years, this Japanese powerhouse remains one of the quickest, most savage road-going cars on the market. Stamp on the accelerator from standstill and it will reach 100km/h in less than three seconds. I have blinks longer than that.
You can pull up at the lights safe in the knowledge that just about any other car on the road will be picking stones out of its grille once you give it the gas. This range-topping GT-R Black Edition will set you back A$182,500 ($197,500) but Nissan NZ is still negotiating on the price and availability of this model with a few Kiwis desperate to buy one.
The impressive rear spoiler of the Nissan GTR.
Over the years I've parked my behind in some pretty quick stuff but I can't recall anything with equal brutal, neck-snapping acceleration. The official time for 0-100km/h is 2.7 seconds. Although I didn't take it on the track to test the credentials, repeated squirts of the throttle proved it was pretty close. Raw, brutal and strong, the GT-R is pure supercar. It groans and shunts at low speeds - there is no hiding its racy intentions.
Meander around town or on the highway and the coupe is nonchalant and even firm jabs of the right pedal have it almost shrugging its shoulders and saying "bored".
But lean across to the dash, flick up the trio of dials in the "R" position to get the red lights illuminated to set the beast free. It sharpens all operations even more, from gear changes to the firmest of suspension settings, enabling the all-wheel drive and twin-turbo V6 to work in rampant unison.
Stamp your right foot and the digital speedo becomes a blur and you can carry outstanding speed into the bends.
With 20-inch rubber on each corner, all-wheel drive and beautifully direct steering, no corner is unwelcoming. Being a supercar, there are a few setbacks for daily travel: that sporty steering can make it a challenge to park in tight spaces, and the suspension is outrageously firm and the vibrations are felt right up your spine.
Yet, the GT-R actually has real-world functionality.
The mighty Nissan GT-R is a real attention-grabber. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily
It has a CD stereo and dual-zone air con that actually works properly, and it's all fairly intuitive operationally.
There is a function available on the touch screen, where you can oust the satnav or stereo information in favour of a plethora of ultra-cool gadgetry, which tells you important stuff like turbo boost and the temperature of the engine and transmission oil, as well as has how many "g" you are pulling when braking, cornering and accelerating. (Thank you GranTurismo).
Bucket sports seats envelop the front passengers, with strong bolstering at the sides and thighs. Behind the leather sports steering wheel are the large paddles, and the driver has an uncluttered view of key gauges and dials. Taking pride of place is the analogue tachometer with the speedo positioned to the left. This makes the digital speedo within the tacho a vital tool in keeping track of the velocity.
There is a surprisingly large boot which can swallow a couple of small suitcases. Although the GT-R is a four-seat coupe the rear seat space is tight.
The Nissan GTR Black Edition belongs on the track.
he GT-R Black Edition gets some more cool kit over that standard model, including the leather Recaro front pews, matching trim on the door pulls, shift lever and steering wheel, black lightweight forged alloy six-spoke alloys and a carbon-fibre rear spoiler.
Add that to satnav, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with USB and auxiliary ports, automatic lights and push-button start.
Fuel consumption is not too bad, achieving on average less than 12 litres for every 100km. That would take some good acceleration behaviour, not something we embraced during our test.
While not in Lamborghini or Ferrari territory, the GT-R is an attention-grabber. Just picking it up attracted a gallery of young engineers.
Extra-big alloys, gigantic disc brakes, an even bigger rear wing and chunky, low-slung style with the distinctive circular lights at the back ensure it turns heads.
Godzilla is respected and revered by those in the know.
Launch the GT-R and it's akin to a roller-coaster. It's fast ... and too quick for the road. You really need regular track time to get the most out of this brutally brilliant coupe.
Model: Nissan GT-R Black Edition.
Details: Two-door, all-wheel drive performance coupe.
Engine: 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 generating maximum power of 404kW @ 6400rpm and peak torque of 628Nm @ 3200-5800rpm.
Transmission: Six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with three modes and steering wheel paddles
Consumption: 11.7/100km combined average.
Performance: 0-100km/h in 2.7s;CO2 = 278g/km.