An Early Nissan R35 GT-R Is Still Terrifyingly Fast; Bends Space-Time

Illustration for article titled An Early Nissan R35 GT-R Is Still Terrifyingly Fast; Bends Space-Time
Screenshot: RegularCars (YouTube)

When the Nissan R35 GT-R came out in 2007, it ate Porsches for breakfast. It quickly established itself as nothing short of a missile on four wheels and with a sub-$80,000 price tag, it was the ultimate bang-for-your-buck deal of the century. It’s time for a little revisit of the first version of the R35.


I’m talking about the pre-facelift R35, by the way. The one where the price was still in the five digits. As time went on and the GT-R gained more and more power, it also got more and more expensive. That’s where it lost me. But this 2009 GT-R on Regular Car Reviews is the good one. This Recession GT-R is where it’s at.

Normally, a 2009 GT-R would be making about 500 horsepower. This one, because it’s been tuned, now makes about 600. I’ve had the great fortune to have driven a couple of GT-Rs, so I understand Mr. Regular perfectly when he says this is a car that’s so fast it feels like it’s bending time. You feel like you’re going into warp drive and things aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

And I’ve always loved the noise an R35 makes. I don’t care what the snobs say, the VR V6 sounds cool and burbly. And there’s a perpetual clanking noise coming from the car’s transmission. Sort of like a Ducati’s dry clutch rattle, as Mr. Regular points out.

These things counter industry-wide reports that an R35 is soulless and boring. They’re very exciting cars. They are just... too fast for human reaction time, and that’s why there are so many onboard computers. Trust me, you need them.

Correction 4:03 p.m. EST: An earlier version of this blog stated the GT-R has a VQ engine, when in fact is has a VR. The story has been updated.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.


Shane Morris

If you haven’t owned one, I know you won’t understand, but these cars are in a category that really only belongs to... well, people who love cars.

Here are my quick takes after daily-driving a GTR.

1. My 2010 wasn’t as nice as the newer ones. Yes, it’s extremely fast, but the cost savings are apparent from the interior.

2. Most people don’t know what you have. It’s weird explaining to people, “No, like... this car is faster than just about any Lambo or Ferrari.” The styling is subdued compared to the performance.

3. Be prepared to talk to people who stop you at gas stations and restaurants. It’s all good though, they’re always car people, and they always have nice things to say. It all eventually leads back to your love of Gran Turismo, or some other video game where they loved the R34.

4. Tires. This. Car. Eats. Fucking. Tires. Ask me what I spent on tires in 18 months. Go ahead. That number you’re thinking? Triple it. This car weighs two tons, and those Pilot Sports you just bought for $1,800 have a 150 treadwear rating. See ya in six months, champ.

5. They hold their value extremely well. I bought mine for $74k, and sold it 18 months later for $68k, putting 22,000 miles on it. Their low water mark is high.

6. It’s reliable. I never had a single issue with mine.

7. ... and lastly, the reason I sold it: Every single person wants to race you. Seriously. People see this car, and then start doing dangerous ass shit, just because they assume you must love racing.

It gets annoying having dudes in WRX’s constantly revving on you, as they blow their vape out the sunroof. Stop it, Chad.

If you ever get the chance to buy one, do it.