Not so hot take: The R35 Nissan GT-R, old as it is, tired, plain, beaten down, disrespected, priced up, priced out, aged out, well, it’s still good. This may or may not be what I tell myself when I look into the mirror each morning, but this is about a supercar slayer not my personal hangups.
The thing about the GT-R was it was always kind of mis-pitched, or mis-understood. It came out priced way below the exotics that were relatively as quick (or slower) on a race track or drag strip. As such, everyone rushed to see the GT-R as a non-exotic as much as an anti-exotic.
But that’s an unfair read of the GT-R. Drive one and you’ll understand. They growl beneath you, clunking as various all-wheel drive and dual-clutch components thunk from position to position. And they are not boring to drive fast. They feel alive, skittering when you press deep into the brakes.
And you understand anytime you see one outside of a car show, out on the street, out amongst all the normal cars of the world. Just yesterday I happened to be running up a block when I saw it across the street. A current-facelift model, in deep dark blue, with titanium exhausts matching in color. Next to the Honda Odysseys and busted Altimas of Flatbush, it looked completely alien.
Maybe it’s just that the R35 has been with us since the end of the Bush Years. We’re two generations of styling away from it, with two generations more scoops and swooshes on every Sonata and Accord. The GT-R looks, if anything, stranger as time toes on.
More than that, it looked good. Still.