(Occasionally I give my Dad some seat time behind the wheel of cars that pique his interest. As he is an Evo X MR owner, the 2015 Nissan GT-R is one such car. Here are his thoughts on how he fell in love with Godzilla. - T.O.)
The Nissan GT-R is kind of the opposite of my normal car desires. It's heavy and huge, which is the antithesis of the lithe corner carvers that I've been used to my entire life. But there is just something about the GT-R that engenders desire within me.
(Full Disclosure: Nissan loaned us the GT-R for a weekend. My Dad requested that it be left with him the entire time. That didn't happen.)
It's a car that immediately made me feel at home as soon as I climbed in though I think the seats do need better bolsters. That's one area where I think the Evo totally beats the GT-R. And even though I love tech, I just couldn't get into the high-tech dash displays. Sure, the creators of Gran Turismo worked on it so you could see your G-Forces and all that malarkey, but if you're looking at those mid-corner, you either aren't going fast enough or are going to crash at corner exit.
In other minor complaints, I'd like to be able to shift gears with the lever. In a turn or away from a stop, it's sort of a natural impulse to reach down to the console. The paddles feel good and have a great weight, but the option to use the lever would be a nice touch.
But other than that, every part of it feels like a mature Evo. An aged gouda... with a flavor injection courtesy of Frank's Red Hot. This thing is nuts.
A launch of the GT-R is impressive. Unlike the 911 Turbo, which feels a bit skittish, the GT-R is an acceleration meth addict. It's a fat man running at Usain Bolt pace. I do think that it could launch at an even higher RPM to avoid the very slight bog that comes at the beginning of the launch. And I mean very slight. Teensy weensy.
Handling was impressive especially when you consider that you can feel some of the heft over the axles. You need to be careful with weight transfer or else I'd imagine you can have a huge push on corner entry. I think it's set up more for high speed than tight back roads antics. That's mainly because it just has too much grip to be fun at road speeds. I didn't get to drive it on a track, but I it's probably best somewhere like Road America where it can stretch its legs and reach its limits.
It's a very, very capable car, right up there with the 911 Turbo in terms of performance. You just can't drive it fast enough on the roads to know it's not a boring appliance. It's an Evo, just with limits that an Evo can only dream of. In fact, I think it's might be the perfect car to replace my Evo and Caterham all at once.
It would be a tough choice between this and a new Z06, but I think the GT-R would make a better daily driver. Of course, you have to buy a GT-R new, since the used ones have been thrashed and modified beyond belief (just like any Evo). And even if they say it hasn't been thrashed, you better believe it has probably been thrashed. Trust nobody.
But if I bought one, I'd join the crowd of people modifying and thrashing them. Isn't that why you buy a GT-R?