Motoring review: Some drivers would chew their left arm off for the Nissan GT-R. Not me


Price: GBP 73,610
Engine capacity:
3.8-litre V6 twin turbo
Power output (BHP @ rpm): 547 @ 6,400
Top speed (mph): 196
0-62 mph (seconds): 2.7
Fuel economy (mpg): 24
CO2 emissions (g/km): 275

Something slightly odd happened recently as I was behind the wheel of the new Nissan GT-R on my way out of Bishop's Stortford. I noticed the same car, in the same colour – bright red – coming the other way. Nissan only sells 700 or so of this model a year so it's quite a rare sight.

Anyway, the other driver grinned, then waved and flashed his headlights in what I can only describe as automotive joy for seeing a fellow motorist on the road in "his" car.

This isn't the sort of thing that happens to me testing small Citroëns or tiny Fords. They don't have this sort of fan club.

He looked so happy that I can only assume that was because his car had undergone some kind of radical and expensive chassis surgery.

I do apologise if I sound like a spoilt brat here, but there's only one way to describe testing the latest GT-R; almost unbearable. I know drivers who would chew their left arms off to have a go behind the wheel of this machine, but it just isn't for me, and here's why.

Firstly, the ride comfort of Nissan's super car is non-existent. There is no comfort. It crashes over the smallest imperfections in the road and its surplus of power and sensitive throttle mean you have to keep both hands on the wheel, not as a simple sensible caution, but for fear that it will decide the next pothole is too much to handle and launch itself off the road. At least the resulting fireball and your imminent demise is likely to be swift, as the Nissan GT-R has two turbo chargers bolted onto a 3.8-litre V6 engine.

Dedicated car fans might smell an oil leak here because the GT-R was first launched back in 2009, but since then that V6 has been tweaked almost yearly (this is the latest model), the price has gone up by a third and the power has been boosted from a "mere" 478bhp to a massive 547bhp.

So the price rise is worth it, but only if you're interested in the 0.8 seconds you save getting to 62mph. For an extra £810 you could have a Porsche 911, which I admit is slower but as my petrolhead brother-in-law says, "it's a Porsche not a Nissan".

That said, the GT-R, as I'm sure my fellow GT-R driver would point out, is a super-car slayer and will keep pace with the GBP800K plus Bugatti Veyron, let along the humdrum gaggle of Porsches and BMWs it will leave in its wake all over suburbia.

Secondly, the cabin feels like it was designed by one of the programmers for a mid-1990s computer game such as Daytona USA or Need For Speed, which in 2013 just isn't on. In fact, the whole thing with its bright red paint job, aggressive haunches and huge spoiler, feels like an arcade racer.

It does have a big boot, though, along with all the gadgets you'd expect plus more, as well as room for two child seats in the rear.

Not that my new friend had any children in the back and I didn't see any Porsches and Ferraris to race with on the A10. And that's the thing – this machine isn't for the road.

It's a piece of engineering brilliance but it was designed for the track and only die-hard speed freaks, middle-aged chaps from Hertfordshire and braver car reviewers than I could possibly think otherwise.

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living