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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Mario Balotelli (left) trudges off at half-time last night, to be substituted during the interval
football
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    EBD Teacher

    £120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...

    Part Time SEN 1:1 Teacher

    £40 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experience SEN Te...

    ICT/Business Studies Teacher

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: ICT/Business Studies ...

    Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

    £250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?