Friday, August 29, 2014


The 2014 Nissan GT-R has advanced technology to overcome its substantial curb weight and offers agile responses along with truly breathtaking acceleration.

The GT-R’s all-wheel-drive system is one of the car’s most obvious technical assets. This system can send 100 percent of available power to the rear wheels, and up to 50 percent to the fronts. Added to this are Bilstein DampTronic electronically-controlled dampers – which monitor everything from engine rpm, to lateral acceleration, vehicle speed and braking force – along with Nissan’s Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control, which sends power to each specific wheel, depending on where the car needs the most grip.

Nearly lost in the technological mix of asphalt-gripping hardware is the heart of the GT-R, the 545-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that is nestled deep, and as far back as possible, in the front of the car. Nissan refers to this as "Premium Midship" design and, to be frank, the name sounds pretty ridiculous, that is until you open the hood. They’re not kidding or messing around; this engine is way, way back in the chassis!

An engine that isn't covered up by tons of plastic! The 545-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 looks fantastic in the GT-R.An engine that isn't covered up by tons of plastic! The 545-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 looks fantastic in the GT-R.PreviousNextAn engine that isn't covered up by tons of plastic! The 545-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 looks fantastic in the GT-R. Each Nissan GT-R is hand-built and comes with a plaque on it. 

Coupled to the engine is a dual-clutch 6-speed transmission fitted with paddle-shifters on the steering wheel. Those paddles not only will fire you into the next gear in only 0.15 seconds, they also happen to be lovingly designed, thanks to their large size and the layer of leather that covers them. In city driving, and stop-and-go traffic, the gearbox manages to maintain its cool, for the most part. There are occasional ‘clunks’ and ‘thunks’ from the transmission, but it doesn’t lurch or stumble like some other semi-automatics.

In fact, during normal driving, the Nissan GT-R proved very capable when simply cruising down the highway – or making an impromptu short-cut through the Bronx to avoid weekend summer traffic jams. The ride is definitely firm, and it borders on twitchy if you switch every control into track-ready “R-mode.” Leave things in standard mode, however, and you’ll be surprised at the GT-R’s level of comfort and stability in routine driving conditions. The Nissan GT-R doesn’t give up livability compared to well-rounded rivals like the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and Corvette Stingray.

That comparison is tossed out the window when you realize the GT-R rockets its way from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3.0 seconds flat. Very few cars anywhere in the world can match that level of forward thrust. Nissan lists the top speed at 193 mph – I’m willing to forgive that the car’s speedometer actually reads up to 220 mph. Perhaps Nissan is being nice and leaving the door open to the GT-R tuning community. 

Compared to some sport-themed steering wheels that feel like you’re holding onto a pregnant python, I found the GT-R’s wheel to be extremely comfortable and attractive. (A colleague loved the fact that it’s not flat-bottomed, which is fast becoming the de facto trend in many modern sports cars)Some parts-bin buttons are still on the center console, and the driver’s gauge cluster looks way too much like something you’d find on a Sentra SE-R, in my opinion (minus the 220 mph speedometer, of course). Like the shrinking eye of a hurricane, these ergonomic oversights have slowly been surrounded by a solid mix of fine leather and high quality plastics. I really like the overall blocky layout of the dashboard, and a few hum-drum details don’t make a difference.

To its credit, the GT-R has loads more cargo room then many supercars that suggest owners pay a visit to Louis Vuitton for a custom-set of luggage, or gold-plated toothbrush holders. There is no silly cubby-hole in the nose to contend with, just an honest-to-goodness trunk with 8.8 cu. ft. of capacity. You can add the rear seats into the cargo-toting figures, too.

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