Nissan GT-R 2017: First Drive
Whilst some car brands may have a wider following, when it comes to a single car model you will be hard pressed to find something with such cult global appeal than the Nissan GT-R (previously Skyline). My neighbour once sold his back in the early noughties and the guy who bought it fly some 900 miles to view it and then proceeded to drive it all the home he wanted it that badly. So when Nissan invited us to be one of the very first to test the all new GT-R we jumped at it.
We headed down to Oxford and the Williams F1 Centre for an introduction to the car and more importantly to pick up the keys. Nissan do a lot of work with Williams F1 when it comes to their cars (especially the quick ones), given their heritage they specialise in weight loss and aerodynamics for some of the quickest and most sought after cars in the world.
Current fans will rejoice, the new GT-R is very much all GT-R. There are some subtle changes but upon a quick glance you won’t notice anything major over the outgoing model. The changes are all in the details and to be honest that is really where it matters. Things like the bonnet have been strengthened and pillars has small creases taken out, as well as a slight change to the rear spoiler – all resulting in additional downforce and improved aerodynamics which is very much evident when we were pushing the car around Thurxton – probably the fastest race-track in the UK.
The same twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre 24-valve V6 engine is present though it now eeks out even more power than ever before. An increase of 20 PS compared to last year – now pushing out a total of 570 PS at 6800 rpm. And did you know that each GT-R engine is hand-assembled from scratch and once finished is tested by the same ‘TAKUMI’ who checks for vibrations and issues by pressing his hand, face, body against the engine to feel for any imperfections whilst running.
Enough of the stats and figures, how did the all new GT-R actually drive? I sat inside having just got out of an i8, before than an R8 V10 and before the the new DB11. All very quick cars in their own rights but all very different – the Nissan GT-R is no different, or rather – very. It feels more like a muscle car than a true out and out sports car, but I don’t mean in terms of performance. It is pretty much as quick as anything out there and the amount of technology that goes into to keep it in a straight line (or not if you prefer it that way) is tremendous. Around the track it was staggeringly quick and stable. The four-wheel drive meant the more speed and power the more grip you ended up with.
The GT-R may not be cheap at 80K, but will you find anything else like it on the roads? Not really. Will you find much quicker? Not really. Will you find much better around a track? Not really. Whilst that 80K may sound like a lot for a Nissan – find me something for the same money which will give you more. I dare you.
We can’t wait for the delivery in January so we can give it a proper test!