Nissan’s rethink of the GT-R turns out a daily-drive version — and a Godzilla reprise
window glass and the bonding process for the Track body — that excites Tamura.
“The customer who wants to have daily use, please buy a Premium GT-R. For a track day, in the Track model they will find what they need.”
The Track trims 5kg thanks to lighter sports seats and forged 20-inch alloys and its front track is wider.
ON THE ROAD
The updated GT-R looks a little more aggressive in the body, thanks to the giant air intake, especially in the latest gold paintwork.
In the Premium, I relish the cabin quality that the car has always needed. There is premium leather everywhere, including the dashboard, plus carbon-fibre in the centre console, neater switches and clearer instruments — finally, it’s equipped more like a Porsche than a Micra.
There is still no space in the rear seat, vision behind the shoulders is marginal, the rear tyres still drag — thanks to the tight differential settings — on a U-turn and it is tough to park.
But I can get past that as the GT-R hits full boost in third gear for the first time to zap past a slow moving car-and-caravan combo. This, after all, is why people buy a Godzilla.
It’s impossible to feel the extra power on damp country roads but the torque seems a little more accessible. And, as always, I feel the GT-R could easily handle at least one more gear than the six available from its dual-clutch gearbox.
Best, for me, is the extra compliance in the suspension and reduced noise in the cabin. There is still a lot of road noise, especially on gnarly bitumen, but it’s not giving me a headache like the previous GT-R I drove.
The cornering grip is great, as anticipated, even on some very slippery corners. There is always more go than you can use legally.
ON THE TRACK
Track time starts with a Premium that has had its suspension settings tweaked — with a little more negative camber — for the high speeds of Phillip Island. It’s fast and fun, no surprise, even though the surface is slimy and I can’t give the car its head.
The GT-R always feels big and heavy, but I can forgive that because of the way it covers ground.
The Track edition looks and feels the same. Until I get it rolling.
I’m using half as much wheel for the same result in the first few corners but the track is still wet and the back steps out of line a couple of times.
When the weather clears, the track dries, the car is in its element and all ends well, howling to 252km/h down the straight — that’s a little quicker than the Lamborghini Huracan I drove earlier this year.
Compared with my last GT-R run at The Island, I can lean really hard on the rear tyres and the car feels more balanced, not just relying on front-end grip for its speed through corners. It could do with better brakes but carbon discs are out because of the cost.
I’m not sure I’d want a GT-R for day-to-day commuting. Godzilla is, however, much improved and the Track edition is a great choice for people with a need for speed.