Dou­ble-track mind

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - PRESTIGE -

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.

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