After what feels like an eternity, NissanAustralia has finally delivered the goods, bringing to market one of the fastest carsthat money can buy, the Nismo GT-R.
Now, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, seems like a fitting placefor a first drive of this thing, and one where we can answer the ultimate question, doesit live up to the Godzilla pedigree? There’s been plenty of hype and speculationaround a pedal [? 00:00:26] version of the R35 GT-R, and now it has landed in Nissanshowrooms, the first of several anticipated Nismo models set for Australia.
Okay, so down to the nitty-gritty.
You get 441 kW and 652 N-m to play with.
That’s 22 kW and 20 N-m over the donor car,and like the basic GT-R this thing features a hand-built engine from Japan.
As for the price, you better sit down, $299,000.
That price positions the GT-R Nismo squarelyamong the Porsche 911 GT3, Mercedes AMG GTS, and Jaguar F-type SVRs – big name super carswith plenty of performance.
To help leverage the Nismo from the gardenvariety GT-R, it scores high flow, larger-diameter turbochargers, as found on the Nismo GT3 racecar, tweaked shock springs, and stabilisers, and a stiffer body.
Improved aerodynamics include added carbon fibre.
There are also Nismo-tuned Bilstein shockabsorbers.
Now, the GT-R Nismo might be priced amongthose three, but out on the track it has its own distinct feel.
For one, it weighs only 14 kg lighter thanthe donor car at a touch under 1,750 kg.
The power – it just has this no-nonsense demeanour.
Any time you want to stand on the throttleit just goes.
Officially, Nissan claims a 0 –100 timeof 2.
7 seconds in the Nismo, though, based on our seat of the pants impression, you'dstruggle to replicate that without perfect conditions and a factory test driver.
In saying that it's the middling to upperrevs where this thing is simply mesmerising.
It will happily just sing towards its 7,100rpm cut-out and that's where a lot of the power is coming to fruition.
The rest of the car also others borrows fromthe no nonsense handle [? 00:02:35].
The gearbox shifts are best left to manualmode, the steering feels raw, and purposeful, and the car’s Dunlop rubber sticks to theroad faithfully.
There's also less body roll than the donorcar and the brakes stand-up to plenty of punishment.
All in all the Nismo is confidence inspiringon a track, despite its size and power.
In short few road cars could perform thiswell on the Mount Panorama circuit.
We also dared to take the Nismo away fromthe race track and, not surprisingly, there's no hiding it's hard-core roots.
Yes, look, this thing is hard work away fromthe racetrack.
For one the gearbox is constantly shufflingand clunking its way through the ratios.
Another thing that's kind of annoying, I'min sixth gear doing 60 km an hour, typical sort of overtaking speed, I plant my rightfoot, and five, four, three, two… we're finally away.
Inside there are 16 fewer buttons than theprevious generation model, as well as a larger eight inch touch-screen.
Suede trim adorns the top of the dashboardand contact points.
A virtually unusable rear seat resides atthe rear.
Okay, so the big question, does the Nismolive up to the Godzilla pedigree? Well, there's an exercise fraught with danger,but what I think I can safely say is that this thing does elevate performance in everymeasurable way.
The biggest thing going against the GT-R Nismois its price, and the other thing, ironically, you're going to need a place like this toenjoy its full potential.