I’ll be honest – I like the GT-R, but not to the same extent as its vast legion of die-hard fans; the type who are simply besotted by Nissan’s icon. In my head, this Japanese ‘supercar’ has always been more of a sportscar, so when Shapur asked me to drive it this month, I was, according to him, merely ‘happy’, and not as bouncing-off-the-walls crazy as I should’ve been. “Supercar slayer, tuner’s muse, Japanese precision – GODZILLAAAAA!” he screamed, in an impassioned bid to get me on board with just how iconic this car really is.
“Maybe it’s not the car; maybe it’s me,” I thought to myself, it would be foolish not to give it a go. But for the GT-R to win me over, I need to do this right. I will drive it at night when the roads are free and, hopefully, the neon glow of the city lights will enlighten me to the mystical ways of this ballistic Nissan.
The GT-R was unveiled in 2007 as the successor to the legendary Skyline GT-R that ended production in 2002. In a nod to its legacy, it uses the code ‘R35’ – a carry-forward of the last Skyline’s R34 code, even though it no longer bears the Skyline name. The car I’m going to drive is the facelifted 2017 GT-R. After nearly a decade, you’d expect Nissan to have an all-new model, but the car has been updated regularly over the years, and this one is the biggest yet, with numerous cosmetic and technical improvements. I’m looking forward to seeing it in the flesh as the handful of GT-Rs that were either brought in through the grey market or officially imported are rarely ever seen out on the road.
Meet and Greet
I reach the dealership and there it is, sitting on the delivery ramp in blood red; nice! The car now wears Nissan’s new design signature – the ‘V-motion’ grille – in a matte finish. The grille opening itself is now larger to aid cooling, and though this does increase drag, the car has other tweaks to its shape to retain its 0.26 drag coefficient. The hood has been reinforced for better high-speed stability, and now features more pronounced lines, though the twin air intake nostrils are still there. The front bumper is new with a more prominent chin spoiler that really makes the car look more aggressive. The side sills are pushed out to aid airflow and at the rear, next to the massive exhausts, are functional air vents. Of course, this is a GT-R, so the hallmark four-ring tail-lights are there to send chills down the spines of everyone it overtakes.
Overall the car seems wider, lower and meaner. Which begs the question – how am I going to get it off that ramp? A lengthy exercise involving a few planks and flattened cardboard boxes later, it still couldn’t escape scraping its chin. Mumbai’s roads aren’t going to be kind to it. Finally onto the road now. I sit inside for a while to take it all in. The interiors are new and a big leap over the original, 2007 car. The dash top and door pads are covered with double-stitched leather, there’s a carbon-fibre treatment on the transmission tunnel, and a larger touchscreen infotainment system with a new jog dial controller. And in true Japanese, techie-obsessed fashion, the touchscreen displays not just music and navigation screens, but also various real-time performance readouts like oil pressure, boost, various G-force numbers, throttle position and tons more. The interiors, though, do have some decidedly old-feeling bits, like reflector-covered bulbs in the doors and a simple Micra-like key fob. The overall layout and styling does show its age, but on the contrary, if retro’s your thing, then it actually looks very cool.
Price Range (in lakhs)*
Chassis & Body
Sergius has been a part of the automotive industry for 18 years, fixing, selling, training and consulting on all things automotive. Auto enthusiast by birth. Auto engineer by education. Now auto journalist by profession.
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Issue: 213 | Autocar India: May 2017
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