2017 Nissan GT-R India review, test drive

    We have a spanking new 2017 Nissan GT-R with us. Sergius Barretto gets acquainted with the incoming Japanese Ambassador under the city’s lights.

    Published on Dec 02, 2016 01:30:00 PM

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    Strutting About

    It’s still only dusk, the roads are still crowded and I’m thanking the GT-R’s tall seating position and good all-round visibility (by sportscar standards, of course). My path is littered with speed breakers and potholes, but I manage to get through unscathed. Not bad; I expected the worst. Then again, this is no SUV, so every speed breaker has to be crossed diagonally it if you want to spare the underside. I finally break away from the grind and head off into the city. The six-speed dual-clutch transmission swaps cogs smoothly and you can barely notice a shift; see, this isn’t an edgy, high-strung supercar at all! But it isn’t always quick to shift and I find myself reaching for the paddles, which have now moved from the steering column to behind the wheel. The suspension, is not as bone-jarring like most supercars but it does rumble over uneven surfaces, setting the dampers to ‘Comfort’ mode does alleviate this to an extent.

    Everywhere I go heads turn, people scream, wave, smile, take pictures, and even get off their bikes to get a better shot when I stop at the lights. For better or worse, quite a few kids scream “Ferrari! Ferrari!” And that’s exactly why Nissan is launching this car. Very few Indians are aware that the Japanese carmaker is even capable of building such an outrageous machine, and the brand could really do with an image boost over here.

    Taking the GT-R round some bends, the steering is really beginning to impress me. The feel and weight are simply super at any speed. It’s the old-school hydraulic unit retained from the earlier car, but elsewhere there are a host of other changes. The body has been stiffened and the suspension has also been recalibrated, with stiffer mounting points. These updates have added bulk and, with no real weight-reduction attempts, the GT-R tips the scales at a heavy 1,752kg. It might pay a small price in a sprint, but makes up for that with a more planted feel. The four-wheel drive has a rearward bias, but can vary the amount of power it delivers to the front wheels. The car has prodigious grip and very predictable handling that’ll make a hero out of anyone. Push it harder and the front begins to run wide, but even a novice like me can rein it in easily.

    Show Time

    Night has finally descended; time for our shoot and a chance to let the motor sing! For 2017, the GT-R’s twin-turbo 3.8 litre V6 gets a small bump in power to 570hp and 637Nm of torque. The climactic chapter in the legend of the GT-R is this engine. Nissan builds it like it builds its race engines – by hand, by one of just five ‘Takumi’ or master craftsmen. Ours was built by Tsunemi Ooyama, God bless him. It’s delightful – the engine just feeds in power and more power, and the acceleration is head-spinningly fast. In its time, the GT-R had built a reputation as a supercar slayer with some of the quickest acceleration times. This 2017 car is quick, no doubt, doing the dash to 100kph in a still-ballistic sub-three seconds, but frankly, today’s supercars have simply gotten quicker. The GT-R is finally paying the price for its weight. The pipes do growl, but the overall soundtrack is more of a wail – typically Japanese, I guess – and you can hear the twin-turbos whine. 

    Hand-built 3.8L V6 pumps out 570hp and sings like a high-pitched tenor.

    Do we test the navigation, the touchscreen and the AC effectiveness? Not really. I’m sure they all work and we’ll save that for a full road test. But the Bose sound system is great, and comes with active noise cancelling to negate wind and road noise. Oh, what we do test are the rear seats, which can pack two adults in like sardines (I get no complaints from my eager volunteers) and the boot is large enough for your weekend luggage too.

    The GT-R has always been about supercar killing performance and price too. However at Rs 1.99 crore (ex showroom Delhi) it’s pretty expensive when looked at against a Carrera or R8. But it does have its own appeal in its unbelievable balance, relentless power delivery and techno feel and Nissan are only looking at selling a handful of this brand builder.

    Nissan Cars

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