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Nissan GT-R Track drive

11th Mar 2016 8:00 am

Shapur Kotwal meets up with an old friend, the GT-R, at the Buddh Formula 1 circuit.


  • Make : Nissan
  • Model : GT-R

Heart beat; thump, thump, thump, thup. Then come memories of driving this car before. On the track at Sendai Japan, at the Paul Ricard circuit, on the streets of Delhi and then, back home in Mumbai. I remember just how much power it can put cleanly down, I recall just how manically the turbo V6 motor pulls, and the way in which it rockets out of corners, that’s just special.

We only have a handful of laps at India’s F1 circuit, but I still walk rather than run. This is a seriously fast car and I still have to discover where the braking points are on the track. The first hit of acceleration pins me to the back of my seat; the 0-100kph claimed time is 2.7 seconds, ladies. And soon, I’m reacquainted with the relentless thrust, well-connected steering and the friendly handling. And the faster you go, the lighter on its feet it feels; just amazing. How exactly does it allow you to carry so much pace into a corner? And those Brembo brakes, they feel super strong and deliver loads and loads of confidence. 


Still, the current GT-R is feeling a bit long in the tooth today. It’s been in showrooms for nigh on 10 years now and technology and cars have moved on since. Where it excels is that it gets a lot of the basics right – the weight of the transaxle pins the rear wheels down at the back, giving it amazing traction out of corners and the punch of the twin-turbo engine is so well mated to the gearbox and four-wheel-drive system, it still has the ability to put more power down in corners than most modern supercars. 

While I enjoy the sensation of driving the car on the track, I really wish I had more time and more laps. I miss most of the braking points, I generally brake too early and I’m nowhere near as neat as I should be. And before I know it, it’s all over; time for a cool-down lap. I didn’t even manage a half decent lap; rats!

However, this isn’t the GT-R we’ll get in India. Our showrooms are likely to have the new GT-R later this year. Expect more grip and performance from the chassis, power should be up to around 575bhp and from what we hear, the car will be both, more comfortable on the road and as sharp as the original 2007 car was on the track. Truth be told, this 2015 car didn’t feels as incisive or as sharp on the track as the original. Still, it looks like a million bucks. And at an expected price of Rs 1.35 crore, it will be great value too. Remember, a Porsche 911 Turbo S costs Rs 2.6 crore and a Ferrari 488 GTB is Rs 3.88 crore.

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