How much? $170,800 plus on-road and dealer costs
Vital statistics: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6; 404kW/628Nm; 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission; 11.7L/100km and 278g/km CO2
She: I’ve always admired this beast from afar – it cuts a mean Stormtrooper-tough figure on the road, and the designer in me loves those uncompromising, wind-tunnel-derived angles. I spent most of my driving time in awe of the power, and that mechanical whine. Are you as enamoured of Godzilla as I am?
He: I’m not falling over myself to the same extent. But it is a reasonably impressive beast. Beast being the operative word. I agree it looks the part with a menacing demeanour. But it’s the figures and ability that get me drooling more – 404kW, four-wheel-drive and some incredible engineering to make it all work.
She: So true – it wouldn’t be such a “hook in and hold on” power ride without some serious tech under the bonnet. But unlike other performance car manufacturers who sink plenty of time into safeguarding the driver from overzealous out-of-control moments, the GT-R has been known to chew up and spit its drivers, especially on the track. I found the stability control and other interventions fairly harsh and grindy for a $170k vehicle.
He: Yeah they can get aggressive, but that’s because they have to. Even a quick stab of the throttle builds some serious pace, which means you arrive at the next bend carrying genuine speed. At no point does the GT-R feel undernourished when it comes to acceleration. But I do get a bit tired of the performance claims – 2.8 seconds to 100km/h. We couldn’t get close even when using every megabyte of software.
She: Yes, the launch figures are a far cry from our track times. But as a mere mortal pilot, I really like the way this car focuses on driver ergonomics. The whole wheel and instrument bank is adjustable, which really works for shorties like moi, and the paddles are in the perfect spot, with leather edging making them some of the sleekest flippers around. Then again there’s that seat, with its barely upholstered rods pincering each thigh into place. That took a bit of getting used to.
He: Performance aside, one thing I love with the GT-R is that brilliant data centre with all sorts of funky stuff – G-forces, pedal positions and the temperature of just about every component on the car. It gives it a hint of race car feel and brings a bit of PlayStation to the car.
She: I love the instrumentation and the way the graphics mirror the nature of the car. And how is that Bose sound system? The awesome audio is standard for Australia. I also wouldn’t mind the fancier leather offered as an option overseas. I’d also option some legroom in the back if I could.
He: Yeah comfort and practicality are not a GT-R’s forte. My biggest issue is how it behaves on the road. Sure, they’ve made the suspension more compliant, but it’s still very firm and is accompanied by plenty of tyre roar. The gearbox is also a race track special – it blasts through the gears brilliantly when you’re flipping the paddles but is pretty dopey if you stick it in D for drive.
She: It’s a bone-rattling kidney-smasher on unkempt roads and a noisy ride on the highway at speed – perhaps the Bose is there to sweeten that deal. Despite a few daily drive concessions like the reversing camera (which you absolutely need to park this thing), it’s really a car for special occasions and track play. Otherwise it’s a lot of cash for a car that subjects its passengers to a relentlessly loud, bashy drive. Does it tempt you?
He: If I had a (really) big garage and plenty of cash a GT-R would be on my wish list. But I’d struggle to live with it day to day.
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