Nissan GT-R 2011
Revised edition of tech heavy Japanese supercar is even better than before
Three years on from its launch, the GT-R is still one of the most amazing cars we’ve ever driven, and it continues to turn heads. This latest version is better equipped, even faster and slightly more useable – but you won’t get many chances to fully exploit it on public roads. Set the dampers, stability control and paddleshift box to the hardcore ‘R’ mode, for instance, and you really will need a race track. Still, while the price may have gone up, there’s no doubt it represents unrivalled technology and performance for the money.
From smartphones to laptops to one of the world’s most advanced supercars... no matter how hi-tech the equipment, it will always need an update sooner or later.
So, Nissan’s mighty GT-R has received a range of tweaks. The first-generation model was hardly lacking power, but nonetheless Nissan has bumped the GT-R’s 3.8-litre twin-turbochaged V6 up from 478bhp to 523bhp, while torque has increased from 588Nm to 612Nm, spread over a wider rev range. Other revisions include LED running lights, new alloy wheels, bigger brakes and a red engine cover. Inside, there’s only one generously equipped trim level. Buyers simply have to choose between leather and Alcantara seats, or the Recaros of our test car – which is also painted a new colour called Daytona Blue.
Other than that, the price has gone up by around £10,000 as a result of VAT increases and the upgrades. Given that you’d probably need a Bugatti Veyron or a McLaren MP4-12C to keep up with the GT-R on a twisty road – and down the straights – it still represents incredible performance for the money. But is this revised version an improvement? Well, it’s certainly faster. Nissan quotes a 0-62mph time of only 3.1 seconds, and with peak torque delivered lower in the rev range, that performance is slightly more accessible. Despite this, power delivery is still brutal – once you’ve got past some lag, the way both turbos hook up and fire you at the horizon can only be described as ferocious.
Although it’s been billed as the epitome of the ‘Playstation Generation’ supercars, the GT-R still offers a surprisingly mechanical experience, too. The four-wheel-drive system’s differentials clonk and whir at low speed, the ride is extremely firm even in Comfort mode and there are all sorts of whooshing noises from under the bonnet.
But on the right road, the combination of performance and grip is simply extraordinary.
Rival: Porsche 911 Turbo S The ultimate turbocharged Porsche boasts four-wheel drive, 523bhp and simply storming pace. At £125,864, though, it highlights just how much value the GT-R offers.