2009 Nissan GT-R Review
A Challenge to Six-Figure Supercars
The Nissan GT-R has earned the unofficial nickname of "Godzilla," and for good reason; this Japanese coupe boasts supercar performance that competes with top-shelf Italian and German exotics. However, after cannonballing through Nevada’s barren landscape, our first impression of the GT-R was how surprisingly civilized it can be. Its low-key but pleasant interior makes road trips relatively pain-free, and an optional eleven-speaker Bose system accesses music from an onboard hard drive.
If information is king, the GT-R is royalty; everything from steering angle to lateral acceleration can be managed via the navigation screen. The cabin is quiet, even at ludicrous speeds, and its snugly supportive seats are comfortable enough for long hauls.
The V6's twin-turbochargers spool up nearly instantaneously and offer oodles of oomph, yet it takes serious hubris to unglue the GT-R's sticky Bridgestones on public roads. The six-speed sequential gearbox shifts quickly in normal mode, and in true video game style, nearly instantaneously in "R" mode. With suspension and transmission in "R" modes, the GT-R did everything we asked while attacking Reno-Fernley Raceway, aiming itself like a precision-guided projectile while reigning itself in when asked too much.
After several confidence-inspiring laps, we attacked the track with traction control completely disabled, and to our surprise, the GT-R pulled no punches; its predictability made us feel like rock star racers. Equally ennobling are the GT-R's Brembo brakes, which dished out lap after lap of fade-free stops.
Though its hushed exhaust note doesn't come close to betraying the vast reserves of horsepower under its bulged hood, a few hours of road tripping will make you appreciate the GT-R's surprising civility and unbelievable power. It's an unexpected blend of politeness and brawn, one that makes the GT-R even more of an oxymoron in a world of exotics costing up to six times as much.
Warranty/Service: Three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty with complimentary roadside assistance and alternate transportation; three-year annual complimentary inspections.
Text and photography: Basem Wasef