Motoring is more than a casual hobby for me; it’s a way of life. It’s an extension of my personality that a non-car person could never fully appreciate. In the right car I can spend hours alone and never suffer a single second of boredom. This week’s ‘In The EFTM Garage” offering may have destroyed my little vice forever. A car so mind altering and addictive I’ve become hooked. Next week I’ll be suffering severe withdrawals, even the Betty Ford Clinic would turn me away.
It’s the Nissan GT-R MY13 Premium Edition, and it’s my drug of choice.
The 10 Minute Test Drive
There’s no need to be shy about using the word ‘Supercar’ here. That’s the purest, simplest and most accurate description of what squats in front of you. Edgy and bold from every angle the GT-R silhouette is the closest most imaginative kids would sketch out as their dream car.
It may not possess the Michelangelo looks of a Ferrari or the body of a supermodel like a Lamborghini. But it’s a race car and everyone knows it.
The seats on the Premium edition, although not Recaro, mean serious business. In fact if they were a business you’d be doing hand stands over their customer service. Leather accented with suede inserts, they juggle luxury with vice-like support.
Interior wise don’t expect a stripped backed sports car feel. Legitimate carbon fibre surrounds the centre cluster, there’s brushed metal and other leathery bits here and there. It’s not quite to the standard of the 370Z we recently drove, but no one in their right mind will care about that after a 10 minute stint.
The centrally mounted red start button activates a whole new appreciation of motoring.
Noisy metallic clunks, clicks and whining are the very first hint at what lays at the end of the steering column. Get going and you’ll realise this won’t float down the road like a Bentley. It clambers along with a level of firmness that can become annoying, if you are a complete and utter nark.
The wheel tugs at your nervous hands, reading the road like a surveyor. It transmits every bit of information about the path ahead with remarkable accuracy. Factory filled nitrogen tyres slap away over joints in the road, creaks reverberate around the cabin. It’s a wonderful sense of rawness.
Then there comes time for the inevitable ‘give it some’ moment.
My first moment delivered a shot of adrenaline that quite frankly put my body into self-preservation mode. This car is an evil monster that deserves the respect one would give to a tribal elder. Far from being some Sportscar toy, this in fact is a highly tuned, serious machine.
A 10 minute test drive at a dealer would be an exercise in futility; those buying a car such as this already know what’s coming their way.
In’s and Out’s
A 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged 24-valve V6 sits up front. It’s handcrafted by 4 individuals known collectively as “Takumi” but led by Takumi Kurosawa who has his name on the engine block.
The MY13 GT-R now generates 404 kW @6,400rpm and 628Nm @3,200 rpm-5,800 rpm. That’s enough thanks.
All this enormous potential is delivered back to earth via an All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system coupled to a 6-speed dual clutch transmission. To prevent potentially leaving this earth Nissan-Brembo brakes are thrown in.
Suspension wise front double-wishbone with aluminium arms compliment the rear multi-link with aluminium arms set up providing unbelievable stability.
The drivetrain’s personality can swing at the flick of a switch. The Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) has three modes which moderate when the system intervenes. Normal, R-mode and Off are available. Activating the third option would indicate to me one of two things. You belong in an asylum or you became stuck in mud or snow!
The transmission also has three personas. Normal, R-Mode and Save. R-Mode produces lighting quick almost F1 type gear shifts. ‘Save’ see’s the GT-R accelerate like a Micra.
Damping can also be adjusted via the Bilstein Damptronic system. Again there are three settings. Normal, R-Mode and Comfort. At legal speeds none of this can be detected, fang around a track and the system becomes a key player.
But the wholly grail of all this wizardry is the R-Mode start function or launch control.
This is where the GT-R elevates itself above almost all others. It’s simply a three step process that leads to an unparalleled experience. Stamp on the brake, floor the throttle to its controlled 4000rpm limit and let go.
The initial milliseconds produce a violent snap, then like an arrow fired from a cross bow, speed builds in an almost hypersonic type way. It sounds like an army of Dyson vacuums are creating a black hole for you to enter, never to return. It’s simply amazing and sub 3 second 0-100kph times are very much achievable. There are no words, just watch our video review (Above) and in particular Trevor’s big head.
The handling extends beyond what your mind can compute. Very few will even have the skills let alone the opportunity to fully explore it. On a closed private road and in the hands of a talented driver I was passenger and witness to some amazing cornering feats. The GT-R has no respect or manners when it comes to the laws of physics.
Anyone who delves deeper than we would ever here will understand, appreciate and respect this car. As one person on Twitter suggested to me (@TheBowen) “Cross that off your bucket list”.
If you really want people to look at you than you’ve found the right car. Personally it makes me feel a little uncomfortable; you become acutely aware of the staring going on in your peripheral vision. Pulling up at service station is tantamount to a celebrity making a public appearance.
The Hip Pocket
You’ll need a serious chunk of cash when placing an order for one, but you won’t need to show your Oil Tycoon licence like Ferrari and Lamborghini warrant.
Our test car was the GT-R MY13 Premium Edition which has a manufacturer suggested price (MSRP) of $172,000. Other grades weigh in at MSRP $177,000 for the Luxury Edition and MSRP $182,500 for the Black Edition.
Depending on how driven servicing costs remain quiet reasonable. But frequent hammering at race meets will require far more substantial levels of maintenance. Replacing brakes can cost thousands.
At the pump it does surprisingly well. We averaged 14.1 L / 100km on a diet of only RON 98 fuel. Anything less will anger the beast under then bonnet, particularly when pushed consistently hard.
EFTM Rubber Stamp.
If we could lift the bar on our own ratings system for the MY13 Nissan GT-R – we would. It’s a supercar which never overstays its welcome; opening the EFTM garage door to one every day was a privilege.
Without question earns the EFTM Distinction Rubber Stamp!
Chris is EFTM’s Motoring Editor, driving everything from your entry level hatch to the latest Luxury cars through to the Rolls Royce.
He has been in the media for 20 years, produced three Olympic games broadcasts, attending Beijing 2008 & London 2012.
Strangely he owns a Toyota Camry Hybrid, he defiantly rejects the knockers.
Chris is married to Gillian and resides in Sydney’s North West. They have Sam the English Springer Spaniel and Felix the Burmese cat to keep them company, and recently welcomed baby Henry to the family.