2011 Nissan GT-R Road Test Review

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Published on April 30, 2011

Not particularly pretty, but the GT-R's aggressive design certainly stirs the soul. (Photo: Nissan)

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

A steering wheel dedicated to performance; paddle-shifters behind. (Photo: Nissan)

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Video game styling digital ancillary gauge package integrated into the infotainment system. (Photo: Nissan)

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Now these are sport seats! (Photo: Nissan)

Published on April 30, 2011

Room for the kids? Like the 911 Turbo, the GT-R offers ultimate performance with a level of practicality. (Photo: Nissan)

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

At the heart of the issue: a 485-hp twin turbocharged 3.8-litre V6! (Photo: Nissan)

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

Published on April 30, 2011

The 2011 Nissan GT-R continues on as one of the best performing cars on the planet, period. (Photo: Nissan)

I know I shouldn't be talking about this––it always ends up the same way. You'd think by now I'd be able to control it. But I can't. For the rest of you though, please heed my admonitions. When it comes to a Nissan GT-R, you must be capable of exercising a great deal of self-restraint.

If yours is in any way an addictive personality, I advise avoiding this car altogether. Go find yourself a '95 Saturn Vue or something. The dopamine rush accompanying the vigorous prodding of the GT-R's throttle will have you wanting to do it over and over again––whenever and wherever possible.

It doesn't help that everyone who rides with you in the GT-R is going to want you to let them experience it. Nor does it help that every fanboy Japanese performance car you see on the freeway will latch onto your bumper and push and push and push until you oblige by unleashing the full wrath of that hand-assembled (in a cleanroom no less) 485-horsepower twin turbocharged 3.8-litre V6 in his face.

One sharp prod of the go pedal, 434 ft-lbs of torque and three seconds later, you're a quarter of a mile up the road from the offending pusher. Problem is, that's going to make you want to do it again. Like any "controlled" substance, you're gonna like it and you're gonna want some more. Under full throttle, the acceleration is so unrelenting you get the impression that were it on an infinite straight, it'd just keep going faster and faster and faster until its paint burst into flame from the friction of the atmosphere.

What we have here ladies and gentlemen (and the rest of y'all too) is the automotive equivalent of a habit-forming narcotic. One drive is too many and a thousand ain't enough. When the people from Nissan came to retrieve the test car, it took me a full three minutes to answer the door.

I was peeping at them through the peephole thinking, "I know they see the car out there, but if I don't answer, maybe they'll go away…"

They didn't.

They wanted another drive too!

But now the GT-R is just about flushed out of my system, I can put it in perspective. I've come to the conclusion that perhaps it was for the best. If I'd kept going the way I was going… who knows how it would've turned out?

Actually, I can tell you––I would've been turned out.

After all my credit cards were maxed, and my savings were gone, and I'd mortgaged my soul––just to keep driving the car––you'd have seen me hanging around gas stations saying something like; "Yo partner, can a brother get a twenty for some premium? I'll wash your car man!"

That GT-R just be callin' me y'all, it be callin' me.

One minute everything's cool––I'm puttering along listening to NPR––next thing I know, the GT-R is screaming past 140 (km/h) and I'm sounding like Al Pacino in Scent of A Woman––HOO-AHHHH! Baby, that's good.

And that's just on straight roads.

Throw some curves in the mix, let that V6 run up near redline continuously, say like if you're in a series of second gear switchbacks, blowing through them at 70 and 80 km/h––OH!

The engine is screaming ecstatically, almost as if it can't believe it's finally found somebody crazy enough to let it do this. Thanks in part to the rear-mounted six-speed dual clutch transaxle, the GT-R displays perfect balance, while practically raping the corners. At each change of direction, it claws tenaciously at the pavement with all four wheels before leaping greedily toward the next turn-in point.

The big Brembo six-piston front, and four-piston rear calipers bite 15-inch floating cross drilled and ventilated rotors repeatedly to scrub off the 30 km/h you pick up between each corner with absolutely no fade. Then, you come out of the last corner onto the straight and flip the right paddle behind the steering wheel forward to shift up and finally let the GT-R run in third gear. It LUNGES forward as if a huge hand reached down out of the sky and shoved the car with all its might.

Suddenly 70 becomes 150––before you can even utter an expletive to express your sense of awe.

Then, you're hard on the brakes again at the end of the straight to set it up for the next series of corners. And both you and the GT-R are positively enraptured at the prospect of repeating the process. And, in fact, the GT-R will repeat it again and again and again––as long as there's gas in its tank.

Mmmmmm….

Aw man, I KNEW I shouldn't have started talking about this.

There goes that itch again.

Why'd I have to answer the freakin' door…?
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Nissan, 2011, GT-R, $50,000 - $74,999,

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