Months in Fleet: Four
Miles to Date: 8,830
With winter finally relegated to a bad memory, it's time to really start enjoying our Nissan GT-R. We did have one boring GT-R experience this spring - taking it in for its 6000-mile service, where it got a routine oil change and a clean bill of health. That's exactly the kind of boring you want from your high-strung supercar. Happily, the GT-R is otherwise anything but boring.
It starts the minute you pull open the door and plop yourself inside. Assistant editor David Zenlea was blown away by the exotic interior, which he says "reminds me of a playing Microsoft Flight Simulator on my old PC in the late '90s. It also shows that a mainline manufacturer can craft a unique, appealing cabin while keeping costs reasonable (are you listening, Chevy?)."
Once underway, naturally, it gets even better. Want to own your own roller coaster? Buy a GT-R. "The sensations it renders during hard acceleration, braking, and cornering are exhilarating, addictive, and second only to Cedar Point's Millennium Force," noted another staffer. "If only it took a souvenir photo of my expression whenever I reach 1.2 g of acceleration..."
Of course, the excitement of the GT-R is not for the driver alone - it's shared with the general public. As web producer Evan McCausland observed: "Chances are, if you're flaunting your GT-R in front of someone under age 35 without eliciting an enthusiastic response, they're Amish." There is, however, a bit of a downside to all the attention - occasionally you disappoint your public. "Sorry, folks, I can't do a burnout, no matter how nicely you ask," continues McCausland. "Even if I really wanted to waste both vulcanized rubber and my driveline at the same time, I couldn't - the GT-R channels power to the front wheels before any smoky drama happens."
But for all the excitement this car causes, there doesn't appear to be any sense of community among GT-R owners. "It seems we don't have the only GT-R in the area," noted another driver. "I passed a white one headed southbound on US-23 on my way into work. I tried to initiate some sort of GT-R driver wave/signal/whatever, but got nothing in return. I'm not surprised - he's likely already peeved at the never-ending attention his GT-R attracts."
Or perhaps he was just frustrated that public highways make for such an insufficient playground for his insanely capable supercar. "Despite the rawness of the GT-R, it's utterly emotionless at times. You can rocket up to speeds well into triple digits and not realize it because there is no drama," says senior web editor Phil Floraday. "Since the car is always making noise, but never gets incredibly loud, you sort of zone out and wonder why everyone on the highway is going so ridiculously slow. Then you realize that they're going 80 mph and you need to hit the brakes and set cruise control."
Even new-guy Eric Tingwall keyed in on a similar thought. "Driving an $87,000, 485-horsepower car on your first day in the office is definitely awesome, but the thrills were pretty much limited to straight-line acceleration. As several others have noted, it's impossible to play near the GT-R's limits on public roads. Even taking highway on- and off-ramps at quick-but-reasonable speeds is a bit of a snooze, as the GT-R just shrugs them off. To own this car and really enjoy it, make sure to budget a few grand for regular visits to the track."
Still, the GT-R seems to have left a powerful impression on our young associate editor:
"The capabilities, the technology and the legend, elevate the allure of the GT-R to the level of exotics costing three times as much. At 23 years old, I believe I'm supposed to spend the next five years working three jobs, living in near-poverty conditions, and selling bodily fluids so I can afford one of these. If it weren't for that terrifying surgical needle they use to collect bone marrow, it just might be worth it."
2009 Nissan GT-R Premium
Base price (with dest.): $84,040
Price as tested: $87,320
Body Style: 2-door coupe
Construction: Steel unibody
Engine: DOHC 24-valve twin-turbo V-6
Displacement: 3.8 liters
Power: 485 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 434 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch transmission
Fuel economy: 16/21/18 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Steering: Speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.4
Suspension, Front: Control arms, coil spring; adaptive dampening
Suspension, Rear: Control arms, coil spring; adaptive dampening
Brakes F/R: Vented discs, ABS
Wheels: 20 x 9.5 / 20 x 10.5 in (f/r)
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza
Tire Size: 255/40ZRF20 / 285/35ZRF20 (f/r)
Headroom F/R: 38.1 / 33.5 in
Legroom F/R: 44.6 / 26.4 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 54.3 / 50.0 in
Wheelbase: 109.4 in
Track F/R: 62.6 / 63.0 in
L x W x H: 183.1 x 74.9 x 54.0 in
Cargo Capacity: 17.7 cu ft
Weight: 3829 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 53 / 47 %
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 gal
Est. Range: 350 miles
Fuel Grade: 91 octane
Front, side, curtain airbags
Push-button ignition with intelligent key
GPS/hard drive system
-Super Silver Metallic Paint $3000
-iPod interface $400
-Carpeted GT-R logo floor mats $280