Hot Handlers: BMW M3 vs Lotus Evora S vs Nissan GT-R vs Porsche Cayman R

John Wycherley
Performance Coupe Comparison

Big, bold, bad, blue-in a nutshell, this sums up our GT-R. If you think you know all about Nissan's supercoupe, please think again, because the modifications made for 2012 have taken away the rough edges that made living with the car such a compromise. Nissan has, for instance, fixed the noisy and grinding differentials, the jerky dual-clutch transmission that used to suffer from wind-up and shock, and the overly harsh dampening. Although the GT-R is still not a softie, the previously coarse interaction between its complex ingredients has mellowed quite a bit.

Two things that have not gone away, on the other hand, are the Nissan's considerable girth and weight. The GT-R needs space and gentle topography to excel. Throw in hairpins, narrow pavement, second-gear obstacles, or rapidly changing surfaces, and this grenade will explode in your hands if you don't lay off a little. On the autobahn, however, the mildly face-lifted, xenon-enhanced grille in the other guy's rearview mirror is the old and new king of the road.

Although the GT-R has been famous for its phenomenal grunt and urge from day one, Nissan upped the ante for 2011, from 485 to 530 hp and from 434 to 448 lb-ft. The acceleration between 145 and 190 mph makes your cheeks glow with the same intensity as the two turbochargers, the ultraquick paddleshifted gearbox maintains its seamless urge from the first on-ramp to the final off-ramp, and, between them, the reinforced Brembos and the shaved Bridgestones decelerate the car like a reverse tsunami.

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