The Nissan GTR has always been a vehicle that stands for extreme performance. What most people don’t realize when they think about this machine is that it has always been a well rounded type of performance car. The new R35 GTR has been injected with the same DNA as the previous R32, R33, and R34 models. This means that the car will have extreme performance and also practicality to meet the demands of anyone’s lifestyle. Nissan describes the new R35 GTR as a multi-performance sports car meaning that it’s not just another fast car with all the right numbers that look great in magazines.
The main question about the R35 GTR would be, “Is it a super car?” The fact that this question has been brought up makes me happy to see that people realize there is more to a super car than just the numbers generated from performance tests. When I think of a super car or at least what a super car has been up until now would be something that is fast, stimulating, violent, loud, and visually attractive on an extreme level. The GTR without a doubt is fast, and not just in a straight line. This vehicle took out top level Porsche models and also gave the lightened Gallardo a run for its money on Tsukuba circuit in Japan. It also clocks one of the best times on Germany’s Nurburgring for a production car which is a better reference than a tight circuit like Tsukuba. With these accomplishments it can be said that the GTR has great power, braking, and cornering abilities that either match or rival cars that are considered super cars.
It’s as fast as a super car, but that’s not enough. My opinion is that it doesn’t fall short of being called one, it just falls somewhere else. A super car is just a category, it doesn’t necessarily mean better. The R35 is better than a super car, but the things that make it better would be the only reasons why someone would rather not buy it. It’s a useful machine, meaning that it can get you to work in any condition and can be driven all year round through any rain or snowstorm. It has space for passengers and luggage. It’s quiet enough to drive down the street at 2am without the neighbors hating you. It rounded and can visually fit in with the rest of the cars on the road, especially 350zs and G35s. These are all great qualities, but not the types of traits that the type of person that will buy such an item is looking for. Most people that are in the market for a vehicle like this are looking for one thing and one thing only, extravagance, both in the looks, and the driving characteristics of the car.
The fact that most of this machine’s testing was done on the Nurburgring says a lot about it. Nurburgring is a demanding circuit that requires a car to be setup to be both fast and safe simultaneously. The ideal car at this circuit would be something that makes the driver feel safe while clocking amazing times. One lap around this course in a real super car would make most people have a heart attack before they got halfway through, but in this car anyone can do a few laps in a row without shaking too much while traveling at the same speeds. The R35 is a perfect ultra high performance street car designed for the average driver. Certain pro racing drivers like Keiichi Tsuchiya drove this car and did not like that fact that it had so many computers that take away control from the driver, saying that the car felt “unnatural” at its limits. What a pro doesn’t realize is that the average driver that doesn’t practice on the track daily is happy to return some driver control responsibilities back to the car so he or she doesn’t have to worry while they rush to work or have some fun of winding roads during their weekend off.
Even though the R35 is not a super car, it is still something different that sends a positive message to people about the advancement in automobiles. Sure it’s not raw enough to be a pure sports car like the NSX R or Porsche GT3 that are designed for driving enthusiasts that want to be stimulated, but I believe that Nissan wanted to show the world what they are capable of doing in terms of drivability technology with this car. Pure sports cars are generally fast because they are stiff, lightweight, and responsive, much like racing cars driven by professionals off the streets. The GTR weighs almost 2 tons meaning that the secrets to its speed are not so simple. The R35 can be considered to be a beast with manners that was built to appeal to everyone. It may be a little too cheap for the status driven upper class and a little too pricey for the current 350z, Evo, and STI owners. A car’s price says a lot about it and for only $80K, I would say that it should be higher to match the lower numbers that it generated during its performance tests.
Aspiring Automotive Journalist: Nick Zema (22)
Senior at SUNY Farmingdale
Soon receiving a B.A. for Automotive Engineering/Automotive Management
Right now I am living in New Jersey and going to school in Long Island to attain my degree in order to get my foot in the door to the automotive industry, where I aspire to land something in publication. I have worked at a Bicycle Shop here in NJ as a service manager for 6 years. I have recently been attending track events, auto crosses, and Time Attack Competitions on the weekends driving my Nissan 240 SX sponsored by Motions Auto Works.