Nissan cars in Northern America are more known for their practical usage but then out of the sliver comes a car which is impractical to say the least but has the potential to plant a meter wide grin on the faces of any one attempting to drive it. The car in question is the Nissan GT-R 2012 model and yes, I have it with me for a test drive. It was only in 2007 that this car was launched in the North American soil and Nissan have already mixed its panels and given it more dope.
On the looks, well, they have changed a bit. The fighter jet like grille from the Mitsubishi Evo series has been carried forward to this car and the vehicle even at standstill exudes the don’t mess with me look. Two kinks in the bonnet project the intake characteristics of this car. Unlike its smaller 370Z cousin, the head lamps aren’t the striking lightning types. Infact, they are very subtle kinds. There are white LED lights which act essentially as the day time running lamps. The 20 inch alloy wheels look cool on this car and portray its sporting intent very well. The rear doesn’t have too much of changes from the 2011 model and features the two circular tail lamps with quad tail pipes. Actually from the rear, the car reminded me of the Buggati Veyron Grand Sport.
The interiors is where almost all of the changes have been done. By the first look, it promises technology and performance in plenty. Keeping note that the car would be used more for cornering and high speeds, the front seats have got faux-suede upholstery inserts and prominent bolsters. Almost all of the controls, save for a few switches have a tactile feel and front seats have electric adjustment to them. The reference to the interiors can be drawn from some of the play station games like Gran Turismo wherein which lap times, G-force during high speed cornering and gear indicator. One important link to the same is that designer of the game have actually designed for the interiors of this car. Now, that’s a bit of trivia worth knowing for. The rear seats are practically useless in this 2 plus 2 seating arrangement of the coupe. Boot space is above average for a sports car with about 8.8 cubic feet of space provided for storing golf bags. Many goodies are available and ones those are expected for a vehicle this big and expensive.
Handling has gone notches above than what was for the 2011 model. This can be attributed to the 4 wheel drive system which now weighs in lesser than the older one. The ride quality is not passenger or driver friendly but then it doesn’t let one vertebrae shift over the other with a gnash. Steering feel is excellent and whenever I made slight mistakes while going around corners, they could be corrected easily with the help of the former. Handling is of course almost perfect. Its only when you approach corners at triple digit speeds that the car suddenly feels too heavy. NVH is one thing which is higher in almost all of Nissan’s sports cars and the Nissan GT-R 2012 model is no exception. The engine as well as road noise is something which eventually tired me even on the short run that I had.
As for the engine, it is the 3.8 liter V6 twin turbo charged engine which makes 530 Hp of peak power and a good 488 pound feet of torque. The transmission on offer is the 6 speed automated manual with dual clutches. The 0-60 mph speed is covered in only 3.2 seconds whereas the top whack that the Nissan GT-R 2012 can manage is 197 mph. Impressive isn’t it? The transmission is good for track use but I did have this feeling that the Porsche’s PDK unit is much more refined. As for the brakes, Nissan have increased the diameter of the brake rotor and hence the overall size of the disc brakes has increased. That coupled to ABS, traction and stability control ensure that the car achieves safe braking distances. As far as the safety features are concerned, the Nissan GT-R 2012 model is right there on the top with Low tire pressure warning, Door locks, panic alarm, Seat belts with pre-tensioners, Occupancy sensor and all types of air bags. Fuel efficiency is good if we consider the all wheel drive system in this car. For the records, the GT-R 2012 gives 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. This is an EPA estimated figure.
Test drive completed and I sit down to mull the pros and cons in this car. The first thing that comes to mind is the price. The Nissan GT-R 2012 is available in two trims namely the Premium 2dr All-wheel Drive and Black Edition 2dr All-wheel Drive. The difference between both is just in equipment levels. The Nissan GT-R 2012 price for the former is $89,950 whereas for the latter, it is $95,100.