To some, the Nissan GT-R is often overlooked with its understated, outwardly appearance. To others, it hones a legend-like, illusive mystique. You may have heard of it, but to actually see one in person is almost the equivalent of coming across a mythical character in a Snow White fairytale such as a Leprechaun.
There’s no mistake that this vehicle is wickedly fast as it pumps out an impressive 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft of torque from a 3.8-liter DOHC Twin Turbo V6 and handles superbly. Try 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and you’ll understand why the Japanese brand partnered with world record setting Usain Bolt. Stopping power comes from Nissan/Brembo Monblock 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brakes capable of slowing down the Dunlop 20” high-performance tires with ease and assertiveness. Like most supercars a Dual-Clutch transmission is utilized for handling all that power. In this case it’s a 6-speed. From stop to go the GT-R shoots off so fast you hardly have a chance to match the gears through the large paddle shifters with the vehicle’s increasing acceleration. Best to keep it in auto and let the Japanese import do what it does best. The GT-R is as intelligent as any German as Nissan engineers left room for driver configuration of the transmission, suspension and vehicle dynamic control modes. However, the shift gate takes some time adjusting too, especially when attempting a quick reverse shift.
What makes the GT-R so remarkable is its true supercar performance and ability to easily compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo. A massive rear carbon-fiber spoiler suited for jets; a unique rear diffuser; a huge chin spoiler; front fender vents; and a flared hood scoop offer the key exterior features of the GT-R with each playing a roll in the vehicle’s drag coefficient and downforce. With such mystique and power it was hard not enjoying a few days with Nissan’s shogun, although it begs to be on the circuit where properly suited rather than sharing lanes with daily commuters. Especially when you strap into the black/red leather Recaro sport seats. The candy apple red starter button positioned between both seats is a pleasant reminder that “Top Gun” performance is to follow suit. However, since the streets of D.C. were wet the weekend of inheritance, we didn’t temp mother nature with stupidity.
Civil features are also formulated in the equation of the GT-R to ascertain that typical driving is convenient when you’re not in race mode. A Bose audio system substitutes for rev tunes while XM, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, a 7-inch color LCD screen with a rear view camera, and dual zone temperature gauges fill out the remainder of the offerings. Though, the continuous beep when you engage the transmission in reverse is as annoying as on service trucks. I think we know when we’re backing up. The multi-media system and navigation are similar to other Nissan vehicles and airbags are omnipresent throughout the cabin including side and curtain bags. One of the coolest design cues on the GT-R are the framed windows which match the jagged edge of the roof. The doors are light and function by way of Aston Martin like, embedded door handles that flip out when one end is pressed.
The GT-R’s exhaust quartet lets opposing drivers know there’s something special under the hood. And please don’t mistake the matching four bubble taillights for a ‘Vette. We’re discussing two totally unique schools of auto performance. And if you do consequently find that Leprechaun, make sure you grab all of his gold because it’s needed to cover the base MSRP of $106,320. Time to let loose, catch me if you dare.