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Nissan GT-R (2007) - first ride review

Published:24 October 2007

Nissan GT-R (2007) - first ride review
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
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  • 0 out of 5

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

You’ve had a ride in the new Nissan GT-R, then?

We have, as you might have seen on our video clip. When CAR was invited to photograph the GT-R in Hokkaido (on a strictly look but don’t touch basis), marketing boss Shingo Suzuki unexpectedly suggested we jump in the passenger seat and go for a ride. So while we weren’t actually driving, it was still quite a revealing experience. Click 'Next' for the full story…

How was it?

Highly impressive. The car stayed incredibly flat as it launched hard in first gear, and there was just a tiny chirp from the rear rubber (all 285/35 ZRF20 of it!) as Suzuki-san changed into second gear. Most notable of all, however, was how readily and effortlessly the car gathered pace (the maximum 433lb ft torque comes in at 3200rpm and remains until 5200rpm) from very low speeds and how smoothly and quickly the GR6 transmission slipped between ratios. Even from the passenger seat it was obvious that you couldn’t change gear manually any faster.

How does it sound?

Those with speakers and an understanding boss are best checking out our online video and cranking up the volume. But for the benefit of those with neither, here goes: it’s a lighter, more cultured note than the aggressive staccato of the RB26 engine. There’s a strong hint of the warbling 350Z note in evidence, but it’s all overlaid with the surprisingly vocal rush of two turbos forcing air into the engine as the revs build. Back off and you’ll be rewarded with a very audible tish from the dump valve. Rev it hard and there’s a thick, metallic whipcrack to proceedings. All very enticing.

What about the ride?

The GT-R has three suspension settings: comfort, normal and an ‘R’ mode for trackday thrashes. Our demo ride was conducted entirely in the comfort setting, and it felt both remarkably supple and very well tied down. And that’s quite significant considering the GT-R rides on 20in alloys fitted with Bridgestone run-flat tyres. Run-flats have far stiffer sidewalls to allow them to, you guessed it, run with greatly reduced pressures, but the trade off in ride quality was barely noticeable – though we’d need to drive on some of Britain’s poorer surfaces to be sure.

Is it comfortable?

Of course. The new interior is a big step up from what went before, not only in terms of comfort, but also fit and finish and noise suppression. Nissan claims virtually any size of driver can get comfortable, and there is a huge range of electric adjustment for the seats. There are two switches: the furthest forward moves the front of the seat squab up and down, while a second aluminium switch controls everything else. However, we felt as though we were perched a little too high and, although the seats offered a decent level of support overall, a little more grip around the thighs and hips wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Specs

Price when new: £60,000
On sale in the UK: March 2009 (UK)
Engine: 3799cc 24v twin-turbo V6, 473bhp @ 6400rpm, 432lb ft 3200-5200rpm
Transmission: Six-speed semi-automatic, four-wheel drive
Performance: 3.6sec 0-62mph, 193mph
Weight / material: 1740kg/steel/aluminium/carbonfibre
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):

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  • Nissan GT-R (2007) - first ride review
  • Nissan GT-R (2007) - first ride review
  • Nissan GT-R (2007) - first ride review
  • Nissan GT-R (2007) - first ride review

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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