December 26, 2012
Three setup switches below the screen toggle the Bilstein adaptive dampers, transmission mapping, and stability control between Normal, Special, and super aggressive “R” settings. On the latter setting, you can break the rear tires loose in progressively hairy oversteer—space and nuts permitting.
Like the Porsche Turbo S, the GT-R is user friendly and makes driving insanely fast all too easy.
2013 Nissan GT-R. Click image to enlarge
Last year the Nissan GT-R saw a major revision that bestowed increased downforce, smoother shifting, and a more compliant ride. “Compliant” is a relative term here—the car is tolerable on public roads in the softest setting. On startup it defaults to a middle setup that has this 1,737-kg 2+2 bucking like a cinched bronco over moderately rough surfaces.
For 2013, power creeps up 15 ponies to 545 hp, and torque rises from 448 lb-ft to 463 lb-ft (on tap from 3,200–5,800 rpm). All this urge is delivered in an escalating and seamless rush. It’s one helluva powerplant.
Other than the unnerving graunching sounds at low speeds, the transmission is brilliant—shifts are quick, seamless and the electronics perform rev-matching on downshifts. The big column mounted shift paddles give you direct control over the proceedings.
The GT-R has massive brakes, natch. Front and rear cross-drilled composite discs, each measuring 381 mm, are clamped respectively by six-piston and four-piston Brembo monoblock calipers. Sometimes they squeal like one of Godzilla’s hapless victims plucked from the streets of Tokyo, but pedal feel is excellent and you get the sense these binders could stop a freight train.
The 2013 GT-R Premium comes standard with Bose audio, navigation, Sirius satellite radio, backup camera, and new carbon-fibre interior trim.
On the highway, even at only 100 km/h, the GT-R’s cabin is filled with engine drone and road noise. Okay, point made. Godzilla is a highly specialized car that caters to the thinnest sliver of the enthusiast demographic. And maybe that’s why we don’t see a lot on the road. Nissan Canada sold 137 in 2008, its best year. In 2011 only 72 were moved.
I sincerely hope most of these buyers use the GT-R for which it was designed—vapourizing competitors on the race track with its atomic breath.
For those Vette and Porsche owners who tire of seeing Godzilla’s four round taillights and blaring exhaust outlets fade from view, take a cue from the original 1954 Godzilla film.
The Oxygen Destroyer was a chemical compound designed to remove all oxygen from water, causing living creatures to die of asphyxiation as their remains were liquefied. It was the first and, in many ways, the only weapon that came close to defeating Godzilla.
Might be worth a try.
Pricing: 2013 Nissan GT-R Premium
Base price: $103,980
Options: 3-Coat Metallic Pearl paint $300
A/C tax: $100
Freight and PDI: $2,300
Price as tested: $106,680