How does it go, you may ask? Like a scalded cat. This particular GTR has been treated to a forged RB26 engine, Tomei 272 cams and a small but responsive Garret GT-X 30/76 sitting atop a 6boost manifold.
It’s definitely not the most powerful GT-R around with a modest 460 hp at all four on E85, but what it lacks in overall power it makes up for in response and the ability to put every single pony to the tarmac thanks to the Federal RSR semi slicks and the outstanding ATTESA AWD system. I’ve driven and owned big power cars in the past and to be honest, they had nothing on the GT-R and its ability to stick.
For this review, I decided to take the car to my local set of twisties. It’s the place I take any new car or bike to evaluate its performance, partly due to its close by convenience. The view from the top doesn’t go astray, either.
Driving the car to the test area was nothing short of a tease, the Tomei cams providing a menacing lump at idle causing my knee to bounce off the rollcage. Everything about this GT-R screams pure, unadulterated sports car.
As stated previously, I’ve owned cars that are only good for turning tyres North of 100km/h, and none of them held a candle to what I felt when I dropped the clutch at high RPM in the GTR. It span the tyres for a split second and then hooked up completely, rocketing me forwards faster than anything I’ve ever experienced in a car before. The rate at which the car takes off could only be likened to being fired out of a cannon!
I eased into it gently at the foot of the mountain to hear the Garret start spooling just after 2,000 RPM, at 3,500 the car kicked like a mule and with all the grip on tap, it took off like a jet. It definitely lived up to its number plates, JET-033. Into the first corner I went a little bit slower than usual, just to feel how much grip the car had. A metric ton of it was the conclusion.
As each corner approached, the GT-R inspired me to push it harder and harder, the car was beckoning me to throw it into the corners mercilessly, “come on Trent, push the right pedal, you pansy” the RB screamed. So push it I did and rewarded I was. Flat and composed is the best way to describe it, the Ohlins coilovers and Cusco cage were certainly helping the already grippy GT-R perform that little bit better.
Keeping the GT-X spooled up and slamming the GT-R through the bends was the most exhilarating drive I’ve had for as long as I can remember, the Skyline was just on point corner after corner. The ATTESA AWD system takes time to get used to and the car really responds well if you’re not shy with your right foot. A composed amount of oversteer kept things interesting to say the least, my pulse was racing.
Getting to the top of the mountain in what seemed like no time at all, I took the key out of the car and walked away from it to admire it with the fantastic backdrop offered by the picturesque surroundings. The lumpy idle resonated off the top of the mountain and the GT-R sat there purring like a kitten waiting to be let loose upon the tarmac on the way back down.
This is what driving is about, this is why the GT-R has such a cult following. It’s fast, it’s raw, it’s only as good as the driver but when it’s good, it’s fantastic. Very few things in life live up to our expectations as human beings, we’re always searching for that little bit more. It’s in our nature and more often than not we’re left a little disappointed. A good GT-R not only lives up to the hype surrounding it, but completely surpasses it and leaves you speechless.
The GT-R is a car that demands respect and when given it along with a healthy dose of throttle, it comes alive and rewards you greatly. It’s man and machine coming together in a manner that the cars of today could not possibly hope to achieve with all the driving aids that do away with the prerequisite of skill to go fast. Godzilla lives up to its namesake.
What a car.