I’m still standing: the Nissan GT-R at 15 Car News

Not that either version was exactly a smash hit. In its first full year on the market (2009), nearly 2,000 examples of the GT-R found refuge in Europe. In 2019, the last year sales were unaffected by the pandemic or the chip crisis, they fell to 389. That’s less than nine GT-Rs of all varieties per country per year. I expect the Nismo to be priced like this because volumes are intangible and if you want to have a cutting edge product you might as well price it accordingly.

But that’s still nearly £50,000 more than an all-new 992-series Porsche 911 GT3. It’s also £15,000 more than the even more powerful, very new and no less practical 911 Turbo S. It will likely cost around the same as the new McLaren Artura. So if you’re going to buy one, it won’t be because it stacks up better on paper; there must be another reason. And it’s my job to find it.

The car Nissan provided is a 2020 model year machine – not that that makes a difference here. Compared to the base GT-R, it has that extra horsepower, better turbochargers, ceramic brake rotors and carbon fiber panels, seats, fenders and splitters. It is, to use the vernacular, a weapon. But so does a trebuchet, and this particular means of throwing rocks at the enemy went out of fashion almost exactly 500 years ago.

I have never been a follower of Godzilla. When he first arrived here and all my colleagues were exploding into paroxysms of purple prose, mine was the small, somewhat bewildered voice from the back of the room saying, “I don’t understand.” What I didn’t get was what was so wonderful about this new machine that made it somehow better than the already apocalyptically fast, massively lighter, more nimble Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution FQ-Nutter and much more convenient than you could buy for half the money. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a decent answer to that one.

But that was then and this is now. And now I feel like I really should test it out for Classic & Sports Car’s “future classic” slot. If it looks old on the outside (and it is), take a look inside the cabin. The current F1 champion was nine years old the year the GT-R was released, and it shows. The cockpit is a not-so-cleverly-designed mess.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-12 06:01:24

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