The Nissan GT-R Black Edition.
The Nissan GT-R Black Edition. Iain Curry

Nissan GT-R Black Edition road test review

TAKE a walk down supercar aisle at the recent Geneva motor show.

Stroll past the Ferrari California T …nope. How about the McLaren 650S Spider…nope. Surely the Lamborghini Huracan…nah mate.

None of them have a sprint to match "Godzilla". Meet the Nissan GT-R.

Forget bang for your buck, this is dynamite for your dollar.

While it's been around for a few years, this Japanese powerhouse remains one of the quickest, most savage road-going cars on the market.

Stamp on the accelerator from standstill and it will reach 100kmh in less than three seconds. I blink longer than that.

This range-topping GT-R Black Edition may set you back $182,500, but that's small change for a supercar coupe with such rare performance ability.

Comfort

Despite its supercar abilities, the GT-R actually has real world functionality.

It features a CD stereo and dual zone air con that actually works properly, and it's all fairly intuitive operationally.

There is a function available on the touch-screen, where you can oust the sat nav or stereo information in favour of a plethora of ultra-cool gadgetry, which tells you important stuff like turbo boost and the temperature of the engine and transmission oil, as well has how many "G"s you are pulling when braking, cornering and accelerating.

Recaro seats envelop the front passengers, with strong bolstering at the sides and thighs. They are firm, but there is a tendency to tackle the odd corner in this car.

Behind the leather sports steering wheel are the large paddles, and the driver has an uncluttered view of key gauges and dials.

Taking pride of place is the analogue tachometer with the speedo positioned to the left. This makes the digital speedo within the tacho a vital tool in keeping track of the velocity.

Soft touch materials and leather are spread throughout the cabin, while there are two large cup holders in the console and one in rear.

Getting inside does require something special, you have to push the handle with your thumb before the lever flips out to open the door.

On the road

Over the years we've parked our behinds in some pretty quick stuff. We can't recall anything with such brutal, neck-snapping acceleration.

The official sprint time for 0-100kmh is 2.7 seconds…and while we didn't take it on the track to test the credentials (most get about three seconds), repeated squirts of the throttle proved it was close.

Raw, brutal and strong, the GT-R is pure supercar. It groans and shunts at low speeds, there is no hiding its racy intentions.

Meander around town or on the highway and the coupe is nonchalant, even some jabs of the right pedal have it almost shrugging its shoulders saying "bored".

But lean across to the dash, flick up the trio of dials into the "R" position to get the red lights illuminated and that sets the beast free. It sharpens all operations, from gear changes to the firmest of suspension settings, enabling the all-wheel drive and twin-turbo V6 to work in rampant unison.

Stamp your right foot and the digital speedo becomes a blur, and you can carry outstanding speed into the bends. With 20-inch rubber on each corner, all-wheel drive and beautifully direct steering no corner is unwelcoming.

Being a supercar there are a few setbacks for daily travel, that sporty steering can make it a challenge to park in tight spaces, and the suspension is superbly firm even in comfort mode.

Leave it in "R" mode, hit corrugations and the vibrations are felt right up your spine.

What do you get?

The Black Edition gets some cool kit over the standard GT-R, like the leather Recaro front pews, matching trim on the door pulls, shift lever and steering wheel, along with black lightweight forged alloy six-spoke alloys and a carbon fibre rear spoiler.

Inside the Nissan GT-R Black Edition.
Inside the Nissan GT-R Black Edition.

Add that to sat nav, dual zone air con, CD stereo with touch-screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with USB and auxiliary ports, along with automatic lights and push button start.

Other options

To get similar performance, you'll need deep pockets, like the Aston Martin DB9 (from $349,500), Audi R8 V10 (from $408,200), Ferrari 458 Speciale (from $550,000), Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (from $467,965), Porsche 911 Turbo S (from $441,300) or maybe the Lamborghini Huracan (from $428,000).

Running costs

Fuel consumption is actually not that bad, achieving on average less than 12 litres for every 100km. That would take some good acceleration behaviour, not something we embraced during our test.

Insurance would be hefty, as would be the replacement tyres.

Practicality

There is actually a surprisingly large boot which can swallow a couple of small suitcases.

While the GT-R is a four-seat coupe, the rear leg and knee space is tight.

We put two kids in the back (one even in a booster seat) without too many complaints.

Funky factor

While not in Lamborghini or Ferrari territory, the GT-R is an attention-grabber. Just picking it up attracted a gallery of young engineers, while one bloke had his girlfriend video as we drove past so he could deliver the thumbs up out the window.

Massive alloys, gigantic disc brakes, an even bigger rear wing and chunky, low-slung style with the distinctive circular lights at the back, it's a head-turner. Godzilla is respected and revered by those in the know.

The lowdown

Launch the GT-R, and it's akin to a roller-coaster. It's fast…and too quick for the road. You really need regular track time to get the most out of this brutally brilliant coupe. Yet it is a supercar you can live with daily, as long as you can put up with the firm ride as well as a fair amount of attention.

When it comes to raw, racy performance, they don't come any better at this price. And you can pull up at the lights safe in the knowledge that just about any other car on the road will be picking stones out of its grille once you give it the gas.

What matters most

What we liked: Near unrivalled acceleration, affordable supercar, brilliant all-rounder performance.

What we'd like to see: It on the track regularly, improved exhaust soundtrack.

Warranty and servicing: Three-year/ 100,000km warranty. Servicing intervals are every year or 20,000km.

VITAL STATISTICS

Model: Nissan GT-R Black Edition.

Details: Two-door all-wheel drive performance coupe.

Engine: 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 generating maximum power of 404kW @ 6400rpm and peak torque of 628Nm @ 3200-5800rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed dual clutch transmission with three modes.

Consumption: 11.7 litres/100km (combined average).

Performance: 0-100kmh in 2.7 seconds.

CO2: 278g/km.

Bottom line plus on-roads: $182,500.

The Nissan GT-R Black Edition.
The Nissan GT-R Black Edition. Iain Curry


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