Since Nissan stopped production of its R34 and the fact that we could never really import the Skylines here unless we had some serious wastaa, we had to rely on the forums and drool about it. But now things have changed. Nissan has gotten rid of the Skyline name and up comes the GT-R, and what a car it is. It’s so good that it’s known as the Godzilla !!
Arnab: Rob, you’ve had a life pretty much in the fast lane. You were involved in motorcycle track days and also participated for a few seasons in the DAMC 1000cc championship. I was not surprised when I heard that you picked up the Godzilla. Give me some of your thoughts on it.
Rob: Well, it’s not a bike! But I’ve always had a love for speed and after deciding to take a break from motorcycles I thought I’d buy something with four wheels that has the capability to thrill, as well as enjoy driving around town. The GT-R ticks all those boxes and then some. You can drive around sedately and then when the opportunity arises to put your foot down, the car changes its behavior as well as your mood.
Arnab: The reviews on the GT-R have been nothing short of spectacular. What are the best bits of the GT-R? There are fast cars out here, but what makes this so special?
Rob: The fact that it’s a 3.8Litre V6 and embarrasses cars with twice the engine capacity is quite special. Then there’s the dual clutch gearbox that propels the car forward with such unrelenting ferocity and not so much as a breath between gear changes – it was nice to see Porsche’s blushing in 2009 when it came out.
But for driving pleasure, it’s all about the corners and that’s where the GT-R comes on its own. The four-wheel drive system and electronics make you feel like you are playing TRON, really raising the bar on what most cars are capable of. Changing direction or maintaining a line at high speed and close to the limit in this car is phenomenal. Nothing else I’ve driven with a boot, passenger seat and modern comforts comes close.
Arnab: The car is foiled everywhere, what made you choose the color and the foil, what are the benefits of this investment?
Rob: I always liked the matt appearance of a GT-R. It seems to flatter the shape and lines of the car. It was brand new when it was done so the fact that the foil completely protects the paint underneath was a bonus. But to be honest, it was an investment in my enjoyment of the car more than anything else. It is not cheap to foil and you have to really want it to make it justified. I’m happy with the results.
Arnab: Any road kills?
Rob: I have always been of the view that nothing beats a motorcycle with a decent rider aboard. But when I took the car to the Hatta mountains one Friday morning, nothing came close to the GT-R – on two or four wheels, and there were a few who tried !!
Arnab: The GT-R looks stock, are you going to maintain a stealth look or are there any aftermarket mods on its way?
Rob: I know there are many fans of aftermarket and I’ve been down that road before and regretted it. In my opinion aftermarket parts and tuning would spoil the GT-R. It is so technically brilliant that local engineers would struggle to improve the package, especially for what I use the car for. Adding one thing always takes away something else.
Arnab: Have you taken it to the track? You know the track very well, so well that you can probably drift on the GT-R with your eyes closed.
Rob: Once you’ve raced, you are never happy at the controls of anything at less than the limit when you’re on the track. That’s part of the thrill. The GT-R would be entertaining for a few laps on the track, but then I’d be counting the costs of the tires, brakes and servicing. I would be having less fun than on the bike for a much higher cost. Even though I love this car, I’d have to be prepared to make some changes to get it ready for the circuit. So no, you’ll see me back on ta bike before you see me at the circuit in a car
Arnab: What’s your final verdict?
Rob: The GT-R is the motoring equivalent of a surgical blade. Precise, effortless and ruthlessly efficient.
Other cars make a big song and dance about going fast, while the GT-R just gets on with it. It does it all with no fuss, hardly breaking a sweat. That’s what I enjoy about it. Some people criticize that – but the GT-R redefined what a fast car can do and it is a completely different animal approaching the limit as it is slipping through town. This makes it versatile and fun to use everywhere.
Believe it or not, I have taken it to Ras Al Khaimah with three passengers and luggage for the weekend. Yes, they were small and walked with a crooked back for a week, but they’d have had to stay home if I’d owned any other machinery sharing the GT-R’s performance.
Images by Brian Donegan