When Nissan handed over the keys to their 2012 GT-R to me, naturally my knees started quivering, my heart beat bumped up a couple of notches and perspiration broke out on my forehead and not to mention I was seeing stars. The 6th generation GT-R, fondly called the “Godzilla” is a force to reckon with. It is a wild beast even when switched off; we have to do justice with it and approached it with reverence and respect.
The Nissan GT-R is powered by a 3.8L DOHC V6 with 2 parallel turbochargers providing forced induction and all this power is transferred to the ground via a 6speed dual clutch transmission. As a result it produces 542HP.
3 years is what Kazutoshi Mizuno, the GT-R’s designer, kept saying, when the R35 GT-R was launched in 2008, for it to release its true potential and was he right !! 3 years later, true to his words, the 2012 GT-R has become more powerful and mentally insane. Power has increased by increasing the boost pressure of the twin turbochargers from 0.75bar to 0.90bar, improving the air intake by using a larger diameter inlet pipe and by tweaking the engine’s valve timing system. The GT-R is more aerodynamic and the new drag coefficient is 0.26, down from 0.27. There is even a 10% additional down-force by cleverly channeling more air to the sides of the car rather than towards the top of the car. All these formulas of making the car more powerful and slippery to resist air drag in nothing without the ability to stop. The front rotors are now 15.4”, up 0.4” from previous years models and the rear is 15”. Brembo monoblock 6 piston calipers provides for a fade free and ferocious stopping power.
We have all heard of the sheer acceleration to 100kmph in sub 3.5 seconds and its braking abilities. Yes the figures are phenomenon. What is more phenomenonal is the rush one experiences in the car as well. After every drive we came out of it perspiring and clammy pawed, not because the air conditioning was not up to the mark but rather it was because it felt like a super-bike with 4 wheels.
There are a few roads in Dubai which would do justice for the GT-R and thus we changed our test route and headed towards the windy stretch in Kalba which is fondly called the “Isle of Kalba” by motor bikers. Our pilgrimage to the Kalba stretch started on a very early Friday morning when the road is relatively clear of other motorists.
The approach to Kalba is a long straight road with desert on either sides and this was done at a leisurely 130kmph. We were fiddling with the information system which displays everything like lateral G Force and acceleration G Force amongst a host of other displays.
As we started to see the mountains ahead and knowing that the curves lay not too far away we just sat back with controlled breath trying to calm our ever racing heart beats. It was time for a full assault and assault we did. The pedal shifters were engaged and gears downshifted, the revs matched our approach to the bends and we started our shock and awe approach. What happened next was unbelievable. The GT-R carved through the bends like Michaelangelo crafting his masterpiece of the statue of David with steady hands. There was no fishtailing from the back nor there any moments of unsteadiness. It was a continuous flow of left and right turns which immersed us into the vision of the GT-R.
We stopped right before the first tunnel, a half way mark of the stretch. We needed to calm ourselves down, the amount of adrenalin being pumped in our system was insane. This was exactly how we felt when we used to make a stop on our motorbikes. For a car to initiate such feelings is unheard off.
Our approach to any roundabouts was done with ferocity. As a friend used to say, “if the roundabouts had legs it would have gotten up and ran away” seeing the approach of GT-R. The g force around the circle and the grip level made us believe that the GT-R was actually in fact creating grip when there should be none available. It just overwhelmed our mortal minds.
What more can we say other than to bow down to this work of art. Everything in the car is made for a purpose, there is nothing which was left just for the sake of it. There are many tuners and after market parts to make the GT-R more powerful but do we really need it? Where can we test those abilities? As in the case of the stock GT-R, its abilities are bordering the no mans land. One would need to be fearless and have their vital organs made of titanium to tame the GT-R.
I aspire to see the word or letters “GT-R” be incorporated in the OXFORD Dictionary as another word for being excellence.
At the end of the day, as we nursed our internal organs which had experienced G Forces like never before, we felt humbled on the task given to Mizuno-san, which he crafted to perfection. If you look back in history, the artisans who created the Katana blades were probably not of this world. It takes great courage and dedication to create a work of art and this is just that. The Nissan GT-R is priced at AED 435,000 and in our opinion that’s money well spent. One would not tire of the GT-R as every ride in it gives a work out. This car is a moving gym, I think we just found out that we can actually burn calories and have fun while doing so by driving this car. I think I will just cancel by gym subscriptions and head over to Arabian Automobiles
Brian Donegan gives the Nissan GT-R respect by capturing some of its essence :