We’ve said it before about the Nissan GTR and we’ll say it again at the risk of announcing our final verdict right at the outset – OMG!!! What an overachiever of an automobile!
2012 Nissan GTR VVIP Edition
Even before post-partum depression could set in at CarbonOctane from handing back the GTR last month, Nissan Middle East was back on the hotline offering us the GTR VVIP edition. Maybe this is Nissan’s way of slowly weaning humble journalists off their proprietary, addictive drug labeled ‘GTR’. For good measure they even threw in the original Black Edition red monster that had us all agog at CarbonOctane. We’ll tell this to you right away Nissan, this drip-feed isn’t working at all. Instead of weaning us off the GTR, you’re feeding the addiction. And we thank you for that!
The GTR VVIP edition is a Nissan ME initiative made specifically to order, available for the Middle East customer. It gets kitted out with Nissan Carbon Ceramic Brakes (NCCB), a full titanium exhaust system, carbon rear wing courtesy of the Spec-V edition and light weight rims. Aided by a rear diffuser, this concoction wastes little time in hurtling along to a top speed of 317 kmph, a figure that we have come to believe with full conviction! Be warned though that the carbon ceramic brakes are not for anyone and could actually reduce pedal feel compared to normal brakes. While adequate for normal road use, their true stopping power is revealed only when you have built up temperature – something better achieved on a closed circuit.
The sound system is premium Bose – but was hardly put to use on our test. On a car such as this, no genus of music could provide more enjoyment than the heady mixture of a wailing exhaust and growling intake, with frequent chorus from the whooshing turbines. The most striking visual clues on this car come from the 24k gold details on the grill, the gold ‘VVIP’ badging, and gold trim on the side panels.
The leather components are created in Germany by skilled craftsmen in accordance with the Japanese ‘Takumi’ approach. The 2012 VVIP offers 12 interior color combinations and somebody had gone overboard when ordering our test car. The interior on ours came decked in red leather fascia and red quilted seats with gold accents. Did we hear you say ‘Bling’? Maybe… But it works at what it is intended to do. In a part of the world where more is always less, you could see citizens acknowledging the star power of the VVIP with admiring glances. For the target middle-east clientele, the USD 266,000 asking price (double that of the GTR Black Edition!) is but a trifle to be paid for exclusive bragging rights. Is any car worth that much money? We are well away from honestly answering that question, but the VVIP’s GTR underpinnings make as strong a case as any supercar out there.
Perhaps the intention with the VVIP edition was to take the edge off the hard-core GTR and make it feel a bit more luxurious. You’ll need to hypnotize yourself to believe that bit! Yes, the seats have a little extra cushioning, at odds with the stiff suspension, but that’s about all the luxury you’re getting. The GTR VVIP remains a purpose built assault vehicle, gold trim or not and don’t you forget that. The engine still rip-snorts its way from a standing start to the posted legal speed limit in a shockingly frugal time. The 0-100 km dash is still signed off in 2.8 seconds. The 3.8 V6 twin-turbo engine still defies belief at the way it channels all 550 horses to the ground via the 6-speed transmission. Leave the gear selector in ‘Auto’ and the engine shows its ferocity hurtling you forward, but select Manual and you can paddle-shift your way to nirvana with that feral F-1 sound effect egging you along.
We took our VVIP back to old hunting grounds, the Hajar mountains, along with the Black Edition. A romping duet in the early sunlight showcased the GTR’s supreme ability. These cars have the pace to stomp away from anything else on the road. They are possibly one of the few cars that the Superbike brigade would do well to leave alone. Through the gears the GTR will easily keep up, but through wide sweeping corners it is going to dust any superbike out there. Trust us, we know this for a fact (don’t ask how!). Switchbacks and hairpin bends are dealt with consummate ease and roundabouts carved up with minimal effort. Among the various displays on the dashboard, you can also pull up a screen for Cornering force. It was not uncommon while mucking about to exceed 1G of lateral force and we admit to even seeing 1.5G on one occasion! It’s a good thing the 20-inch forged alloy wheels are up to the task of keeping things rubber side down – assisted no doubt by the grippy 255/40-20/9.5J front and 285/35-20/10.5J rear tyres. While on the Black edition, you are locked down in position when tackling corners hard, on the VVIP this involved some sliding about thanks to the plush seats.
So your Exclusivity on the VVIP does come with a trade-off. And that’s not the only thing you give away – in what seems like a baffling omission, this edition comes without a reverse-assist camera. But then we realize that if you have the money to splurge on a GTR VVIP, you probably have a few underlings to entrust with the menial task of reverse parking. Is it even possible to out-think Nissan’s GTR?!
|2012 NISSAN GT-R VVIP
|Rated Output||550 hp @ 6400 rpm / 628 Nm torque|
||full titanium exhaust|
|Transmission – type of gearshift||6 speed automatic dual clutch|
|Engine||3.8L VR38DETT twin-turbo V6|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||2.8 s|
|Top speed||well over 250 km/h|
|Price (AED)||750,000 – 970,000 (As tested)|