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      10-28-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
adc
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Just drove a 2010 GT-R... mixed bag

A friend of mine recently purchased a 2010 GT-R and I had the opportunity to drive it last weekend.

Drove it on various surfaces & roads, in both comfort and race mode. Didn't do any launches (don't care about that) - I was merely interested in seeing how it feels, what kind of kicks does it deliver to an enthusiastic driver.

To start with, I thought the car looks better in reality than pictures would suggest and I found the interior was of very good quality (materials, build). Everything looked and felt bespoke and not at all cheap. But for how big the car is on the outside (as big as my M), the interior packaging is subpar. Then again, not a family car so perhaps not too important in the grand scheme of things.

According to its new owner, a real problem also seems to be the lack of available trained technicians (only one in the DC area?) or of performance shops comfortable working on this kind of car (what with the iffy warranty issues and all). My friend would like to swap the tranny fluid for a better aftermarket one (apparently a lot of GT-R owners do this) and do a brake flush, but he is reluctant to go to the same perf shops he used before in the area. If anyone reading this has any recommendations in a 3 hour driving range of DC, please let me know.


The things I liked:
- Best bit was the suspension, without a doubt. Very well chosen for the intended market, excellent rebound control when going fast, and incredible for the weight of the car.
- Dual clutch tranny was very impressive when doodling around (excellent impression of an automatic), very good on downshifts (quick and smooth), less impressive on upshifts (delay).
- The sheer grunt - definitely a very fast car, loads of torque, outstanding acceleration that never seemed to stop.
- The turn-in - sharp and precise (but see below)
- The AWD integration into the driving experience
- Did I mention the acceleration? Or the power?

The things I was neutral about (also known as things that would not influence a buying decision):
- Design (outside & inside)
- Ergonomics (some pluses, some minuses)
- Turbo lag and engine response. Lag felt about the same as the 335i, but once the turbo kicks in at least the AWD ensures you aren't spit out into the countryside. Engine response felt on par with the 335 as well, in other words good (but not as good as the 911 S or the M3, not by a long shot). Come to think about it, I was expecting a little more from its engine given all the press accolades.

The things I disliked:
- The steering - I thought it was way too light and zero feedback. Given how quick the rack was and how good the turn-in, that was quite a let-down.
- The lack of a manual tranny. I don't care how much slower it is, I'd go for a 911 simply because in a weekend type of car, I can only have a stick.
- The brakes - I think in this particular car, the pedal felt soft (especially from big speeds). Perhaps a bleeding is required, or better pads?

The car feels pretty mechanical to drive to a certain extent - the suspension, brakes etc. but the steering spoils it. For me, the combination of light steering and DCT means I didn't get as emotionally involved in the car - by comparison, the 997.2 C2S I drove awhile ago felt alive and invigorating and I would choose it every time over the Nissan, no matter how much slower it is.


The bottom line is that I came out of that car impressed with what Nissan has achieved, but without any desire at all to own it. Or to drive it again soon come to think about it... But should Nissan fix these things in the future, I could definitely see myself in one of these given the rest of the positives.


These are all just my impressions - I'd like to stress again how important it is to test drive before buying, it's so personal...
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      10-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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WOW, very surprised! Great write-up.
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      10-28-2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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I think you forgot about the "vaccum cleaner sound". I heard it in real life (very similar to Porsche 911 Turbo). The air hissing is so loud and heavy that it is hard to figure out if it is the engine making those heavy hissing sound or it is just the tires are so noisy that they make that noise (or it could be a combination of both).
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      10-28-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
These are all just my impressions - I'd like to stress again how important it is to test drive before buying, it's so personal...
you are so right...when it comes to cars....there is so much that is subjective!

great write up...enjoyed the read!
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      10-28-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330CIZHP View Post
I think you forgot about the "vaccum cleaner sound". I heard it in real life (very similar to Porsche 911 Turbo). The air hissing is so loud and heavy that it is hard to figure out if it is the engine making those heavy hissing sound or it is just the tires are so noisy that they make that noise (or it could be a combination of both).
Doh, you're right.

I've heard the Stillen exhaust on one and advised my friend to get an aftermarket exhaust. Not only will it sound better, it might make him more aware of the speed he carries.

That was another thing - it was so easy to speed in the GT-R, and so difficult to control your speed.
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      10-28-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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good read man. but i think your comparison is not really apple vs apple. can you drive a 997.1 turbo and then compare it with the gtr. turbo cars won't have throttle response of NA, awd won't be as fun as rwd especially in steering feel.

what i mean is if i'm going iin with the mind set for a rwd, manual, and na car, i will skip right past the turbo or gtr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
A friend of mine recently purchased a 2010 GT-R and I had the opportunity to drive it last weekend.

Drove it on various surfaces & roads, in both comfort and race mode. Didn't do any launches (don't care about that) - I was merely interested in seeing how it feels, what kind of kicks does it deliver to an enthusiastic driver.

To start with, I thought the car looks better in reality than pictures would suggest and I found the interior was of very good quality (materials, build). Everything looked and felt bespoke and not at all cheap. But for how big the car is on the outside (as big as my M), the interior packaging is subpar. Then again, not a family car so perhaps not too important in the grand scheme of things.

According to its new owner, a real problem also seems to be the lack of available trained technicians (only one in the DC area?) or of performance shops comfortable working on this kind of car (what with the iffy warranty issues and all). My friend would like to swap the tranny fluid for a better aftermarket one (apparently a lot of GT-R owners do this) and do a brake flush, but he is reluctant to go to the same perf shops he used before in the area. If anyone reading this has any recommendations in a 3 hour driving range of DC, please let me know.


The things I liked:
- Best bit was the suspension, without a doubt. Very well chosen for the intended market, excellent rebound control when going fast, and incredible for the weight of the car.
- Dual clutch tranny was very impressive when doodling around (excellent impression of an automatic), very good on downshifts (quick and smooth), less impressive on upshifts (delay).
- The sheer grunt - definitely a very fast car, loads of torque, outstanding acceleration that never seemed to stop.
- The turn-in - sharp and precise (but see below)
- The AWD integration into the driving experience
- Did I mention the acceleration? Or the power?

The things I was neutral about (also known as things that would not influence a buying decision):
- Design (outside & inside)
- Ergonomics (some pluses, some minuses)
- Turbo lag and engine response. Lag felt about the same as the 335i, but once the turbo kicks in at least the AWD ensures you aren't spit out into the countryside. Engine response felt on par with the 335 as well, in other words good (but not as good as the 911 S or the M3, not by a long shot). Come to think about it, I was expecting a little more from its engine given all the press accolades.

The things I disliked:
- The steering - I thought it was way too light and zero feedback. Given how quick the rack was and how good the turn-in, that was quite a let-down.
- The lack of a manual tranny. I don't care how much slower it is, I'd go for a 911 simply because in a weekend type of car, I can only have a stick.
- The brakes - I think in this particular car, the pedal felt soft (especially from big speeds). Perhaps a bleeding is required, or better pads?

The car feels pretty mechanical to drive to a certain extent - the suspension, brakes etc. but the steering spoils it. For me, the combination of light steering and DCT means I didn't get as emotionally involved in the car - by comparison, the 997.2 C2S I drove awhile ago felt alive and invigorating and I would choose it every time over the Nissan, no matter how much slower it is.


The bottom line is that I came out of that car impressed with what Nissan has achieved, but without any desire at all to own it. Or to drive it again soon come to think about it... But should Nissan fix these things in the future, I could definitely see myself in one of these given the rest of the positives.


These are all just my impressions - I'd like to stress again how important it is to test drive before buying, it's so personal...
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      10-28-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graider View Post
good read man. but i think your comparison is not really apple vs apple. can you drive a 997.1 turbo and then compare it with the gtr. turbo cars won't have throttle response of NA, awd won't be as fun as rwd especially in steering feel.

what i mean is if i'm going iin with the mind set for a rwd, manual, and na car, i will skip right past the turbo or gtr.
Point taken - I don't shop that way however. I set a budget then drive anything interesting that fits the budget (even if it costs 50% of my budget limit).

In this case if I had my $70-80k budget, I'd definitely see myself in a used C2S, C4S or GT3 well before the GT-R. And from other accounts, the 911 Turbo still has better steering that the GT-R.

But I'll definitely try my best to test drive a 911 Turbo, then post my report here. Any volunteers?
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      10-28-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for the review --- good read and quite interesting. Did you happen to hear all the "sounds" and "noises" the GTR supposedly makes?
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      10-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #9
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but the real question is: if you had a choice between your current m3 and the GTR... which would you choose?
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      10-28-2010, 06:29 PM   #10
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Having never driven a GTR....thanks for the post!
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      10-28-2010, 07:01 PM   #11
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great write up, i think when the next GTR comes out , ill consider it
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      10-28-2010, 07:22 PM   #12
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I've driven my friends GTR as well and have to agree with your review. The power is just insane coming from that engine and the acceleration is brutal. The one thing the made my mouth drop was the astronomical fluids replacement bill that came with maintaining the car. It's just too much for a Nissan.
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      10-29-2010, 02:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post

1----According to its new owner, a real problem also seems to be the lack of available trained technicians (only one in the DC area?) or of performance shops comfortable working on this kind of car (what with the iffy warranty issues and all). My friend would like to swap the tranny fluid for a better aftermarket one (apparently a lot of GT-R owners do this) and do a brake flush, but he is reluctant to go to the same perf shops he used before in the area.

2------ Turbo lag and engine response. Lag felt about the same as the 335i, but once the turbo kicks in at least the AWD ensures you aren't spit out into the countryside. Engine response felt on par with the 335 as well, in other words good (but not as good as the 911 S or the M3, not by a long shot). Come to think about it, I was expecting a little more from its engine given all the press accolades.

The things I disliked:
3------- The steering - I thought it was way too light and zero feedback. Given how quick the rack was and how good the turn-in, that was quite a let-down.

4-------- The brakes - I think in this particular car, the pedal felt soft (especially from big speeds). Perhaps a bleeding is required, or better pads?
Very thorough write-up and an excellent one at that! I have edited and highlighted certain aspects of your post and would like to chime in/add-in a few things I have experienced with my GTR, as I own both the GTR and the M3 amongst other cars.

1 - Maintenance of the car is indeed a problem because Nissan has appointed only select dealers from their gamut of North American/European and other dealers ,as HPC's or High Performance centers that can officially service a GTR. I think this is somewhat silly , because it causes various service related issues , especially keeping in mind the OCD Nissan warranty issues. And yes , a swap of transmission fluid is also recommended , as it ensures the transmission noise is reduced and the trans temps remain low , even when pushing the car.


2- I agree with you on the Turbo lag but I am not convinced with your comparison of the engine with NA 911 S and M3 engines. Turbo lag on a stock GTR is present and is annoying. It persists below 3k rpm. Once the car is modded properly , the lag is gone and the difference is that of night and day. However , it cannot be compared to high revving flat 6 or smaller V8's.

3 - I somewhat disagree with the steering issues. Having owned and driven the e92 m3,audi R8,aston martin DBS,LP560 Gallardo and other cars , I find the steering of the GTR the best I have ever experienced . But I say 'somewhat disagree' because I feel the weight of the steering should indeed by increased by about 5 - 10 %. It is perfect otherwise. It comes alive when the car is at speed and is very compliant for daily use.

4- I think for a stock GTR , the brakes are excellent!


Quote:
Originally Posted by graider View Post
good read man. but i think your comparison is not really apple vs apple. can you drive a 997.1 turbo and then compare it with the gtr. turbo cars won't have throttle response of NA, awd won't be as fun as rwd especially in steering feel.

what i mean is if i'm going iin with the mind set for a rwd, manual, and na car, i will skip right past the turbo or gtr.
Absolutely correct!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alms211 View Post
Thanks for the review --- good read and quite interesting. Did you happen to hear all the "sounds" and "noises" the GTR supposedly makes?
It does indeed make many noises , that range from brake squeal (even when the brakes are warm) to transmission clunks and exhaust rattles. But nothing too loud or intense to cause any distress. And this is coming from someone who is OCD about un-natural noises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehifi View Post
but the real question is: if you had a choice between your current m3 and the GTR... which would you choose?
If I were given the opportunity , given that I had to choose only one and stay with it for a while , I would choose the M3. The high revving V8 rwd with a 6speed stick is a very very very tough combination to be beaten by a torque monster like the GTR, especially given the fact the R35 doesn't come with a stick shift.
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      10-29-2010, 06:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NycE93M3 View Post
great write up, i think when the next GTR comes out , ill consider it
No you wont. By then, you'll own a dozen gas stations and will have your eye on the new GT2!!
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      10-29-2010, 06:23 AM   #15
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Thanks for this info about GT-R
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      10-29-2010, 07:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330CIZHP View Post
I think you forgot about the "vaccum cleaner sound". I heard it in real life (very similar to Porsche 911 Turbo). The air hissing is so loud and heavy that it is hard to figure out if it is the engine making those heavy hissing sound or it is just the tires are so noisy that they make that noise (or it could be a combination of both).
LOL! So true.

-SZ
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      10-29-2010, 07:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecksreturns View Post
Very thorough write-up and an excellent one at that! I have edited and highlighted certain aspects of your post and would like to chime in/add-in a few things I have experienced with my GTR, as I own both the GTR and the M3 amongst other cars.

1 - Maintenance of the car is indeed a problem because Nissan has appointed only select dealers from their gamut of North American/European and other dealers ,as HPC's or High Performance centers that can officially service a GTR. I think this is somewhat silly , because it causes various service related issues , especially keeping in mind the OCD Nissan warranty issues. And yes , a swap of transmission fluid is also recommended , as it ensures the transmission noise is reduced and the trans temps remain low , even when pushing the car.


2- I agree with you on the Turbo lag but I am not convinced with your comparison of the engine with NA 911 S and M3 engines. Turbo lag on a stock GTR is present and is annoying. It persists below 3k rpm. Once the car is modded properly , the lag is gone and the difference is that of night and day. However , it cannot be compared to high revving flat 6 or smaller V8's.

3 - I somewhat disagree with the steering issues. Having owned and driven the e92 m3,audi R8,aston martin DBS,LP560 Gallardo and other cars , I find the steering of the GTR the best I have ever experienced . But I say 'somewhat disagree' because I feel the weight of the steering should indeed by increased by about 5 - 10 %. It is perfect otherwise. It comes alive when the car is at speed and is very compliant for daily use.

4- I think for a stock GTR , the brakes are excellent!




Absolutely correct!



It does indeed make many noises , that range from brake squeal (even when the brakes are warm) to transmission clunks and exhaust rattles. But nothing too loud or intense to cause any distress. And this is coming from someone who is OCD about un-natural noises.



If I were given the opportunity , given that I had to choose only one and stay with it for a while , I would choose the M3. The high revving V8 rwd with a 6speed stick is a very very very tough combination to be beaten by a torque monster like the GTR, especially given the fact the R35 doesn't come with a stick shift.
I cross-shopped both the GTR and the m3 and I ended up with the ///M. However, the GTR is a beast! Great car! I would love to have one but......I think I'm getting a GT3 instead.

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      10-29-2010, 09:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alms211 View Post
Thanks for the review --- good read and quite interesting. Did you happen to hear all the "sounds" and "noises" the GTR supposedly makes?
I did hear some noises - after the run, i.e. when the car was fully warmed up.

Something that sounded like a driveshaft clinking (or throwout bearing) with the car stopped and in 1st gear. More clunks as the car was moving slowly.

But they were just noises in that I didn't feel them through any of the controls. Unless they represent a problem with the car, mechanical noises in a high performance car don't bother me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehifi View Post
but the real question is: if you had a choice between your current m3 and the GTR... which would you choose?
M3.

No manual tranny = no car for adc

Edit: Also - take a look at my signature pic. Couldn't replicate that with a GT-R without big $$.
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      10-29-2010, 09:12 PM   #19
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Nice write up. Fairly balanced. Though I have never understood the hang up on a straight stick.
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