The 2017 GTR may have a higher sticker price and more ordinary performance, but it’s still an amazing car and an incredible bargain. It’s extremely difficult to stay competitive in the fast-paced world of supercars where every model year brings new advancements. The GTR may not shock the world with its performance anymore but it is still competitive after 9 long years. The GTR stood the test of time and continues to bring driving enjoyment to enthusiasts across the globe for a very reasonable price.
The first thing you notice as you step inside the 2017 GTR is a coating of leather on every surface, save for the screens and switches. Say what you want about the GTR being crude, but Nissan threw everything they could to make the cabin a nicer place to be. All of this new cow hide certainly doesn’t help the curb weight which has ballooned to 3,933lbs making this heavy car even more portly. Nissan has taken measures to isolate you from the outside world adding sound deadening and active noise cancellation to reduce wind noise making this a better car to drive every day. All the improvements were made to make it a better car, but does that make it a better GTR?
The Nissan GTR built its reputation as the affordable Japanese supercar that could decimate its European rivals for a fraction of the price. While the R35 wowed us with its performance almost a decade ago, its statistics have become the norm. The GTR was a car built on impressive numbers and new technology, but when the numbers fade and the tech becomes ordinary, what are you left with?
Looking at the GTR in the context of today’s supercars, we find a competitive but flawed alternative to other sports cars. Today’s GTR now starts north of six figures and if you chose the track tuned Nismo version your spending over $170,000 dollars. As the prices continue to rise the bargain begins to shrink but that doesn’t mean it’s still not a deal.
The GTR makes you the driver you want to be, inspiring confidence to perform maneuvers you wouldn’t dream of in another car. I fear the trouble I would get in if I owned one of these cars as it’s all too easy to break every law of the road. From straight line speed to endless grip, point the GTR down your favorite back road and plan on reaching your destination very quickly. If you happen to go a little too fast, the heroic brakes and well-tuned stability management system will keep you safe, trust me.
The GTR is still an impressive piece of kit, eating up leaf covered back roads like nothing I’ve ever driven before. It puts the power down and catapults you to the next corner with ease making any trip far shorter than initially anticipated. The dual clutch transmission is responsive in manual mode, giving the driver control and rewarding you with seamless downshifts to access every last horsepower. Numbers aside, the GTR is still a riot to drive, perfecting years of experience with this chassis and power train. The engine now produces 565 horsepower in the base model to counteract the added weight from the luxury features and added insulation.
The Nissan GTR has become ordinary. Today we have a $100,000 2+2 coupe that produces 565 horsepower and can do 0-60 in under three seconds, yet none of these numbers are particularly special. Now, on its 9th model year, the original R35 was released a few months before the original iPhone changed the smartphone market, and a year before the great recession destroyed our global economy. Nissan shipped R35 GTRs before Tesla even produced a single roadster, and it was in production four years before McLaren built the 12C, yet the GTR is still a contender in one of the most competitive segments of the performance automotive marketplace. Before spending time behind the wheel of the GTR, I readily criticized Nissan for taking too long to replace it with a new model. So now that the GTR’s performance from 2007 is in the middle of the pack in 2016, what can this car offer enthusiasts? Well after spending time behind the wheel on the backroads of Monticello, NY, it turns out quite a lot.