RE: Nissan GT-R Track Edition: Driven (briefly)

RE: Nissan GT-R Track Edition: Driven (briefly)

Saturday 6th February 2016

Nissan GT-R Track Edition: Driven (briefly)

A GT-R but more so or a NISMO but less so? A quick drive at Silverstone to find out



Nissan GT-R Track Edition Engineered by NISMO. Catchy, huh? Basically what we have here is the BMW M Sport to BMW M, Audi S Line to Audi RS or even - god forbid - Aerokitted 911 to the GT3 real thing. Were we talking about a normal car here, that might be the case. But the GT-R isn't a normal car. And NISMO-lite or not, any GT-R with that name attached to it has to be worth a look.

Our drive in the Track Edition doesn't last a whole lot longer than the time taken to speak its full name. And we'll be getting a more extensive go soon. For now let's take a little look at what your £88,560 - a £10,530 premium over the standard GT-R - actually gets you.

You'll have likely spotted the rather tasty 20-inch NISMO-branded wheels, supplied by RAYS and apparently ribbed on their inside surface to stop the tyres spinning on the rim when you give it full beans. Because GT-R, as the internet might say. There is substance too, the Track Edition getting the NISMO's additional adhesive bonding over and above the regular spot welds to increase body rigidity - seam welding with glue basically, and described as a "NISMO factory tuned enhancement". Also carried over from the flagship model are the "large, high-rigidity bolts" for the wheel hub attachments, the hollow 17.3mm rear anti-roll bar (lighter and stiffer than standard) and - seemingly - the same NISMO spec three-mode Bilstein DampTronic dampers.

Internally ribbed to stop tyres spinning on the rim
Internally ribbed to stop tyres spinning on the rim
Hard to quantify
Nissan is typically cagey about talking numbers when it comes to precise changes to GT-R suspension geometry or spring/damper rates, merely saying the set-up is "specially tuned to deliver exceptional grip levels and progressive handling response at the limit". There are also "specially developed links fitted to the front double wishbone suspension [to] increase castor trail to optimise wheel position during high­-G cornering and improve straight­line and cornering stability", according to the limited press info.

To summarise then it's a regular GT-R with some fancier dampers, increased body stiffness plus - you'd expect - a little more pointiness than standard thanks to that stiffer rear anti-roll bar. And some NISMO badges.

Exactly how much of this can we appreciate in a handful of laps around Silverstone's compact Stowe Circuit? Not a great deal, you'd imagine, especially with orders not to touch any of the three rocker switches controlling powertrain, stability control and damping.

Expectations of what we'll get from this taster drive suitably low, the Track Edition then does that very GT-R thing of completely blowing them out of the water in just a few short laps. Maybe prolonged exposure to the car's performance means the novelty wears off quickly, perhaps explaining why so many owners seem desperate to go way beyond the standard 550hp. But as an occasional hit the GT-R's ferocity still takes a little while to dial into.

Needs to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck
Needs to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck
Blunt force trauma
It feels like a car needing to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck. To which it responds in kind, dishing out relentless wallops of acceleration on the greasy, puddle-strewn straights, hauling itself up violently on the brakes and then doing all sorts of clever stuff in the corners. With little time for exploring subtlety or nuance - it is there, honest - this is a brutal introduction to the Track Edition's talents.

Normal mode for powertrain frustrates with its conservative shift points, even in manual mode, and the bespoke Dunlop Sport Maxx GT run-flats have been replaced for the purposes of this press event with Pirelli P Zeroes that, frankly, aren't at their best on wet concrete. This does, however, permit some exploration of the chassis' attempts to send the drive torque to where it might most effectively be deployed, even with everything on.

Despite the safety nets, in this environment the Track Edition feels like a caged animal, demanding of some quite serious inputs and delivering a surprisingly intense adrenaline hit. Within the context of this drive it's hard to really explore the extra focus of the NISMO chassis settings but, as expected, turn-in is keen and in these conditions the Track Edition feels eager to pivot into oversteer from corner entry to exit. It ends up a scrappy three-way fight between driver, engine and stability control but it's hugely exciting, the more so when our chaperone feels sufficiently reassured to select R mode on the dampers. This just exacerbates the spikiness of the turn-in, the willingness of the Track Edition to adjust its angle on brakes and/or throttle and the tantalising sense of what a little more time and space would reveal.

We'll look forward to this in due course. But for now if the standard GT-R's attempts to grow up and act (relatively) sensible aren't to your taste the Track Edition would seem a welcome way of unleashing a little more of Godzilla's bite.


Previously on PH... Nissan GT-R timeline
Nissan GT-R first drive
 (December 2007)
Nissan GT-R 2012: More for less (fuel)
 (November 2011) 
Nissan GT-R vs BMW M5
 (February 2012)
Nissan GT-R Track Pack vs Porsche 911 Turbo
 (May 2012)
World Domination and the Nissan GT-R
 (May 2012)
Nissan GT-R looks to the future
(August 2012)
2013 Nissan GT-R, now even more so
(November 2012)
Nissan GT-R MY14 and NISMO driven
 (November 2013)
Nissan GT-R NISMO vs Mercedes C63 Black Series
 (August 2014)
Nissan GT-R: Buying Guide
(November 2014)
MY2015 Nissan GT-R updates
(November 2015)
BMW M4 vs. Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary
(November 2015)


NISSAN GT-R TRACK EDITION BY NISMO
Engine
: 3,799cc V6 twin-turbo
Transmission: 6-speed dual clutch auto, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 550@6,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 466@3,200rpm - 5,800rpm
0-62mph: 2.8sec
Top speed: 196mph
Weight: 1,740kg (without driver)
MPG:24mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 275g/km
Price: £88,560 (OTR, before options)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

716 posts

149 months

Sunday 31st January 2016
quotequote all
Badge engineered or not, the GT-R is still a hell of a car.

DS197

981 posts

37 months

Sunday 31st January 2016
quotequote all
sidesauce said:
Badge engineered or not, the GT-R is still a hell of a car.
Agreed, but it is quite boring to look at

PunterCam

695 posts

126 months

Sunday 31st January 2016
quotequote all
While the GTR has doubtless been a success from a reviewers standpoint (I'm not sure if it sold), it surely must be time to end production? Nissan should take the enthusiasm the GTR created and make something more interesting.. Be the first company to make something electric, fast, and desirable. An electric only car for car people.

I'd love an electric sports car that weighed 1400kgs, had a 250 mile range, and which was mechanically loud - a car in which you could hear the suspension and understand the sounds, a car in which you could hear individual electric motors doing their thing.. Another 1800kg giant to replace the GTR just isn't interesting.

BlackLabel

9,981 posts

54 months

Sunday 31st January 2016
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
While the GTR has doubtless been a success from a reviewers standpoint (I'm not sure if it sold), it surely must be time to end production? Nissan should take the enthusiasm the GTR created and make something more interesting.. Be the first company to make something electric, fast, and desirable. An electric only car for car people.

I'd love an electric sports car that weighed 1400kgs, had a 250 mile range, and which was mechanically loud - a car in which you could hear the suspension and understand the sounds, a car in which you could hear individual electric motors doing their thing.. Another 1800kg giant to replace the GTR just isn't interesting.
yes

It's been around for 8 or 9 years now - shirley production must be ending soon.

cib24

605 posts

84 months

Sunday 31st January 2016
quotequote all
Isn't the new GTR not scheduled until 2019/2020? So, I would imagine they will make this car until then but I'm sure the replacement will be worth the wait. Have Nissan ever disappointed with a GTR? R32, R33, R34, R35 were all amazing (still are arguably).
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toppstuff

11,411 posts

178 months

Monday 1st February 2016
quotequote all
We should not let over familiarity with this car blind us.

It may well feel familiar. I for one wish Nissan would simply offer different colours or even something other than the same black and red-trimmed interior, if only to freshen it up... but.. but... It is still an epic car.

This remains a car that any enthusiast must drive in anger as part of their performance car education. It is still a monster worthy of our attention. Even though we've seen it around for years.

peterpeter

6,406 posts

188 months

Monday 1st February 2016
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
While the GTR has doubtless been a success from a reviewers standpoint (I'm not sure if it sold), it surely must be time to end production? Nissan should take the enthusiasm the GTR created and make something more interesting.. Be the first company to make something electric, fast, and desirable. An electric only car for car people.

I'd love an electric sports car that weighed 1400kgs, had a 250 mile range, and which was mechanically loud - a car in which you could hear the suspension and understand the sounds, a car in which you could hear individual electric motors doing their thing.. Another 1800kg giant to replace the GTR just isn't interesting.
Replace the R35 GTR with a 1400 kg electric car? god, I can't think of anything worse.

Hope they keep making it right up until the next hybrid/ super car they will inevitably make that is bound to be out of most peoples price range

im on my 3rd and have absolutely no desire to replace it.. (add to it yes but replace, never)





pimpchez

852 posts

114 months

Monday 1st February 2016
quotequote all
Well well ,what a positive review. There is noway on earth that the Porsche`s could get a review like that , "exciting" "scruff of neck" "oversteer on brakes and exits".

I know the track was wet ,but this should shut up the its "only a playstation" naysayers. I have driven one once , a first gen and i will never forget that grip and cornering speed .

big_rob_sydney

2,047 posts

125 months

Sunday 7th February 2016
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
While the GTR has doubtless been a success from a reviewers standpoint (I'm not sure if it sold), it surely must be time to end production? Nissan should take the enthusiasm the GTR created and make something more interesting.. Be the first company to make something electric, fast, and desirable. An electric only car for car people.

I'd love an electric sports car that weighed 1400kgs, had a 250 mile range, and which was mechanically loud - a car in which you could hear the suspension and understand the sounds, a car in which you could hear individual electric motors doing their thing.. Another 1800kg giant to replace the GTR just isn't interesting.
Huge fan of GTR. Much respect, especially since it decimated group A racing to earn its nickname of godzilla.

The thing is, I dont actually think ANYONE can build a production car with all the widgets, AND have a heavy battery pack, to keep everything down to 1400kg, with todays technology.

I certainly agree with the idea, dont get me wrong. Just dont think its possible right now.


Kawasicki

5,193 posts

166 months

Thursday 24th March 2016
quotequote all
I drove the nismo version recently. It was a lot of fun and pretty nippy....someone at Nissan isn't afraid to do "single minded" and "character". It was darting all over the shop on truck grooves...it made me laugh.

Baryonyx

16,163 posts

90 months

Thursday 24th March 2016
quotequote all
Still an amazing machine, even now. However, nothing good ever came of anything trimmed in red leather. Absolutely vile.

andysgriff

790 posts

191 months

Thursday 24th March 2016
quotequote all
Baryonyx said:
Still an amazing machine, even now. However, nothing good ever came of anything trimmed in red leather. Absolutely vile.
Thanks for your opinion.

Vyse

1,053 posts

55 months

Thursday 24th March 2016
quotequote all
Wasn't the R33 seen as the dud of the group? Also G35 if you count that as a Skyline.

cib24 said:
Isn't the new GTR not scheduled until 2019/2020? So, I would imagine they will make this car until then but I'm sure the replacement will be worth the wait. Have Nissan ever disappointed with a GTR? R32, R33, R34, R35 were all amazing (still are arguably).

CS Garth

1,588 posts

36 months

Thursday 24th March 2016
quotequote all
Baryonyx said:
Still an amazing machine, even now. However, nothing good ever came of anything trimmed in red leather. Absolutely vile.
Your wife is going to the wrong underwear shops in that case, you should see what you are missing