PistonHeads got its first taste of Nissan’s SpecV GT-R in the UK at the weekend, along with the winner of our email prize draw Nigel Greenwood, who got a passenger ride up the famous Gooodwood hillclimb course in the only car of its type in Europe.
PH winner Nigel Greenwood
Your humble editor took the wheel of the SpecV for my first ever run up the Goodwood course - and while no records were in danger of falling during a debut that spectators might generously have called ‘tentative’, I’m sure Nigel’s wife Lisa was pleased that we managed not to fall off either. (They’ve got a new baby on the way, so congratulations from all at PH, and sorry to hear you had to ditch the Scooby for a sensible car Nigel!)
The Nismo-tweaked SpecV is the fastest official version yet of the latest GT-R and, although this particular car has been lurking at Nissan’s Nurburgring test facility for quite a few months, it hadn’t made it to the UK before the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Simon Croft, Chris-R and Nigel
European marketing manager Simon Croft drove the car over from Germany for the event (he’s making the return trip today), but even he wouldn’t be drawn on the prospects of this £100k-plus car coming to a showroom near you anytime soon; ‘the numbers are still being crunched’ remains the official line.
When you think what you get for your money, it’s not surprising that Nissan is being cautious – it would take a very enthusiastic GT-R buyer to spend nearly twice the amount of the standard car’s price ticket for what is a relatively limited series of modifications.
First up is a set of carbon brakes, which have been reported elsewhere as costing an eye-watering £35k on their own – apparently due to higher carbon content than ‘ordinary’ carbon-ceramic discs as fitted to Porsches, Lambos, etc.
Next is a turbo-boost button on the steering wheel which gives you an extra 14lb ft of torque for 80 seconds in any gear above third, while other performance mods include a new titanium exhaust with quad tailpipes that save 6kgs of weight over standard, plus a new front splitter, carbon rear wing, new rear diffuser, and black RAYS wheels with bespoke Bridgestone tyres.
Accelerating towards the bridge
Inside you lose the back seats, and the front seats are replaced by a pair of Recaro racing-style buckets. Oh, and the switch for the deleted adjustable damper settings has been replaced by a master switch for the turbo torque booster – and I think that’s about it.
I can’t really pretend to have noticed any dynamic differences between the SpecV and the standard GT-R on our little sprint up the hill; it's shockingly fast, hangs-on like a limpet and stops as though you're hitting a brick wall - but then so does the standard GT-R. A back-to-back comparison would be fascinating, of course, but I can't help thinking that 'exclusivity' and not ultimate performance will be what sells this car if it does make it to Europe.
Got to love those Smileys!
Nonetheless it was definitely great fun to get behind the wheel at what is one of the best events in the motoring calendar, and I have to say also that the SpecV looked superb in Black Opal with our biggest PH Smileys on both the doors.