The Nissan Skyline GT-R is an extensive-standing legend without a doubt. For sports car aficionados, this iconic star has been creating stimulation since the 1970s with its spectacular speed and agile handling. It's no wonder that the GTR garners admiration, even today, and is highly sought after by collectors!
I landed in Dubai at the Dubai Autodrome to test the all-new ‘Godzilla' by the Japanese manufacturer Nissan. I was super excited to lay my hands on it!
What's the outcome?
Although the changes on the exterior are not quite obvious and visible to many people except the fans of the GT-R, it may look somewhat modest compared to rival exotics, but it's all about the power. Interior has been perfected a lot and that's visible to the eyes. The 2017 model represent the most significant changes made to the GT-R since it was introduced in 2007.
I did show some bad behavior at Dubai Autodrome just to check how stable it is. I found out that the stability control always had my back. It's one of the best systems I've experienced on a very high-end sports car, prevailing only enough to straighten the car out from corners. It doesn't pull power or lock down on one wheel but slightly moves the power around and tweaks at the brakes enough to stop the oversteer and put the power to the ground. At 280 km/h on the straight line of the track I couldn't even feel such speed and the GT-R was hungry to be pushed more! But as always, safety is our main concern when testing any vehicle.
The GT-R has always been regarded as one of the worlds' best handling machines, and for 2017, its cornering abilities have become even better. A more rigid body structure and new suspension result in better stability through quick lateral transitions and higher overall cornering speed. Providing the grip are sticky 20-inch tires, wrapped around new ‘Y-spoke' machine-finished forged aluminum wheels.
The new GT-R's exterior gets a complete makeover across the front end. The new chrome matte finish "V-motion" grille represents one of Nissan's latest design signatures. It has been enlarged to provide better engine cooling and features an updated mesh pattern. A new hood, which flows flawlessly from the grille, has been significantly reinforced, contributing to stability during high-speed driving. A freshly-designed front spoiler lip and front bumpers with finishers situated immediately below the headlamps give the new GT-R the look of a purebred race car, while generating high levels of front downforce.
The GT-R's familiar wind-cutting shape defines its profile, but the side sills have been pushed out to improve air flow. The rear of the car also received a thorough makeover. While the GT-R's hallmark four-ring taillights remain, look closely and you'll notice new bodywork to help improve air flow, as well as side air vents next to the quad exhaust tips. Also, the belt line that separates the lower black section from the body panel has been heightened to give the car a wider and more aggressive look from the rear. These exterior changes don't result just in a sportier looking car, they create an aerodynamically efficient vehicle, with less drag but retaining the same amount of downforce as the current GT-R to keep the car stable at high speeds.
When I stepped into the cabin, I was greeted by a premium interior that is befitting a high-performance sports car of this caliber. The entire dashboard and instrument panel are new and covered with high quality leather artfully stitched together with TAKUMI precision. The shape of the dashboard adopts a horizontal flow that delivers a sense of increased stability for the car's front-seat occupants, while the line from the instrument cluster to the center console provides a distinct driver-oriented environment for those behind the steering wheel.
The center dashboard layout has also been improved and simplified. Integrated navigation and audio controls reduce the number of switches from 27 in the previous model to only 11 in the 2017 model. An enlarged eight-inch touch-panel monitor features large icons on the display screen to make it easy to operate. A new Display Command control on the carbon fiber center console allows for easy operation.
The shift paddles are now mounted to the new steering wheel, allowing drivers to change gears in mid-turn without having to take their hands off the wheel. The paddles themselves, along with the ventilation controls, have an improved feel and better sound when engaged or adjusted.
The GT-R, powered by a 3.8-liter V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine - each unit handcrafted by its own TAKUMI technician-now delivers 570-hp at 6,800 rpm and 637 Nm of torque. The engines are the definition of TAKUMI expertise. The improved output, which is the result of individual ignition-timing control of the cylinders and the extra boost from the turbochargers, allows the new GT-R to possess superior acceleration in the mid- to high-ranges (3,200 rpm and above). It comes mated to a thoroughly refined six-speed dual-clutch transmission that features smoother shifts and less noise. That familiar GT-R tone also has been upgraded with an engine that has never sounded better. The resonance of the new titanium mufflers and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) enhance the driving experience.
New for the 2017 GT-R are fresh colors inside and out that complement the car's sophisticated character. A "Blaze Metallic" with multi layered painting has been added to the exterior paint palate, while the interior of the Premium Edition, which features semi-aniline leather, offers customers four different options: the newly added Black/Rakuda and Samurai Black, as well as the always popular Black/Amber Red and Black/Ivory.
After a full day on the track I can modestly admit that the GT-R can easily be a daily drive compared to its previous generation. I still remember the previous generation had a very loud exhaust sound and stiff suspension. Nissan has altered the GT-R from a supercar to a sports car to get new amateur clientele to drive it without getting slayed. The 2017 GT-R is the most comfortable model to date, with a new sense of elegance and civility. The new GT-R exhibits a smoother ride quality than the outgoing model, and its cabin remains much quieter at all speeds with new sound absorption materials.
Pros: Superb engine sound, excellent handling, performance, enhanced interior, technology and infotainment, affordable price tag
Cons: The badge isn't justified yet; overconfidence in speeding can murder you, weighs 10% more than any rival supercar
Rivals: Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Maserati GranTurismo, Dodge Viper, Aston Martin Vantage, Jaguar F-TYPE R, Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911
one word: Godzilla
3.8L, V6 twin-turbo, 570 hp @ 6,800 rpm, 637 Nm @ 3,300-5,800 rpm
6-speed dual clutch auto, AWD
0-100 km/h: 2.8 sec, top speed: 315 km/h, fuel consumption: 12 L/100 km
Weight: 1,752 kg